List of student social organizations at the College of Wooster

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The College of Wooster, an Ohio school, has 3 active, chartered fraternities, known at Wooster as Sections, and 7 active, chartered sororities, known as Clubs, as of Summer 2006. Wooster also had 6 national fraternities and 4 national sororities, all of which became inactive between 1914 and 1917.


The College of Wooster opened in 1866 with no dining facility, so groups of men began to form dining groups to help share the costs and responsibilities of meals. These groups, beginning in 1870, eventually took on Greek letters and integrated themselves into the fraternity system that was sweeping through Ohio's colleges. These men's groups were quickly joined by sororities.

In 1913, the school embarked on a campaign to raise $1.2 million to build three academic and residential buildings, now known as Ebert Art Center, Severance Hall and Kenarden Lodge. The College's president at the time went to Cleveland philanthropist Louis Severance to request money (he had already paid for most of the college's reconstruction after the 1901 fire).[1] Severance, according to the book Wooster of the Middle West, felt that a Presbyterian school like Wooster was allowing its moral character to be broken down by fraternities. He strongly impressed upon the President that he did not want to see fraternities at the school. He also offered the school hundreds of thousands of dollars for their buildings. At the February 1913 meeting of Wooster's Board of Trustees, the President asked for and received an order preventing Wooster's fraternities and sororities from pledging new members. Knowing that the ban was imminent, the fraternities and sororities worked through the night for weeks pledging as many new members as they could. The last few national Greek members graduated in 1918.

Many of the national groups continued to function as fraternities and sororities of sorts, only without letters. Upon moving into Kenarden Lodge in 1918, the groups began to call themselves by numbers. Eventually these groups took on new Greek letters as well. As each fraternity lived in a section of Kenarden, the groups began to call themselves Sections. The sororities eventually called themselves Clubs.

By the 1940s, each of Kenarden's 7 sections had a group of their own, and there were at least 9 sections on campus by the 1950s, as well as several clubs. To cope with this expansion, which according to the Wooster Voice included 99% of men on campus from 1953–1957, the college built three new dorms, Armington Hall, which housed sections I-III, Stevenson Hall, which housed sections IV-V, and Bissman Hall, which housed sections VI-VIII.

The College of Wooster has connections to secret societies as well. In 1891, the Tau Chapter of Theta Nu Epsilon (ΘΝΕ) was established at the college by members of the Alpha Chapter at Wesleyan University. The Alpha Chapter at Wesleyan University was first established by the Skull and Bones, a secret society that formed at Yale University. In 1923, the group's charter was allegedly revoked by the national organization.

On March 3, 1983, hazing became a crime in the state of Ohio. In response to the state ban on hazing, the school's longstanding policy of don't ask-don't tell evolved into a crackdown of hazing activities.

In 1991, in response to pressure from the faculty to "decide the Greek issue once and for all", the Board of Trustees issued a statement reaffirming the ban on national groups but offering support for the clubs and sections, officially allowing them to refer to themselves by their Greek letters. The Board also clarified that the ban could be rescinded by vote of either the Trustees or, due to a quirk in the college's Campus Council agreement of 1968, the faculty.

In 1993, according to the Wooster Voice, the school told the fraternity Omega Alpha Tau and the sorority Pi Kappa that they could not take pledges due to alleged hazing. In both cases, the decisions were later reversed by the Judicial Board due to lack of evidence. In 1999 the school received national attention when four Kappa Chi members were arrested for hazing pledges by beating them and urinating on them, leading to the ban of the fraternity.

On January 26, 2006, Dean of Students Kurt Holmes proposed bringing in national fraternities again to alleviate many perceived problems with the local model.

