There are two methods by which new chapters may be established:
Absorption – The pledging of an established club or local sorority on a prospective campus into ZTA.
Colonization – The recruiting of women interested in forming a ZTA chapter. At the end of the membership recruitment period, the women who pledge become a Zeta Tau Alpha colony.
Each group remains a colony until it has attained the goals established by National Council. National Council appoints a Director of New Chapters (DNCH) to supervise the development of the colony and new chapter.
When National Council believes the colony has made sufficient progress and is ready to accept full responsibility of being a chartered chapter, plans begin for an Installation weekend filled with meaningful and inspirational ritual services, as well as social festivities. The Installation Banquet is the highlight of the weekend followed by a reception for the college community. National representatives and area alumnae gather for the Installation, and a nearby collegiate chapter assists with the Initiation Service. It is a tradition of the Fraternity that all Zetas wear turquoise and gray ribbons under their badges on the day a new collegiate chapter is installed. Also, all collegiate chapters are expected to send greetings to the new chapter. New colonies and chapters are announced in a special communication and in The LINK newsletter.
Upon Installation, the new collegiate chapter is given a Greek name, denoted alphabetically as the next link in ZTA’s chain.