More than three decades after its initiation to MU, the Epsilon Mu chapter of the Sigma Kappa sorority will close its doors in May.
With the permission of the national council of Sigma Kappa, Epsilon Mu will continue to function as a chapter until May 17. At that time, it will close and members will be granted alumnae status, according to a press release from Sigma Kappa national headquarters.
Because of declining membership, the chapter voted Jan. 28 to assume dormant status.
Students, who are collegiate members, typically take alumnae status after they graduate. The national council of Sigma Kappa is granting members of the Epsilon Mu chapter alumnae status because of the unusual circumstances.
“When you graduate college, you’re made an alumna through the chapter, through the organization,” said Katie Zeidman, vice president of public relations for the MU Panhellenic Council. “You’re still a member of that chapter, just a different status. Most chapters have alumni chapters that you can become involved with all over the country.”
Members and chapter president Erica White declined to comment on the future dormant status of Sigma Kappa at MU.
“In order to sustain a chapter of that size in this community, it’s very important to sustain enough members,” MU Panhellenic Adviser Brooke Hansen said.
Greek chapters try to maintain “total,” which is the number of members recommended by the National Panhellenic Council for each campus. On the MU campus, that total is 155. Hansen estimates Sigma Kappa’s current membership to be between 80 and 90 women.
Last year, Sigma Kappa issued a proposal to the other sororities on campus, stating that it was trying to raise its numbers during the recruitment process, Zeidman said.
“It’s been an open communication process throughout the whole thing,” she said. “Basically, we wanted to stop rumors.”
When the chapter assumes dormant status, members will vacate the chapter house.
The fate of the house is undecided, House Board President Pat Buchanan said.
Whether Sigma Kappa can ever re-activate its MU charter will be up to the MU Panhellenic Council, said Julia Kozicki, legal counsel for the national headquarters of Sigma Kappa.