And the rush is on.
Greek recruitment took place on campus this week, as GW’s 11 fraternities and seven sororities enticed students to join their organizations.
According to the Office of Greek Affairs, 13 percent of GW men and 16 percent of GW women are members of sororities and fraternities. Although the Greek-letter community is not as predominant at GW as it is at other universities, many students attended this week’s rush events.
Students gave various reasons they did or did not decide to join Greek-letter life.
Recruits said the appeal of fraternities and sororities are primarily social. They said they hoped that by joining they would meet more students and become more involved in the GW community. Others explained an interest in continuing family traditions.
Sophomore Leah Wallick said she did not consider joining a sorority when she was a freshman but became more interested as time went on.
“The more I thought about it last year, I knew I wanted to rush in the fall,” Wallick said.
Freshman Stephen Deacon said he decided to rush as early as Colonial Inauguration after speaking with several fraternity members. Deacon said in Texas, where he is from, being a member of a fraternity is crucial to one’s social life.
Freshman Monica Walsh said she decided to rush because she has yet to make a large group of friends at GW.
“I have been homesick and decided to rush to meet new people.” Walsh said.
Walsh said she is glad Greek-letter life is not as popular at GW it is on other college campuses. She said it makes the process of rushing less overwhelming and intimidating.
On the first day of recruitment women attend parties representing the different sororities. Recruitment continues with several days of parties as recruits and members decided which woman or sorority interests them.
Recruitment widely differs for fraternities, because the process is informal. Each fraternity sponsors events varying from barbecues to sporting events to open houses.
On Sunday night recruits for sororities received bids from the Greek-letter associations that wanted them to join. Fraternities gave out bids Saturday night.
Interfraternity Council Jared David, a member of Theta Delta Chi, said choosing which fraternity to join was an easy decision for him.
“It is a gut feeling,” David said.
Some students voiced concerns about the Greek-letter establishment.
Money, grades, hazing, stereotypes and time commitment were all reasons why GW students said they chose not to join fraternities or sororities.
Freshman Dan Teles said unlike many state schools, living in D.C. allows students many other social options.
“There isn’t a big frat culture here on campus,” Teles said.
Freshman Evan Schmitt agreed.
“Joining a fraternity does not make sense if you are living in a city,” he said.
Junior Katie Fitzpatrick said she did not consider joining a sorority because she said society often labels the groups’ members.
“When I think of sororities, I think of the stereotypes and I would prefer to think of myself as an individual,” Fitzpatrick said.
While some students are reluctant to join fraternities and sororities, current members said they are happy with their choice.
Alpha Epsilon Phi member Erica Fischer, a sophomore, is helping her sorority recruit new members. She encourages students to consider Greek-letter life.
“I would do it again, simply because of the strong bonds I made with the girls in my pledge class,” Fischer said.