Formal recruitment ended in February, but it was the last one for members of the Phi Mu Fraternity – at least for now.
On March 15, 2010, the Rho Epsilon chapter of the Phi Mu Fraternity was closed, effective on May 30, 2010. Current sisters were informed of the decision by national president Robin Fanning, and an official letter was sent to chapter alumni. The letter outlined low membership and financial concerns as the reasons for the closing.
“It was definitely a surprise,” said Karen Linderborg, Palos Park, IL. senior. “A lot of members were upset about the lack of time to get a decent (active member) number up and how less than 70 girls went out for formal recruitment this year.”
Phi Mu recruited seven women during formal recruitment. Since they have not been initiated, their national organization has released them from obligations.
“This makes them eligible to join another sorority on campus if they so choose and are invited,” said Jenny Greyerbiehl, assistant director for greek life and student organizations.
The sisters have the opportunity to appeal the decision, but are still deciding on a course of action. A decision for appeal needs to be made within thirty days, according to Jessica Smith, Lake Orion senior and member of Phi Mu.
“A member of the national council would be assigned to help our chapter write their appeal letter which would have to include a plan on how to increase membership and to clear up old debt that the chapter may have,” Smith said.
After the letter is written, three members of Phi Mu would have to present their case to the national headquarters in Macon, Georgia. Their case would then be re-examined by the national council.
“As far as I know, we have decided not to fight the appeals process because of how expensive it would be,” says Smith.
Expenses, such as airfare to Georgia, would have to be paid by members of Phi Mu.
Should the appeal be denied, all current non-graduating members would be granted alumni status within the organization. In the event that Phi Mu recolonized on campus, those sisters would resume regular member status. Recolonization would normally be considered to occur three to five years after closing.
Christina Poulin, 2009 Albion and Phi Mu alumnae, thinks that recolonization is a possibility.
“We have a very enthusiastic alumni base that can vouch for recolonization after the next couple of years,” says Poulin. “A clean slate would be great for this chapter, and I think that Phi Mu’s message, ‘To be to others what we would they would be to us,’ fits well on Albion College’s campus.”