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Beta Chi Sorority

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The Beta Chi group was initially founded as an academic literary society in 1929 at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. The organization was active through the early 30s and was disbanded in 1933. Later, in 1966, Beta Chi re-emerged as a sorority organization from 1966-1988.

During its time as an active sorority, Beta Chi was heavily involved in on campus activities, holding large parties and events, including an annual halloween party, a fall and spring formal banquet, and a Christmas and Easter mixer each year. These events were often held in collaboration with other fraternity organizations on campus, pairing the men and women as “dates” which was often a requirement to have for members to attend each event.

Along with their social involvement on the Gustavus campus, the Beta Chi sorority has developed many traditions, including a song called “The Garter Song” which is sung at each event to bring the members together in “sisterhood,” despite the problematic lyrics that encouraged inappropriate behavior from their male counterparts.

Although rooted in sexist traditions, the sorority participated in holding community outreach services, including a Big-Brother Big-Sister program with local children in the area. Betas also put together service projects at the health care center each year to perform their songs.

The overall growth of the Beta Chi sorority took some time. Despite being established in 1966, it was not until 1975 that the Beta Chi’s had their first successful “rush” event, recruiting 35 girls to join. While active, the sorority had many roles for members to fill, including (but not limited to), president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, historian, marshall, social activities coordinator, and even a food service representative.

Despite their lasting success through the next 13 years, in 1988 the sorority was officially disbanded due to a campus-wide Greek life shutdown that year. On April 25, 1988, all Greek organizations were forced to disband by the college. Many of the organizations went underground, not having official recognition through the college. By 1994, administrators allowed sororities and fraternities to be reinstated under certain circumstances, including having certain GPA requirements, a constitution, and following a charter which addresses the issues of racism, sexism, elitism, substance abuse, and problematic initiation practices. In the reinstatement of these groups, they had to agree to abide by the college policies, rules and regulations, as well as local and state laws and eliminate hazing. By the time these new policies were in place, many of the original Greek organizations, including Beta Chi, had dissolved due to all of the members graduating from the college, leaving the sorority to history.


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