Active, Chartered Fraternities[edit]

Beta Kappa Phi (ΒΚΦ)[edit]

  • I (First) Section
  • Founded: 1914
  • Short Name: Betas
  • Motto: "First and Finest"
  • Original Letters/National affiliation: Beginnings traced back to the Alpha Lambda chapter of Beta Theta Pi (ΒΘΠ) on May 18, 1872. ΒΘΠ was the second national fraternity to be installed at the College of Wooster (the first national fraternity at Wooster is no longer active in any form on the campus). On February 13, 1913, the College Board of Trustees voted to prohibit initiation of additional members into fraternities and sororities. The local brotherhood, Beta Kappa Phi, was formed in the first section of Kenarden Lodge in 1914, and modeled after the original Alpha Lambda chapter of Beta Theta Pi (ΒΘΠ). Beta Kappa Phi was the first section to wear and affiliate themselves with Greek Letters, despite the colleges objections.
  • Membership: Varied. Track runners, Football players, and several international college students. International presence is prominent
  • Colors: Kelly Green and White
  • Mascot: Dragon
  • Housing: 2013-2014, Corner House, 2014-2015 Stevenson Hall, 2015-2017 Bissman Hall
  • Hazing Tradition: When hazing was legal, the Beta Kappa Phi pledges were tarred and feathered using molasses on the College's Quad.

Xi Chi Psi (ΞΧΨ)[edit]

  • Never lived in Section in Kenarden, so no official number. Sometimes unofficially referred to as VIII or III, based on the Armington and Bissman sections in which the group has lived.
  • Founded: February 1991
  • Short Name: Xi Chis & Thugs is sometimes used in reference to the group's original letters.
  • Motto: Rari Inventu Sunt
  • Original Letters/National affiliation: None. Some founding members had begun to pledge Beta Kappa Phi, but left during pledging. Used Theta Upsilon Gamma (THUG; ΘΥΓ) in 1991, for less than a semester before asked by the college to change.
  • Membership: Diverse: Actors, Musicians, Hockey players, Swimmers, and Ultimate Frisbee players.
  • Colors: Black and Royal Blue
  • Mascot: The unofficial mascot is the WB character 'Taz', the Tasmanian Devil, which appeared in the group's lounge in Armington Hall and formerly appeared in the group's lounge in Bissman Hall.
  • Housing: 2011-2014 Westminster Cottage. 2014-2015 Stevenson Hall. 2015-2017 Bissman Hall

Phi Sigma Alpha (ΦΣΑ)[edit]

The coat of arms of Phi Sigma Alpha
  • VI (Sixth) Section.
  • Founded: 1916 in the Sixth Section of Kenarden Lodge.
  • Short Name: Sigs.
  • Motto: "S.E.B.".
  • Original Letters/National affiliation: Unknown. Under research. (The Wooster organization bears no affiliation to the national Phi Sigma Alpha fraternity founded at the University of Puerto Rico in 1928).
  • Membership: Predominately Varsity Athletes: Includes Football players, Hockey players, Tennis players, Golfers, and Swimmers
  • Colors: Blue and Gold.
  • Mascot: Sammy the Sig, Sig Ranger.
  • Housing: 2012: Calcei House, 2012-2013: Yost House, 2013-2014 NONE, 2014, 2015, 2016 Bissman Hall Sixth Section, 2017 Bryan House.
  • Service: 1994 - 1998: On call 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, to move heavy objects and other physical tasks for the Salvation Army in Wooster, Ohio. 2011-2012: Campus cleanup, Stomp the Violence, Relay for Life, Wayne County Humane Society.
  • Known for their Lumberjack party every spring

Men of Harambee[edit]

  • Name change from what was originally VIII Section

Membership: geared toward males of African American descent as well as those from developing nations.

  • Though the group did not start out as a minority-based group, in 1969, with a dwindling membership, the group took ten African-American pledges, and over time became the Men of Harambee. It is unknown if the group still practices the traditions of the VIII section it was created from. There is no evidence that they do. They do hold a formal pledge period just as the other Greek groups do but are not subject to the same college policies.
  • Housing: 2012-2013 Bryan House. 2014-2015 Aultz House. 2015-2016 Scot Cottage. 2016-2017 Troyer House
  • Originally called itself a "fraternal order", but as of the 2012-2013 The Men of Harambee now identify themselves as a Fraternity, though the group is not part of Greek Life or the Inter-Greek Council. They do, however, fall under the Committee for Selective Organizations and do follow their policies for selective organizations.

