New fraternity and sorority join University

Students who want to “go Greek” will have two more options to choose from this year with new fraternity chapter Pi Kappa Phi and new sorority chapter Alpha Phi.

Both Pi Kappa Phi and Alpha Phi will begin their recruitment process after recruitment for current Greek-letter organizations Sept. 16 -23.

Pi Kappa Phi will begin recruiting Sept. 24, when other fraternities stop recruiting. Alpha Phi will begin Oct. 15, three weeks after sorority recruitment ends.

Interfraternity Council President Jared David said the waiting period gives the new chapters, or “colonies,” more time to advertise their rush and get their name out on campus.

“We want to bring chapters that raise the bar, and offer something that the other chapters don’t,” said David. “They have a high academic standard and commitment to service as well as a high success rate.”

Pi Kappa Phi was founded in 1904 at the College of Charleston. They have a 2.5 GPA requirement and are known for their active role in community service, according to a Pi Kappa Phi press kit.

“They are a large national fraternity,” David said. “They are best known for their national service program called `Push America.'”

Push America began in 1977 as a national philanthropy organization that strives to improve the lives of people with disabilities. The biggest event is “The Journey of Hope” in which 70 fraternity members are chosen to ride the 3,500 miles from San Francisco to D.C.

“Everywhere they stop, they do a project,” David said. “It’s a great reason for them to have a chapter in D.C.”

Local alumni and members from local chapters such as University of Maryland will assist in the recruitment process and help supervise the first year.

Alpha Phi, which has a history of innovation, began in 1872 at Syracuse University in a time when society did not recognize the need for higher education for women, according to the sorority’s Web site. Today Alpha Phi continues to offer support to women in higher education through community service and strong sisterhood, the Web site said.

The sorority raises money for and runs the Alpha Phi Foundation for Cardiac Care. The foundation was started to help women who suffer from heart disease and research the causes and cures of cardiac arrest, which is the number one killer of women in America.

“We are very proud of our national philanthropy foundation,” said Shawna Menosky, educational leadership consultant, who will come to GW from the national Alpha Phi organization to help build the chapter. “We are so happy and excited to come to a campus with such a good group of students.”

Alpha Phi has initiated many firsts, from the 100-year-old National Panhellenic Conference, to being the first Panhellenic group to have its own Web site.

“They will appeal to those who did not find what they were looking for in one of our current houses and also attract those who may not have even considered Greek life originally,” said Nini Khozeimeh, president of the Panhellenic Association.

“Alpha Phi will offer GW students the opportunity to establish new traditions and enhance their leadership skills through a network of friends, resources and opportunities,” said Christa Vasina, the chair of the office of extension, and a national board member. “Young women will have an opportunity to a different kind of experience that you can only have when you start a new colony.”

Menosky said she will lead the recruitment of the chapter with the help from other alumnae in the area. She will stay at GW to oversee the first year.

“We will be looking for women to be leaders, who are hard workers with the enthusiasm it takes to start a new colony,” Vasina said.

Both organizations are looking for students who are strong leaders, with
a commitment to service and academics.

“There is so much you have to do when building a new colony, and you’re creating a legacy at the University that will never go away,” Vasina said.

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