Furman University's chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma found its place on-campus in 1994, but in an email sent out to other Panhellenic organizations on campus, Ashley Baudouin announced its closing. In the email, Baudouin cited that the Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity Council reviewed years of historical data regarding the Eta Alpha chapter at Furman and noted the "significant declines in membership," as a reason for the chapter's closure as well as the longevity of the chapter.
The Eta Alpha chapter met with national representatives on Monday night to discuss closure and operations within the chapter from this point on. The sorority can no longer recruit new members and, at the time of closure, each current, initiated member of the chapter in "good standing" will gain alumni status from the organization.
On the matter, Kappa Kappa Gamma's membership chair, senior Sara Biddle, said "The announcement of Furman's chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma was sudden and devastating to our sisters. Our sisterhood is extremely close and connections we have made will last beyond college."
Kappa Kappa Gamma is not the only Panhellenic organization on Furman's campus suffering from low membership. In 2017, nearly 66% of women at Furman went through formal recruitment, whereas only 42% participated in the 2021 recruitment cycle. All sororities across campus saw smaller member classes, and less growth than previous years.
Biddle also said, "Small chapters such as ours encourage the participation of women who might otherwise not have joined Greek life and provide a close community for members." The Nov. 10 email announcement stated "we are committed to supporting KKG members as they navigate this challenging transition." This support can vary upon an individual's needs, but for some, it may look like connecting one-on-one to provide space to make sense of the decision, ask questions, and process. For others, it may look like making connections to campus resources such as a case manager, chaplain, or counselor.
Overall, according to the announcement, Baudoin does not anticipate the closure to be permanent, "We anticipate the chapter may return to Furman at a period no less than four years," she said in the email. "Kappa Kappa Gamma has a long-standing and proud history at Furman, and we look forward to ... return at a later date."