Omega Alpha Tau(ΩΑΤ)[edit]


The result of a split among VII Section (Kappa Chi) members

  • Founded: Jan. 18, 1976
  • Short Name: OAT
  • Motto: Stay Gold
  • Original Letters/National affiliation: This was the first Wooster group to openly refer to itself as a fraternity rather than a section.
  • Membership: Consists of mostly Soccer and Lacrosse players
  • Colors: Gold and brown
  • Mascot: Charles Chance Meadows: An indigenous dog of the Wooster area
  • Omega Alpha Tau still exists as an "underground" fraternity on the campus of the College of Wooster.
  • Celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2016 with participation of alumni from all 4 decades.

Phi Omega Sigma (ΦΩΣ)[edit]

  • IV (Fourth) Section
  • Founded: October 24, 1913 in Room 425 Kenarden Lodge
  • Short Name: Omegs / Zards / Bros/ 4
  • Motto: Brotherhood, Unity, Respect, and Trust. "Fortune Favors the Bold." [Root Latin: Audaces Fortuna Iuvat]
  • Original Letters/National affiliation: Rho chapter of Delta Tau Delta (ΔΤΔ) in 1877 until ban in 1913, prior to colonizing by Delta Tau Delta the group was recognized as an underground organization called the 'Ozarks' who can allegedly be traced back to 1868. Phi Omega Sigma was also the first section to declare itself a local fraternity following the 1913 ban on national fraternities, and was chartered by the College a year later.
  • Membership: Consists primarily of Lacrosse and Football players
  • Colors: Crimson and White
  • Mascot: Osprey
  • Housing: Kieffer House 2013-2014

National Fraternities[edit]

Phi Kappa Psi (ΦΚΨ)[edit]

  • Established at Wooster: June 1871
  • Wooster's first National Fraternity
  • No longer exists in any form at the College of Wooster (ceased to operate at the College before the new initiate ban)

Phi Delta Theta (ΦΔΘ)[edit]

  • Established at Wooster: 1872
  • Wooster's third national Fraternity
  • No longer exists in any form at the College of Wooster (ceased to operate at the College before the new initiate ban)

Beta Theta Pi (ΒΘΠ)[edit]

  • Established at Wooster: April 1872
  • Chapter: Alpha Lambda
  • Wooster's second national fraternity
  • Colors during last active year at Wooster: Light pink and Light Blue
  • Flower during last active year at Wooster: American Beauty
  • Currently inactive following 1913 order of Board of Trustees

Sigma Chi (ΣΧ)[edit]

  • Established at Wooster: March 1873
  • Chapter: Beta
  • Wooster's fourth national fraternity
  • Colors during last active year at Wooster: Blue and Gold
  • Flower during last active year at Wooster: White Tea Rose
  • Currently inactive following 1913 order of Board of Trustees

Delta Tau Delta (ΔΤΔ)[edit]

  • Established at Wooster: 1877
  • Chapter: Psi
  • Wooster's fifth national fraternity
  • Colors during last active year at Wooster: Purple, White and Gold
  • Flower during last active year at Wooster: Pansy
  • Currently inactive following 1913 order of Board of Trustees

Phi Gamma Delta (ΦΓΔ)[edit]

  • Established at Wooster: 1882
  • Chapter: Rho Deutron
  • Wooster's sixth national fraternity
  • Colors during last active year at Wooster: Royal purple
  • Flower during last active year at Wooster: Heliotrope
  • Currently inactive following 1913 order of Board of Trustees

Alpha Tau Omega (ΑΤΩ)[edit]

  • Established at Wooster: 1888
  • Chapter: Beta Mu
  • Wooster's seventh national fraternity
  • Colors during last active year at Wooster: Blue and Gold
  • Flower during last active year at Wooster: White Tea Rose
  • Currently inactive following 1913 order of Board of Trustees

Sigma Phi Epsilon (ΣΦΕ)[edit]

  • Established at Wooster: 1912
  • Chapter: Ohio Delta
  • Wooster's eighth national fraternity
  • Colors during last active year at Wooster: Purple and Red
  • Flower during last active year at Wooster: American Beauty; Violet
  • Currently inactive following 1913 order of Board of Trustees

