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Since 1925
The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

JCU Kappa Delta chapter closes end of spring 2024 semester

A pose featuring the letters of Kappa Delta in front of a sunset.

After 23 years at John Carroll, the Kappa Delta chapter will officially close after this spring semester. Kappa Delta is one of five sororities on campus, making it a major loss for the current members of the chapter as well as fraternity and sorority Life at JCU.

The Carroll News sat down with Mary Ann Hanicak, manager of student life programs at JCU, to discuss the troubles and implications of this loss for the 18 members. After being asked about what prompted the closing, Hanicak stated that after gaining only a small number of new members during recruitment in the fall of 2023, their national counterpart decided that the JCU chapter needed to be closed. In the official press release, it reads the chapter “Was unable to maintain operations and provide a positive experience in line with the KD mission due to years of declining enrollment.”

Hanicak ensured that the decision was not made by John Carroll, but instead was solely the decision of the national sorority. Hanicak suggested that the closing was mainly due to a lack of members, but also a general decline of interest in Greek life in small, private universities across Northeast America. She described this phenomenon as a result of the “housing crisis in 2007,” which made higher education more costly for students especially if they attended private universities, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Their numbers, in terms of getting new members every fall, just kept getting lower and lower and lower,” she told The Carroll News.

Hanicak stated that a lack of membership posed a problem when it came to the active members of the chapter because they had to complete additional tasks to make up for their low numbers, which became “really, really taxing.”

Despite this added stress put on chapter members, Hanicak only showed praise and adoration for the members of the Kappa Delta family and stated that “they are leaders across campus in multiple things. From what I’m hearing, they’re sad, but they’re also in a good place because they know how hard they’ve worked.”

This year’s Panhel president, Ava Mugford ‘25, has a similar feeling towards Kappa Delta. “Speaking on behalf of the Panhel community, we are all very sad to see them close their chapter this spring…Kappa Delta will be greatly missed by all of the John Carroll community and we wish them the best moving forward.”

As for the younger members who were recently initiated into the sorority, they will receive alumni status in the national chapter to be a part of those events with other former members of Kappa Delta because they are unable to be initiated into any of the other national sororities at John Carroll.

Concerns are now raised about Greek life as a whole at JCU considering both a sorority and a fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, closed this year as a result of various issues within the program. When asked about the possibility of a complete erasure of Greek life on campus, Hanicak insisted that is not the case, stating that she does not think there is “an anti-Greek sentimentality around here.”

In lieu of this sorority’s closure and the closure of Sigma Phi Epsilon, John Carroll is attempting to bring additional fraternities on campus to enhance Greek Life. According to Hanicak, “In the fall, Delta Tau Delta is coming back…In fall of 2025, we’re expected to bring in a third fraternity,” which would mean four sororities and three fraternities would be active at JCU.

Additionally, Mugford explained that she is “putting an emphasis on [the] positive and uplifting contact between all Greek Life members” and “promoting the positive Greek Life experience here on our campus.”

Emily Slusarz ‘24, a four-year member of Kappa Delta and former Panhel president, wishes a fond farewell to KD and will miss her time and involvement in the chapter:

“It’s deeply upsetting to see the sisterhood that had shaped my college years go, however, I am thankful I got to be a part of not just Kappa Delta, but fraternity and sorority life as a whole. I just feel terrible for those who didn’t get the full four years in KD like I did and I’m eternally grateful for every experience I’ve had because of the chapter. While it might be a goodbye to collegiate life, I’m excited to see what alumni status has to offer!”

Although this is a somber time for both the Kappa Delta and John Carroll communities, as Hanicak stated, the sorority’s members have “given Kappa Delta everything.” Hanicak and Mugford explained that KD members will complete the year with a beautiful formal dance on the water.

This is a deeply unfortunate circumstance for everyone involved, but students will hopefully continue to have Greek Life opportunities on campus that foster a sense of joy, leadership and camaraderie.

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About the Contributor
Anna Maxwell
Anna Maxwell, Arts and Life Editor
Anna Maxwell is the Arts and Life Editor for the Carroll News from Ashtabula, Ohio. She is a Freshman at John Carroll University who is an Undecided major. Anna has been writing for the Carroll News since the fall of 2023! In addition to writing for the Carroll News, she is also an Honors student here at John Carroll, and she is excited to continue writing in the years to come! When not writing, Anna can be found reading a new book, or binge-watching her favorite Netflix shows! She can also be found spending time with her friends and participating in events around campus! In the future, Anna aspires to become a writer of fiction novels, and also an editor for a well-known publishing company! To contact Anna, email her at [email protected].

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