Recently, the Greek community at Pitt has been abuzz with the possibility of a new sorority opening. Junior Mandy Velez, the brains behind this endeavor, divulges all the need-to-know details about her hopes and plans for making her new sorority a reality.
After pledging a sorority her freshman year, Velez loved the bond she gained with her sisters. But, after transferring to Pitt just one semester later, she feels a void. She states, “I went from having sisters, support, and tons of great philanthropic events to nothing at all. While I could have things like that from other organizations, I love the bond the sorority sisters share. Not having that devastated me.”
Monica Khan, a freshman, went through rush her first semester in college. Although she was pleased with what some of the sororities had to offer, she did not end up pledging. While thinking about whether she should rush again the next semester, Khan met Velez through a student organization. The two started discussing Greek life and when Velez mentioned her old sorority and how much she missed the experience, Khan proposed they team up to start a new chapter at Pitt.
Khan thought there should be a fresh sorority on campus because “diversity is important in Greek life. Pitt’s Greek community is steadily growing, and another sorority is necessary to satiate needs of the diverse Pitt population. Not only that, but I feel with Greek life goes the saying, ‘the more the merrier.’ Another sorority would mean more philanthropies, more support for other Greek members and more young women coming together to achieve a common goal of success, unconditional support, and professionalism.” As for the standards of the new sorority, Velez hopes to “distinguish [it] as a group of women that just want to serve their community, form bonds for life, and just have fun! Our goal isn’t really to stand out as much as it is to become part of the Greek community.”
However, once Velez and Khan got the ball rolling, they immediately faced some struggles. When meeting with Greek advisor Summer Rothrock, Velez learned that Pitt’s Panhellenic Council is not currently open for extension. This means that there is simply not a need for another sorority on campus.
But, Velez and Khan still asked around just to see if they could find enough women interested in joining their potential sorority in the event of extension opening. Fortunately, she reveals, “Many women have approached me about joining and we will be ready to go if Pitt is ready to welcome another sorority to campus.” For now though, Velez, Khan, and their prospective sisters will just have to play the waiting game.
Also, because so many females were enthusiastic about being part of this, many other student organizations on campus soon found out about Velez’s plans and also became excited about the idea of a new sorority. Of course though, wherever there are supporters, there are naysayers. When asked about the discouragement she encounters, Velez replies, “Other groups have been worried about our intentions and that’s the last thing I want. My goal is to become part of Pitt Greek life. I think it’s an amazing experience and my only agenda is to offer other girls that experience as well.”
Only time will tell whether this or any other new sorority will succeed in being recognized by Pitt. But, it seems as if Velez and Khan are not giving up hope for theirs any time soon.