Sorority returns to campus after more than 40 years

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After more than 40 years away from campus, sorority Zeta Tau Alpha has returned to UC Berkeley this fall.

Zeta Tau Alpha — which has 159 collegiate chapters nationwide — was chosen by the campus Panhellenic Council to begin its Upsilon chapter on campus after a year of consideration, according to campus Panhellenic President Tiffany Kirkland.

“Our chapter representatives decided Zeta Tau Alpha was the best fit for our community,” Kirkland said. “It was a really extensive process.”

According to ZTA Extension Director Marlene Conrad, although ZTA was not a participant in Greek rush week at the beginning of the semester, traveling leadership consultants for the sorority are currently directing recruitment by meeting students and holding information sessions.

Additionally, in order to ensure the chapter’s growth, chapter advisers, national officers, international office staff and traveling leadership consultants allocated to the campus chapter will guide it to its goals throughout the academic year, said Conrad. From freshmen to seniors, ZTA is recruiting all UC Berkeley females.

“We have short and long-term plans dedicated to chapter support and success,” Conrad said in an email.

Zeta Tau Alpha had an active chapter on campus until it left in 1969, according to Conrad.

“This was a time historically when numerous groups left campus,” Conrad said in the email. “We are eager to reestablish this link in our Chain of Chapters this fall.”

The original chapter on campus was founded from a local organization called the Nekahni Club and later became affiliated with Zeta Tau Alpha in 1915, according to Conrad.

“The chapter participated in meaningful service projects, volunteering in all-campus Red Cross drives during World War I and adopting a French orphan,” Conrad said in the email.

Present-day Zeta Tau Alpha is nationally involved with combating breast cancer with the Think Pink campaign, which provides email reminders for monthly breast health information and annual breast exams, according to ZTA’s website.

“We will encourage our chapter to develop landmark philanthropy and service programs in the community, and play an active role in campus organizations and activities,” Conrad said in the email.

Zeta Tau Alpha does not have a sorority house on campus this year, but the new chapter is searching for housing, and there are ongoing plans to find a house by fall of next year, according to Jeff Woods, interim director for the LEAD Center.

In the past five years, Zeta Tau Alpha has created and restarted 17 chapters throughout universities in the United States. The campus chapter is one of four attempts to restore chapters this academic year, with other launches planned for Arkansas State University, Tulane University and Longwood University, according to ZTA’s website.

Contact Gladys Rosario at [email protected].