Inactive Local Fraternities[edit]

Phi Delta Sigma (ΦΔΣ)[edit]

  • V (Fifth) Section
  • Founded: "A long, long time ago" - 1991 Delt President in The Wooster Voice 9/13/1991
  • Short Name: Delts
  • Motto: Carpe Diem
  • Original Letters/National affiliation: Phi Delta Theta (ΦΔΘ)
  • Colors: Red and Grey
  • Mascot: Viking
  • Last Active at Wooster: 2005
  • From 2002-2005, the Delts lost a pledge class and failed to recruit for another pledge class, and their remaining members were kicked out of the college, graduated or transferred. The group allowed its charter to expire in May, 2005.
  • Hazing Tradition: When hazing was legal, the Delts made their pledges wear burlap underwear. The ΦΔΣ letters were branded on new pledges by actives and alum.

Kappa Chi (ΚΧ)[edit]

  • Founded: 1873
  • Short Name: Krappers
  • Motto: Pride of the Hill (referring to the "hill" on which Kenarden Lodge, and much of campus is situated on.)
  • Original Letters/National affiliation: Kappa Kappa Kappa (ΚΚΚ) - changed in the 1960s due to increased racial sensitivity. The group descended from the Beta chapter of Sigma Chi.
  • Colors: Blue and Red
  • Symbol: Winning
  • Flower: Beeble Flower
  • Reasons for unchartered status: Permanently banned following 1999 "no contest" pleas of four members to hazing charges.
  • Hazing Tradition: When hazing was legal, the Kappa Kappa Kappas would write "KKK" on pledges foreheads in lipstick and parade them in front of The Shack.
  • Membership: In the years before expulsion, the Krappers were mainly composed of Baseball and Basketball athletes
  • Last Active at Wooster: Officially 1999, unofficially 2005

Kappa Phi Sigma (ΚΦΣ)[edit]

  • II (Second) Section
  • Short Name: Crandall House (members lived there for quite a number of years), Crandalls
  • Motto: "Where Rumor Meets Reality"
  • Original Letters/National affiliation: None.
  • Colors: Scarlet and Grey
  • Symbol: Steal your Face (Grateful Dead Logo)
  • Flower: Begonia
  • Mascot: Jim "The Freak" Clark, "Trippin" Tom, Cosmic Charlie, Grateful Ted, Mad Dog, Jason Frankenfuck, etc.
  • Housing: No official housing
  • Reasons for unchartered status: Pulled own charter
  • Last Active at Wooster: 2005

Original Third Section[edit]

  • III (Third) Section
  • Founded between 1913–1930
  • Pre-ministerial students.
  • Short Name: Rabbis
  • Last Active at Wooster: likely in the 1970s, under research
  • Hazing Tradition: When hazing was legal, the Rabbi's "baptized" their pledges by cutting their bangs in a straight line across their forehead.

Iota Chi[edit]

  • IX (Ninth) Section
  • Greek Name: Iota Chi
  • Founded between 1913 and 1948
  • Short name: The Ninth
  • Nickname: The Friars
  • Motto: Our Word, Our Oath
  • Hazing Tradition: When hazing was legal, ninth section pledges held a shoe shining service in the student union (now the Rubbermaid center). In at least one meeting in the fraternity house pledges dressed in burlap sacks with rope belts.
  • Located in a large College-owned house at 658 Beall Avenue. In addition to sleeping quarters Ninth had its own cook and served daily meals in its dining room.
  • Noted for having the highest GPA of any section. In 1942 the entire section had a GPA of 3.09
  • Prospered until about 1949 when the college decided to raze its building. Disbanded shortly thereafter.

Active, Chartered Sororities[edit]

When local sororities were founded, the groups did not go by Greek letter names. Instead, the groups took on names that were mythical, spiritual, or otherwise fit the era. Greek letters were added around the 1940s or 1950s. The Peanuts, Echoes, and Imps became Pi Kappa, Epsilon Kappa Omicron, and Zeta Phi Gamma, and are the only three groups which predate the Greek letters which still exist.

