In Spring 2018, the Interfraternity Council (IFC) at Longwood University and the chapter presidents of the member fraternities voted to open for expansion.
This means a new fraternity could potentially be joining IFC and the fraternity and sorority life community at Longwood University within the next year.
After IFC voted to open for expansion, letters of intent were submitted to Longwood’s IFC from Alpha Chi Rho (AXP), Beta Theta Pi (Beta) and Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) to demonstrate their interest in colonizing a chapter at Longwood. Both AXP and TKE would be re-chartered chapters because they were previously established on campus. Longwood hosted each of the three inter/national fraternities for expansion presentation days during the last few weeks of October.
“This opportunity does not mean that we will have a new fraternity next semester,” said Colin Dominick, Vice President of Recruitment for IFC and member of Phi Kappa Tau, “but the vote in the spring gave (the fraternities) the opportunity to come to campus to present and advocate for why they would be a beneficial addition to the Greek community here at Longwood.”
At the conclusion of all three organizations presenting, each member fraternity with their chapter president as the voting delegate, as well as the IFC executive board, met on Thursday, Oct. 25th, to discuss at length the pros and cons they feel about each organization. Following discussion, each member fraternity cast their votes on Thursday Nov. 1stto determine which organization they feel is best to become an addition to Longwood’s fraternity and sorority community. Following the voting phase, the decision from the member fraternities in addition to their feelings, discussions, and notes were presented to the upper administration at Longwood who then sent decision emails to the three inter/national fraternities.
Zachary York, IFC President and member of Theta Chi fraternity, played an active role in the planning and execution of the expansion visits as he represents the fraternity community within his position as President.
“I think there’s some excitement, but also some worry (within the Greek community),” York said, “As a whole, the Greek community at Longwood is kind of stagnant and numbers are kind of low, and people have a misconception that if we bring another fraternity on campus it means taking away members from them,” York said.
However, York has worked with each of the member fraternities to reassure them of this opportunity and to advocate for the interest of each fraternity.
“These new fraternities are offering the chance to be founding fathers, which is a way different experience then joining the fraternities that are already here,” York said. “They’ll literally be the first guys in that chapter. They’ll be the first president and they’ll be the guys ten years from now that their fraternity will call founding fathers. It’s a much different experience than what the other organizations offer.”
According to Dominick and York, this will offer a distinct leadership opportunity and will entice students who may not have previously considered joining a fraternity.
Historically, expansion brings a new sense of excitement and revitalization to the community and is most likely to raise the membership numbers of each member fraternity.
York said, “I want people to know that during my tenure as president that I tried to bring positivity to our Greek community and I think offering a new fraternity brings a new experience and offers a new opportunity.”
“Longwood’s fraternity community is very special,” York said, “And any extra addition that fits in and would offer a new opportunity to Longwood students would benefit us greatly.”
In the coming weeks, follow up will take place to confirm the decision and invitation for one fraternity to join the Longwood fraternity community and then an official announcement will be released.