Rumor Mill: Alpha Xi Delta’s New House?

9 06 2009

Being in another part of the country sort of limits my ability to keep this blog as active as it usually is. That being said, occasionally some tip or rumor comes along, and if it piques my curiosity, I’ll sooner or later get around to addressing it.

In this case, it would appear that popular rumor is ciruclating that Alpha Xi Delta sorority would be moving into Alpha Omicron Pi sorority’s old house. To make a long story short, AOPi closed this past year for a number of reasons, leaving their recently renovated (and rather luxurious, if I dare say) house on Ridgewood Road open. The house itself has a long storied history of being involved in the Greek system, with no less than four different Greek organizations calling at home at some point or another in its nearly one-hundred year history (see other entries).

The rumor has its plausible points. For one, Alpha Xi Delta doesn’t own their house at 115 The Knoll. That house is still owned by Delta Phi Epsilon sorority, which closed about six years ago [1]. Rumor mill seems to suggest that Alpha Xi Delta’s moving to Ridgewood may not be permanent, as AOPi stated that once the last sisters graduate (2011?), the sorority is hoping to reactivate itself, persumably in the house it owns.

I guess my question is, if the rumor turns out to true, then what’s being done with 115 The Knoll? Is Delta Phi Epsilon reactivating, or is the house intended for another purpose? I s’pose only time will tell on this one.


9/7/08 News Tidbits: Alpha Omicron Pi to shut Cornell Chapter

6 09 2008

AoPi sisters confirmed Friday that their chapter will be closed as of the first of October, due to declining numbers within sorority rush. All current members will be moved to alumni status and allowed to live in the house until graduation. Once all current sisters have graduated, the intention is to reopen the house under a new set of women (this has been done with fraternities in the past. Pi Kappa Phi closed in 1986 and reopened in 1990, and Phi Kappa Tau closed in 1994 and reopened in 2000).

So, the news, while unfortunate, isn’t surprising to anyone familiar with the Cornell sororities. AOPi was typically derided and demeaned, and as a result of the nasty jokes associated with the house, women tended to avoid having it as a choice on their bids. Also consider that sorority rush turnout was lower than usual this past year, and you end up with a situation where the house can’t get enough women to make minimum member quotas. I feel really sorry for the current active membership of that sorority house.

This should really be a wake-up call to PanHel that something is amiss in the sorority system. Delta Phi Epsilon closed in 2003, as did Chi Omega. with Alpha Omicron Pi shutting down, this results in a net loss of two sororities in the past five years (PanHel selected Alpha Xi Delta to open on campus in 2004). With eleven left, is this really the system that they want? When some sororities have 140 women, and AOPi is closing with about 30 members left, as regulated as the system is for women you’d think the numbers could be a little more balanced.