Pi Kappa (ΠΚ)[edit]

  • Founded: 1918
  • Originally in 8th section Kenarden
  • Short Name: Peanuts
  • Motto: We've come a long way
  • Original Letters/National affiliation: Kappa Kappa Gamma (ΚΚΓ) National Sorority (about 1870-1918)
  • Colors: Purple and Gold
  • Mascot: Mr. Peanut
  • Flower: Yellow Rose
  • Housing, 2008-11: Bissman Hall VII Section 3rd Floor
  • Hazing Tradition: When hazing was legal, the Pi Kappa pledges had to take their worst jeans and write "Peanut" on the butt in Yellow.

Delta Theta Psi (ΔΘΨ)[edit]

  • Founded:1992
  • Short Name: Thetas
  • Motto: "Strength, Unity and Grace"
  • Original Letters/National affiliation: Unknown
  • Colors: Purple and Green
  • Mascot: Dolphin
  • Flower: Iris and Bluebells
  • Housing, 2009-10: Bissman Hall VI Section, 4th Floor
  • Philanthropy: Each member must do one hour of service for every full week of school that semester at one of the approved organizations. The current approved organizations are Every Woman's House, Lincoln Way Reads, The Humane Society, and Learn n Play daycare center.

Epsilon Kappa Omicron (ΕΚΟ)[edit]

  • Founded: 1943
  • Originally in the 8th section.
  • Short Name: EKOs
  • Motto: Excellence, Kindness, Oneness
  • Original Letters/National affiliation: Kappa Kappa Gamma (ΚΚΓ) National Sorority (about 1870-1918), EKO broke off from Pi Kappa in 1943. Called Echoes before taking Greek letters.
  • Colors: Green and Gold
  • Mascot: Echo
  • Flower: Narcissus
  • Housing: Bissman 8th Section
  • Philanthropy: The EKOs are involved in a number of service projects. Past examples include the Humane Society and the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

Zeta Phi Gamma (ΖΦΓ)[edit]

  • Founded: At least before 1937; Reinstatement: December 5, 1988
  • Short Name: Zetas; Original Group was the Imps
  • Motto: "Seek The High Call of Friendship"
  • Original Letters/National affiliation: Unknown
  • Colors: Red, Black, and White
  • Mascot: Imp
  • Flower: Red Rose
  • Housing 2011-2012: Miller Manor
  • Hazing Tradition: The Zeta Pledge Class President had to carry a pitchfork with her at all times while she is on campus. This no longer takes place, now that pledging is frowned upon by the school.
  • Philanthropy: Each year the Zetas volunteer at blood drives, the local animal shelter, Soup and Bread, IGC events, and Relay for Life.

Alpha Gamma Phi (ΑΓΦ)[edit]

  • Founded: February 28, 1983
  • Short Name: Alpha Gamms
  • Motto: "Always Good Friends, Always Good Times"
  • Original Letters/National affiliation: None
  • Colors: Blue and Gray
  • Symbols: Diamond Ring, Champagne Flute
  • Flower: White Gardenia
  • Housing, 2009-2010: Bissman 6th section, 2nd floor. Spring 2011: Howell House
  • Philanthropy: Members participate in community service through Every Woman's House, Friendtique, MS walk, Alzheimer walk, and Relay for Life
  • Website:
  • Hazing: The first Alpha Gamma Phi pledge class was driven to Chautauqua, New York, for an initiation ceremony. It is rumored that the trip was taken in order to avoid new campus restrictions on hazing. Whether or not this tradition continued after 1984 is unknown.
  • Alpha Gamma Phi broke off from the Pi Kappa Peanuts in 1983, when six Pi Kappa pledges quit during the pledging process in order to found their own group.

Delta Phi Alpha (ΔΦΑ)[edit]

  • Founded: 1989
  • Short Name: D Phi A's
  • Motto: Determined Phenomenal Women
  • Original Letters/National affiliation: Unknown. The college had a national history honorarium by the same name chartered in 1939, although this appears to be coincidence. They also appear to be unrelated to the DPAs at Miami International University (Fla.)
  • Colors: Pink, Purple and Grey
  • Mascot: Unicorn
  • Flower: African Violet
  • Graduated last three members in 2006; resurrected during the 2007-2008 school year.

