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Another U. Greek house may close

Another University of Utah Greek house may be shutting down this semester following concerns about lagging recruitment and academic grades.

The national board for the Delta Delta Delta sorority told the local chapter this past week that its charter will be revoked in April. The sorority is the second Greek group to be shut down this school year, following the closing of Phi Delta Theta in December due to a hazing incident.

"I'm disappointed and worried, but I've also seen the women really unify. They've talked about trying to change the headquarter's minds in a short period of time," said Lori McDonald, Greek adviser at the U.

The tri-Delta sorority is the smallest Greek house on campus, with only 30 members. Those low numbers had been a concern for some time, McDonald said, and are not isolated to the Delta group alone.

Sororities across campus are seeing falling recruitment numbers, she said. The average number of women per sorority recently dropped to 63 from 80.

"I think our students are more and more involved in student life and working off campus than ever before," she said. "I'm sure that the economy has an impact on your perception of whether you can afford to participate in a student organization that requires dues."

Nancy Nazarinia, panhellenic president at the U., said student Greek officers are working to get Delta Delta Delta's charter extended after April. She added that getting the word out about the U.'s sororities has been increasingly difficult in recent years.

"Recruitment numbers have been steadily declining for all the sororities on campus. It is hard for a Greek system to thrive and survive on the commuter campus that we are," she said.

Nazarinia added that the Greek groups have also gotten a reputation "as being partiers with no motivation," although she said many students are able to manage their grades and time while participating in a Greek house.

"Recruiting members to join the Greek system is always a challenge; of course, getting the word out is key, but also having students realize and understand the benefits of Greek life," she said.


E-mail: estewart@desnews.com