Members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the umbrella organization for GW’s historically black fraternities and sororities, said they were left out of planning last week’s Greek Week activities. IFC President Jay Levin said the groups were left out of the planning accidentally because of a lack of communication and steps are being taken to ensure that a similar situation will not occur in the future.
Black fraternities and sororities were not given a voice in Greek Week, said Chioma Oruh, secretary of Delta Sigma Theta, a historically black sorority.
Greek Week activities included a skit competition, a Greek god and goddess competition, a date auction and an evening at Mister Day’s bar at 19th and L streets.
The events were exclusively planned and coordinated by the Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Association, NPHC President Sonja Harris said. The IFC oversees 11 fraternities on campus and the Panhellenic Association oversees seven sororities on campus.
Number wise, (NPHC is) definitely smaller than (the IFC and Panhellenic Association), Harris said. But we’re still a part of the Greek community and they just ignored us.
Harris said she faults the IFC and the Panhellenic Association’s planning boards for not contacting the NPHC to include them in organizing the events. Harris said NPHC members repeatedly contacted the planning committee, and she believes committee members routinely ignored their e-mails and failed to return their phone calls.
After several weeks of requesting to become involved with the planning, Harris said the four black fraternities and sororities voted unanimously to withdraw from Greek Week activities.
We discussed the issue at one of our meetings and our membership voted to not participate in Greek Week activities, Harris said.
IFC President Jay Levin said he was surprised by the group’s decision.
It’s a shame that the NPHC didn’t participate in Greek Week, Levin said. I totally agree that they were left out.
Panhellenic Association President Madeline LePage could not be reached for comment.
Levin, who shares an office with NPHC leaders, said that he received weekly updates from the organizing committees, and was never told any groups would not be included.
He said he discovered the oversight at a meeting with NPHC officers nine days before Greek Week began.
When I found out . I said, `Hold up. NPHC has to participate,’ Levin said.
But when Levin proposed changes in the Greek Week schedule of events to accommodate NPHC members, he said Harris declined his offer to include NPHC fraternities and sororities.
We were told that they had already voted on the issue and they said that they were not going to participate, Levin said.
Levin said the error will not be repeated.
I guarantee that none of us are going to let this happen again, he said.
To build unity between the Greek governing bodies, Levin said he has already met with NPHC officials to establish programs in which all three organizations can work together.
He said he apologizes for the severe miscommunication.
I thought they were involved. They thought we would contact them, Levin said. Neither case was true.
But Harris said the root of the problem may run deeper than just miscommunication.
We weren’t being paid any attention, she said. It’s hard for me to believe it was just an oversight.