At GW, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Pi Kappa Alpha and Phi Sigma Kappa fraternities exist without University recognition. As long as these fraternities’ national chapters do not revoke their local charters, they can exist indefinitely. What is the point of being recognized by GW if no compelling benefits exist for fraternities, while recognized groups are subjected to University rules and regulations?
Fraternities not recognized by GW cannot participate in Greek Week activities and are not recognized by GW’s Interfraternity Council or Panhellenic Association. However, they still can hold rush and welcome new pledge classes. So what exactly is the detriment to dropping recognition?
The University argues that in the wake of the hospitalization of a GW fraternity pledge for alcohol abuse, the Greek-letter community needs to regain administrators’ trust. With fresh memories of recent alcohol-related deaths at other universities, GW has justified reasoning to be anxious about Greek life and activities here.
However, instead of basing decisions and opinions on unflattering rumors and legends about Greek activities, a meaningful dialogue between the University and its Greek community needs to be established. Our Greek system needs incentives to retain recognition by GW. What are those incentives? Ask the Greek-letter community.
Perhaps GW should look into what other universities similar to ours in size, location and make-up do to maintain healthy relations between administrators and Greek-letter communities. A better network of communication must be developed between universities, national chapters and local chapters. By establishing such an open forum, future needless and tragic deaths can be combated.
This article appeared in the November 17, 1997 issue of the Hatchet.