Kappa Epsilon Zeta (KEZ)[edit]

  • Founded: as Darts and Arrows in the early 1940s, though Darts and Arrows died out in between 1948 and 1949. Keys was officially founded in 1949.
  • Kappa Epsilon Zeta (ΚΕΖ)
  • Died out: October 1976
  • Resurrected October 2013
  • Short Name: Keys
  • Motto: "The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step." -Lao Tzu
  • Original Letters/National affiliation: Re-founding based loosely from the Chi Omega, Delta Theta, and Alpha Phi sorority constitutions and traditions
  • Colors: Turquoise, Gold, and White
  • Symbol: Golden Key
  • Flower: Daffodil
  • Housing: Holden in the 1960s, currently holds residence in Bissman with all Greek groups
  • Philanthropy: Required of all members to maintain active status
  • Campus participation: Each woman must maintain a job on/off campus and/or an outside sport or activity throughout her time as a member in order to develop well-rounded & contributing individuals.
  • Values: Diversified interests, Past Traditions, Mentorship, and Anti-Hazing

Inactive Local Sororities[edit]

Delta Delta Gamma (ΔΔΓ) (?)[edit]

  • Founded: About 1914
  • Died out: Sometime between 1965 and 1991, likely earlier.
  • Short Name: Pyramids
  • Original Letters/National affiliation: There is evidence that this sorority emerged from the remnants of a national sorority, but no proof.

Sphinx (ΛΑΣ)[edit]

  • Founded: About 1914
  • Lambda Alpha Sigma (ΛΑΣ)
  • Died out: Sometime between 1965 and 1977, likely earlier.

Chi Omega Psi (ΧΩΨ)[edit]

  • Founded: 1976
  • Short Name: Chi Ohs
  • Motto: Honesty, Friendship and Understanding
  • Original Letters/National affiliation: None
  • Colors: Red and White
  • Flower: Red Carnation
  • Last mentioned in the September 11, 1992 issue of The Wooster Voice.

Kappa Phi Sigma (ΚΦΣ)[edit]

(see Inactive Local Fraternities)

  • Co-ed from late 60's

Other clubs[edit]

The following groups were likely founded between 1913 and 1945. Many likely died out quickly following the end of World War II and the return of a significant portion of the male population to campus.

  • The Dominoes
  • The Arrows
  • The Spuds
  • The Trumps
  • The Darts

Science and Humanities Program[edit]

Douglass Hall Years: 1974-2004 Main Location: Douglass Hall: Modern gothic wood panel lounge. Dorm Style: Modern Gothic Program Style: Student Governing Mascot: The Lounge

Primarily located in the lounge of Douglass Hall on the campus of The College of Wooster, this social program was home to some of the most active and intellectual students on campus over a span of three decades. Various speakers, programs, and complex social activities were planned throughout the dorm and community of The College of Wooster. There is an active group of hundreds of alumni. The organization performed backing vocals on ThouShaltNot's 2001 song "Without Faith."[2]

National Sororities[edit]

The national sororities Delta Delta Delta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Pi Beta Phi used to exist at the college. They are officially recognized as inactive by their national organizations.


  • 1991-2005, Feb 9 1973 issues of The Wooster Voice [2] available on microfiche at the College of Wooster Library
  • Wooster of the Middle West by Lucy Lilian Notestein, particularly vol. 2 (book)
  • "A Troubled Past: Greek Letter Organizations and The College of Wooster" - the 1997 Senior History Independent Study by James Morse on the Greeks at the College of Wooster (on file at the Andrews Library at the College of Wooster)
  • 1912-1917, 1948 issues of the Wooster Index (school yearbook).
  • The Men of Beta Kappa Phi [3]
  • The Men of Xi Chi Psi [4]
  • The Women of Epsilon Kappa Omicron [5]
  • The notes of the Women of Delta Theta Psi
  • Minutes of Campus Council, 1/26/05 - The College of Wooster


  1. ^ Frazier, Ian (2002). Family. Picador. p. 163. ISBN 978-0-312-42059-8. 
  2. ^ [1]

External links[edit]