Aug 162006
 
Authors: Vimal Patel The Rocky Mountain Collegian

A CSU sorority’s charter was yanked Wednesday, leaving the chapter’s women scrambling to find a place to live in the weeks before school starts while the university prepared to move other students into their former home.

The Grand Council of the national chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta voted unanimously to strip the CSU chapter’s charter earlier this month. The action became official Wednesday.

On the same day the sisters got booted, the university announced it has leased the sorority’s former house at 638 S. Sherwood St. and plans to house 60 female students there.

“They’re moving 60 freshmen into the house instead of us,” said Carrie Bax, a member of the defunct CSU chapter. “They get to use our furniture and our beds.”

Mark Koepsell, director of Greek Life, said there was a list of reasons why the chapter’s charter was pulled. He didn’t have the list, which was included in a letter sent from the national chapter to the CSU chapter, but said it cited concerns such as “risk management issues” and “money issues.”

Liz Rinck, director of communications for the national chapter, said that confidentiality rules prevented her from giving the reasons why the CSU chapter had its charter withdrawn.

Shannon Chandler, president of the CSU chapter, said the decision came as a surprise. She declined to comment on the reasons why the charter was withdrawn.

“There’s been a lot of problems in the past, that’s what was handed down to us,” said Chandler, a junior art major. She added that the group plans on eventually returning as an official sorority.

“That is the plan,” she said.

There were about 34 women in the chapter, Chandler said.

Rinck stressed that the girls of the CSU chapter – called Beta Gamma – are still part of the national chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta.

Bax said she found out on her birthday that she didn’t have a place to live and had to move her stuff out of the house.

“I didn’t even know there were problems in the house until I got the letter,” she said.

Bax, an open-option freshman seeking restaurant management, said she had to buy a new bed, mattress, desk and dresser.

But her story, she says, wasn’t the worst. She said two girls from the sorority still haven’t found a place to live. And one girl, she said, had to find a place to live while driving here from Florida.

“It was unexpected and it’s certainly not a fun thing to deal with two weeks before school starts,” Koepsell said.

He said that the sorority’s charter could be reinstated in no less than four years.

The Grand Council of Kappa Alpha Theta, with headquarters in Indianapolis, Ind., consists of a president and six vice presidents.

Kappa Alpha Theta was founded in 1870, before the term “sorority” was coined. Instead, chapter members refer to it as a fraternity for women, though it is identical in every other way to sororities.

More than 120 Kappa Alpha Theta chapters exist in the United States and Canada. It’s been more than a year since the national office has had to withdraw the charter of a local chapter, Rinck said.

But she stressed that withdrawing a charter doesn’t necessarily mean a violation occurred.

“It could be just because it’s not financially healthy enough,” Rinck said. “There needn’t have been a violation.”

News managing editor Vimal Patel can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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