Updated as of 9:26 p.m. on May 6 to include video.

AEPhi, a historically Jewish sorority, visited Elon’s campus on May 2 in order to gauge interest in bringing a chapter to Elon. They hosted an interesting meeting in upstairs Moseley with a little over 20 people in attendance. 

Junior Natalie Schuver said she has been thinking about bringing and joining a Jewish sorority to Elon since she contacted the student involvement office during her freshman year. 

“I think it was so important for Jewish women to have a space outside of Hillel or Chabad religiously where they can interact with each other and create a community,” Schuver said. 

Sharon Raphael, National President of AEPhi, said that Elon has been on their radar for at least 20 years. 

“The moment we would come to campus, we will be cheerleaders for the Panhellenic community,” Raphael said. 

AEPhi is a sorority founded by seven Jewish students at Barnard University in 1909. According to the organization, 65% of their collegians are from the northeast and the mid-Atlantic — similar to Elon where 56% of students are from those regions. According to Elon, Jewish students comprise 12% of the student population.

“We are committed to DEI programming,” Shannon Benson, national vice president of chapter growth and retention, said. “Bringing the Jewish majority to this campus inherently diversifies your community and we feel that we will bring in a more diverse group of people who wouldn’t have ordinarily joined Panhellenic.” 

Raphael also said AEPhi is committed to being partners with the university and the community, which entails being immersed in it. AEPhi plans to come back to visit Elon’s campus to get to know it better. 

“We want to create an organization and a chapter that not only you can be proud of, but you can be proud to have on your campus here at Elon,” Benson said. 

AEPHi establishes new chapters as “emerging chapters” with a multi-prong approach to support chapters. They have an advisory board comprised of five people for all chapters that ensures each chapter is mirroring the other. If Elon does decide to bring AEPhi onto campus, they will have a mentor chapter — Elon’s being University of Central Florida. 

“The University of Central Florida chapter actually has a very similar origin story to what we’re experiencing here,” Benson said.

Voting on whether or not AEPhi should become an official sorority at Elon will happen on Tuesday, May 7, but Benson said to start building a strong chapter they most likely will not participate in formal recruitment within their first year. 

Raphael  said they want to recruit upperclassmen first to help get the momentum going before opening the chapter up for the delayed recruitment that happens right before the spring semester. 

“We want to build a space where people find community and belonging and a home away from home,” Benson said. 

According to Schuver, seeing this process happening has become a dream come true. 

“I am so so happy that this is happening,” Schuver said. “I’m so excited for it.”