After a four-year hiatus, the Nu Chi chapter of the sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha is returning to the College of William and Mary campus.
The historically black sorority was originally suspended in the late spring of 2008 by both the national organization and the school after a hazing incident. Their sanction, which specified that the sorority could return to campus as an officially recognized student organization, expired in June of 2011.
The four-year gap was intentional, as the sanction ensured that any active member present at the College at the time of the hazing incident would have graduated and would not be able to influence new members of the sorority. Because of the four year sanction, the chapter will need to wait a minimum of two years in order to get housing on campus, as there is currently no designated spot for them. In addition, a student-run organization must exist for two years before it can qualify to have housing on campus.
There will be members of the graduate school chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha to help guide the new members in getting the sorority back on its feet again.
“No different parameters in place that are different than the expectations that we hold all our organizations accountable to at the college level,” Anne Arseneau, the Associate director of Greek life and leadership, said. “I think for Alpha Kappa Alpha, as an organization, the way in which they support and advise the chapter, will probably have some increased attention, because they don’t want to put themselves in that situation again.”
Some in the College community have expressed interest in the returning Alpha Kappa Alpha governing body.
There are currently six historically black Greek lettered organizations on campus, and the addition of Alpha Kappa Alpha will bring the total to three sororities and four fraternities.
“It is always positive for the community to grow,” Anne Arseneau said of the impact the addition of one more historically black sorority to campus.
She also noted that the addition of this new sorority allows more women to join a sorority who otherwise would not.
Alpha Kappa Alpha is the oldest sorority of its kind in the country.
“We are very excited to welcome them back,” Arseneau said.