By Garrett Palmquist
The reintroduction of the sorority Delta Phi Epsilon (DPhiE) to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s (ERAU) Prescott campus presents a new option for women seeking to join Greek life.
Gianna Lorusso, who is serving as the primary liaison between the old sorority Chi Delta Chi and the new DPhiE chapter, was optimistic about the move from a local sorority to an international organization. “We’re excited to make connections with Delta Phi Epsilon sisters and to no longer just have sisters on this campus, but internationally,” she said.
Lorusso noted that Chi Delta Chi was founded on similar principles that DPhiE espouses, such as, “empowering women and individuality, along with making the most of our time here on campus.” DPhiE’s principles were attractive enough to balloon the burgeoning chapter’s initial numbers to approximately 32 members, up from the 18 former Chi Delta Chi members who reformed the DPhiE chapter on campus.
The sorority’s headquarters is currently directing recruitment on campus and has left many specific questions (such as the exact date of chartering) unanswered. Lorusso reiterated, however, that there are “no major roadblocks or hurdles” in the fledgling chapter’s chartering process. Rather, the members “want to make sure that what we establish is a legacy for future sisters to follow.” DPhiE has made it clear that the new chapter will be “official” by the end of the Spring 2018 term.
A majority of ERAU’s Greek community are welcoming DPhiE with open arms. One fraternity member said that, “I feel glad that they became a national sorority…we do feel that Chi Delta Chi basically became Delta Phi Epsilon with added members, so the change wasn’t that large.”
A sorority member noted, “It’s going to be great to have a third voice in Panhel again,” referencing the Panhellenic Council that governs the sororities on campus. That same sorority member added, “It is going to make us work harder to impress the girls we want for our own organization, but it is great to see the Greek community growing in such a positive manner.”
When asked what sets DPhiE apart from the two established sororities on campus (Alpha Sigma Tau, and Alpha Xi Delta), Lorusso had this to say: “We all promote the same things such as sisterhood and community. Each sorority is different, from philanthropy to colors…We’re all unique in our own way.”
DPhiE is no stranger to ERAU’s Prescott campus. The first DPhiE chapter on campus left in the early 2000’s, and the creation of Chi Delta Chi provided the opportunity for DPhiE to return to campus. Former members of Chi Delta Chi were thankful for the experiences that the young sorority offered, but they looked forward to the support that a national organization could provide.
The process of DPhiE’s return to campus has been arduous. Multiple sororities competed for the favor of the Greek community during the 2016-2017 school year; DPhiE has been preparing (and continues to do so) their official return to campus since summer 2017. This process includes numerous campus visits, interviews, and meetings between DPhiE representatives and the Panhellenic Council’s expansion committee.