GW pledge classes grow

The numbers are in. Many Greek-letter organizations accepted more new members this fall than the fall of 2000.

Fraternities reported an average increase of two new members, while only one accepted fewer this fall than last year.

Sororities are also increasing their pledge classes. Sigma Delta Tau accepted 19 women this semester, compared to 18 last fall. Alpha Delta Pi sorority accepted five more women than last fall.

Alpha Delta Pi President Katie Zengion reported the sorority accepted 27 pledges, compared to 22 last year, bringing the house total to 78 women. Alpha Epsilon Phi President Geri Albin reported an increase of 22 to 27 women in this year’s pledge class. Presidents of other sororities could not be reached for comment.

Zeta Beta Tau, a fraternity unrecognized by the Interfraternity Council, accepted 24 pledges, the most out of all the fraternities. Several pledges of Alpha Epsilon Pi, whose charter was revoked last year by the University on hazing charges, formed Zeta Beta Tau last spring.

“Before the school year started, we were a little nervous with our position in Greek life at GW, but we were amazed with the turnout at rush,” sophomore Zeta Beta Tau member Eric Smookler said about the fraternity’s first rush. “We are now sure that we are one of the strongest fraternal organizations on campus.”

Phi Sigma Kappa had the biggest jump in new members among fraternities, accepting 16 members, 10 more than last fall.

Kappa Sigma accepted 19 pledges, making it the second-largest pledge class and largest of recognized groups. This number is lower than last fall, when the fraternity accepted 23 pledges and opposite the national Kappa Sigma trend.

“All initial reports that I’ve seen indicate that there is an increase and all of our chapters are doing a very good job of recruiting,” said Mic Wilson, executive director for Kappa Sigma’s national chapter.

The national chapters of some fraternities reported noticing GW’s rush increases, and representatives said they are optimistic about the outcome of this fall’s national rush.

“Our current trends for this year indicate approximately a 2 to 4 percent increase,” said Garth Eberhart, assistant executive vice president of Delta Tau Delta.

Interfarternity Council President Jared David said his organization will discuss possible expansion for the spring next week after a promising showing at rush.

“Part of it is a bigger freshman class,” David said, “but beyond that there’s an increased interest in going Greek.”

Panhellenic Council President Nini Khozeimeh could not be reached for comment.

–Russ Rizzo contributed to this report.

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