September 22, 2019 | 69° F

U. to add Phi Mu sorority in spring of 2014

Photo by Karl Hoempler |

Gamma Phi Beta hung up a banner on their building on College Avenue, welcoming Phi Mu to the Rutgers campus.

Sorority life is expanding at Rutgers University, and a new sorority on campus, Phi Mu, announced its plans to colonize Rutgers during spring 2014.

Marissa Piloto, president of Rutgers’ Panhellenic Executive Council, said when Rutgers’ sororities find they are constantly meeting quota during their annual formal recruitments, it is time to expand.

“We have to invite organizations to apply. We started that process at the end of last year,” Piloto said. “Over the summer we narrowed it down from the organizations that applied to what organizations we felt would be a good fit for our community.”

Phi Mu will be the seventh National Panhellenic Conference sorority on campus. The others include Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Phi Sigma Sigma, Zeta Tau Alpha, Sigma Delta Tau, and Sigma Kappa, according to the Rutgers Student Life website.

“I think it’s going to be a great new addition,” said Piloto. “We see more and more people joining greek life every year, and I think that Phi Mu brings a new kind of sense of life and will encourage a lot people who didn’t think greek life was for them to join.”

On the Greater Summit Phi Mu Alumnae organization page, Beth Maxson Monnin, vice president of Communications and Extension, said Phi Mu is receiving alumni support.

“Colonizing at Rutgers is an incredible opportunity for Phi Mu,” she said. “We have so many supportive alumnae in the area who are excited about getting involved in advising a new chapter, and the local Panhellenic will be an excellent partner for us.”

Jessica Winkles, extension director of Phi Mu’s Kappa Phi chapter, said she is responsible for opening new Phi Mu chapters as well as leading the initial marketing and recruitment efforts.

“Phi Mu was founded on March 4, 1852, making us the second oldest sorority in the country, so we have a rich history and established traditions,” she said. “Phi Mu was actually originally founded as a literary society at Wesleyan College. It was one of the first institutions that granted degrees to women.”

According to the Phi Mu website, more than 228 chapters are nationally chartered and have more than 175,000 alumni. About 14,000 collegiate members exist, Winkles said.

“Phi Mu at RU will provide a very similar sorority experience to the already existing chapters on campus with the added benefit of being a founding member. … We will have leadership positions available to everyone right away, and … be a part of a great community and … make your sorority experience exactly what you want it to be,” she said.

Winkles said Phi Mu is focusing on finding first-year students and sophomores to become a part of the new chapter, but believes it is a wonderful opportunity for upperclassmen to get involved as well.

“We are really looking for women who are going to uphold our ideals and values to represent, not only Phi Mu, but the great community at Rutgers in a positive way,” she said. “Our creed is based around our three guiding principles: love, honor and truth.”

Since 1986, Phi Mu has been supporting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals for its national philanthropy cause, according to the Phi Mu website.

Winkles said they’ve raised more than 10 million dollars for 170 children’s hospitals across the country.

“The great thing about our partnership with [CMNH] is that each of our chapters supports their local children’s hospital, so the chapter at Rutgers will work with the Children’s Specialized Hospital at Mountainside, N.J.,” she said.

In the spring 2014 semester, Phi Mu will participate in the first round of the Panhellenic formal recruitment process and will use the first round as a marketing tool to share more information about Phi Mu, Winkles said.

“So we’ll do about two weeks of marketing and PR on campus, and we’re going to be present on all five of Rutgers campuses,” she said.

Phi Mu will host its own colonization recruitment following the Panhellenic bid day and hold interviews with potential members, Winkles said.

“The personal interviews are a really great way to meet everyone in a more individual setting, and also to share more information about Phi Mu and to answer any questions anyone might have,” she said.

Winkles said Phi Mu is committed to having a house, and wants to be comparable to other sororities in terms of membership.

“At this point we are still working with the University to determine what our options are,” she said. “We have a national housing corporation and they are responsible for seeking out and securing the house of our new chapter. We definitely hope to have something within the next two to five years.”

Winkles said representatives from Phi Mu would be on campus from Monday through Thursday next week to meet with representatives from the campus community and the Panhellenic community. The members will start building relationships and preparing for Phi Mu’s colonization this winter.

By Connie Capone

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