Returning Home to the Hill

After Four Years, Phi Alpha Mu sorority returns to campus, fights to regain their good reputation

Lauren Miller

Staff Reporter

Four years ago a campus original, Phi Alpha Mu sorority, was asked to leave campus after numerous reports of hazing were brought to the attention of school officials. This year Phi Alpha Mu is making a comeback and hopes to gain back their position as a respected on campus sorority.

“Though Phi Alpha Mu’s charter was previously suspended, we worked extremely hard during the Spring of 2009 to get ourselves back on campus and recognized by the school,” according to their website ( ). “We are pleased to say that we have finished everything and are back on campus and ready for action! We look forward to carrying on the traditions of the best sorority on the hill!”

Though the sorority has had to go through numerous stages and restructuring of some of their practices in order to comply with school standards, they still maintain much of their history and tradition as the oldest sorority on campus, founded in 1926, and as a local sorority. The Phi Alpha Mus had to complete a seven step process in order to be able to come back on campus. According to Katie Hecht, President of the Phi Alpha Mus, the group had to rewrite pledging standards and change some logistical things about their practices.

They were also given the option of coming back as a national organization, but seeing as they value tradition and the core values of the already established Phi Alpha Mu group, they decided against this decision. “We anticipated them giving us many options. We weren’t interested in becoming national at all,” said Katie Hecht. “We would have said no. Other sororities transitioned and we have always stayed loyal to our ties.”

The Phi Alphas also realize that they have a lot of work to do in proving that they have indeed changed. “We know this is such a pivotal year. We’re being aware of that,” said Hecht. “We implemented an advisory board that checks up with us and keeps us in check.”

Liz Towle, who oversees greek life, believes this group of women is ready to be back on campus. “I think this group of women in the current organization is a great group of women. They recognize and understand issues of past and are working hard to move forward as a group and are doing a great job.”

Another thing Towle says is impressive about this group is the support they have from the other sororities. “The other sororities are very glad they’re back and are very supportive and encouraging of the group.”

So far in their short time back on campus the group seems to be playing by the books. Neither one of their pledges have experienced any form of hazing. “I have not in any way experienced any acts of hazing,” said Lauren Fischetti, a Phi Alpha pledge. “As an RA, I am clearly aware of what counts as hazing and know what resources I can turn to if I ever was hazed. I know that Phi Alpha Mu will never do anything that will compromise their charter and each sister truly cares about each other, including their pledges.”

Ellen Shank, Phi Alpha Mu’s other pledge feels similarly about the group she chose to join. “I know the sisters have worked tirelessly to reform their pledging in a way that keeps their history and traditions (going back 80 years) and remove anything that would be considered hazing,” said Shank. “I think they’ve found a very good pledge program that honors much of their history and traditions while keeping the pledges best interests on heart.”

“We’re honored to be back as a recognized part of the McDaniel campus and are working hard to make a positive influence on the community and are really looking forward to growing and developing while keeping our traditions and maintaining our legacy,” said Hecht. “We recognize our past reputation and are trying to move on from that and move in a positive direction.”