On Nov. 1, the Kappa Alpha Theta Grand Council announced that Ole Miss’ Epsilon Zeta chapter of Theta would be closing at the end of the fall semester. The reasons behind this sudden decision were “low membership numbers and discouraging recruitment efforts.” The chapter had experienced more than 17 visits from national representatives in the past two years regarding new membership, chapter obligations and financial issues, although there were no official signs that the chapter would be closing until it was announced.
Students campus-wide are saddened by the upcoming loss of such a longstanding sorority, its members and one of Greek life’s most beloved traditions, Theta Encore. Every year, Kappa Alpha Theta hosts a dance competition between each sorority’s newest pledge class in order to raise money for their national and local philanthropy, called CASA.
This program provides court-appointed special advocates to children in foster care nationwide to ease their journey finding a home.
This year, Theta Encore raised $66,313 for CASA, only further proving how substantial and successful this fundraiser is. Although the Ole Miss chapter of Theta is closing, there is still
an opportunity to keep Theta Encore alive by having College Panhellenic host the competition.
For seventeen years, the fundraiser has brought pledge classes together and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for CASA. By keeping this tradition alive, Panhellenic can honor Theta Encore’s fond memories and continue to raise money for the philanthropy.
Many schools host Greek-wide fundraisers similar to Theta Encore — such as Greek Sing at Arizona State, where a similar dance competition takes place between all of the sororities and fraternities.
These fundraisers raise thousands of dollars, attract people throughout the community to the campus and bring Greek organizations together. In addition to fundraising, this could provide an opportunity for Theta’s members and alumnae to stay involved with their philanthropy through competing, volunteering or attending the performances.
Alyssa Moncrief is a freshman political science and journalism major from Jackson.