Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Clarkson Women & Sororities

In 1964 Clarkson started accepting women. The first class had nine and three left after the first semester. It took a few years, but in 1972 Clarkson women started joining the local sororities. At that time there were six: Alpha, Ago, Delta, Zeta, PhiK & Omega.

From The Clarkson Mosaic 1896-1995
In 1977 the first Clarkson sorority was founded, Phi Sigma Sigma, a national.  At first they participated in the same rush at the locals, and even accepted members from SUNY Potsdam (source: The Raquette 11/3/78) and appear in the Potsdam State yearbook from 1979-1981. 

In 1980 Phi Sig disaffiliated themselves with their national and changed their name to Phi Sigma Lambda, in order to continue to accept members from Potsdam State. The sisters don't appear in either yearbook in 1982, and then in 1983 they appear in the Clarkson yearbook only.  A March 8, 1983 Clarkson Integrator article titled "Phi Sigma Sigma Relives at Clarkson" says the sorority had 48 pledges.

In 1983 Clarkson's second sorority was founded, Phi Mu, also a national. It dissolved in 2001 due to lack of interest.

In 1984 the two Clarkson sororities started their own sorority rush and Clarkson stopped allowing the locals to hold rush sign-up on campus.

In 1986 Clarkson's third sorority, Delta Zeta, was founded.  With a smaller than usual freshman class expected in fall 1986, Clarkson tightened its off-campus permissions policy. This impacted University housing regulations which stipulated that dorms had to be kept at approximately 95 percent capacity. Sophomores were required to live on campus unless they were married or were moving into a recognized sorority or fraternity house. Dropouts between semesters made the pressure even greater to keep the dorms full, so exceptions were cancelled, much to the displeasure of many students.

In 1987 Clarkson stopped recognizing the local sororities. Clarkson students are allowed to pledge the locals (and still do), but the Clarkson sororities had their own rush and students who joined the local sororities could not move into their houses any earlier than other off-campus housing.

Today Clarkson has four national sororities (Phi Sig, DZ, KDChi and Theta Phi) and SUNY Potsdam has two national (AST, Sigma Lambda Gamma) and five local (Zeta, Arethusa, Phi K, Omega and Ago is re-colonizing this semester) sororities.

Anyone know if any fraternities have had members from both schools?

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