CAS freshman Logan Foreit and Gallatin freshmen Dottie Gill and Jackie Lebovits consider themselves a far cry from stereotypical sorority girls. They never imagined themselves joining a sorority, let alone creating one.
A desire to experience the sense of community within Greek life — on their own terms — led the trio to form Pi Pi Pi, an unofficial, co-ed sorority, in early February. The group is seeking to become NYU’s first all-square, co-ed Greek organization.
“Tri Pi [is] a co-ed social sorority focused on celebrating individuality,” Lebovits said. “Pi Pi Pi promotes seizing life opportunities and enriching members’ perspectives through new experiences, with a group of supportive, open-minded individuals.”
According to Allison Harris, assistant director of fraternity and sorority life at the Center for Student Activities, Leadership and Service, Tri Pi cannot become an official Greek organization because no national chapter of Tri Pi exists. In August, Tri Pi can apply to become an all-square club.
Although Tri Pi was created with the intention of being co-ed, the founding sisters purposefully chose to give it a sorority name rather than a fraternity name.
“We would like to update what we feel is an outdated tradition, emphasizing male dominance in a co-ed culture, and [instead] create a truly 21st century Greek community that blurs gender confines,” Gill said.
Tri Pi has yet to host any formal events, but the group has garnered a following
through its Facebook page. The Tri Pi community currently has 35 members, all freshmen, who heard about the organization through word of mouth and social media.
“I enjoy many aspects of Tri Pi but what stands out to me is the community it has given me,” said Jonathan Butler, a CAS freshman and Tri Pi member. “Tri Pi is a place where you come as you are, and you are welcomed for that.”
The innovative idea to create a campus-wide co-ed sorority has been met with mixed reviews. Christian Ferzola, an LSP freshman and member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, foresees problems with an all-square co-ed sorority.
“As much as this sounds like a great idea to further eradicate the gender barrier and bring men and women together in pursuit of a more close-knit community, I feel this may not be feasible,” Ferzola said. “For example, if this organization had a chapter house in Lafayette [residence hall], would both men and women share the space?”
Daniella Giardina, CAS freshman and member of NYU’s Kappa Kappa Gama sorority, disagrees.
“NYU is so liberal and accepting of new things,” Giardina said. “If it can’t survive here I would be surprised.”
In the coming months, Tri Pi will host themed parties, excursions around Manhattan and service projects. They plan to extend membership to all student pledges with a scavenger hunt.
“What Tri Pi wants to bring to NYU is the idea that you can break the expectations of Greek life,” Gill said. “It can involve everybody, and there is no need for it just to be so exclusive within the Greek community. And as a progressive school, NYU is the perfect place for that.”
A version of this article was published in the Thursday, Feb. 28 print edition. Deborah Lubanga is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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