The Interfraternity Council will choose one fraternity to bring onto campus Tuesday.
Alpha Phi Delta, Pi Kappa Alpha and Sigma Alpha Mu made presentations to the IFC during the past two weeks.
“Bringing on other fraternities is a positive sense of competition, in that
new opportunities really force older chapters to stay on their toes and keep up to date,” said Pi Kappa Phi President Daryl Muller. “It’s not a threat at all.”
Officially acknowledged as a colony, Pi Kappa Phi is GW’s most recently recognized Greek-letter group.
Alpha Phi Delta, a historically Italian-American fraternity, was active on GW’s campus from 1977 to 1984. The chapter disintegrated because there was not enough interest to keep the fraternity on campus after most members graduated, said Thomas Ammozzalorso, Alpha Phi Delta’s expansion chair for the D.C. College Consortium.
“We managed to get a few people at the time interested, but it took a lot of effort,” said Christopher Vignare, 1978 Alpha Phi Delta president. “We tried a bunch of novel approaches. We designed a pizza box that had all of the info inside and outside. There was some sort of gift in it.”
IFC officials said Alpha Phi Delta has a slim chance of being picked.
Pi Kappa Alpha, also known as “Pike,” was a recognized GW fraternity from 1941 to1965. The organization left campus due to “inadequate membership,” said Justin Buck, the fraternity’s expansion coordinator. Pi Kappa Alpha returned to GW in 1990 and was suspended in 1997.
According to a Nov. 6, 1997 Hatchet article, Pi Kappa Alpha was suspended from GW’s campus from 1997 to 2001 after the hospitalization of a pledge who “had drunk copious amounts of alcohol” at a pledge event.
Buck pointed out that students involved in the hazing incident have graduated.
“The only thing that will be the same are the letters,” he said. “The make-up of this group will be completely different.”
Sigma Alpha Mu, also referred to as “Sammy,” existed at GW twice in the past, most recently from spring 1996 to spring 1999. According to a Jan. 22 Hatchet report, the fraternity disbanded in 1999 “due to a lack of interest.”
Scott Silver, prior of GW’s Sigma Alpha Mu, which colonized at GW this year but has not been recognized, said Sigma Alpha Mu’s charter was “taken away” two years ago.
In 1999, he said, the fraternity “felt that they weren’t able to run their charter successfully” and disbanded, but Silver said he is confident that Sigma Alpha Mu will be successful at GW.
“They threw in the towel,” Silver said.
The presentations, which lasted about an hour, included an overview of the new fraternities.
“We weigh their overall personal presence greater than their verbal promises. We’re pretty good judges of character; we can sense when a national fraternity is seriously committed to helping a young chapter thrive on campus,” IFC President Anthony Morris said.
“Any other past history we take into account, but their presentations and intentions now take precedence,” Morris said.
Morris said he attended all three of the presentations, but will not vote on a new fraternity unless there is a five-five tie among the 10 presidents voting. He also said he would not use the veto power available to the IFC president when choosing a new fraternity.
“I’m expecting that this one will take a couple of hours, seeing as it is the biggest decision that the presidents will be making all semester regarding fraternity life,” he said.
Even though he might not vote, Morris said Alpha Phi Delta probably would not get voted onto campus for fall 2002 recognition.
“(Alpha Phi Delta’s national) is not quite up to par with Sammy or Pike’s nationals,” Morris said.
Morris added that an Italian-American fraternity would add diversity, but that there are not enough members in the organization for the new fraternity to expand. He also said the fraternity lacks money and alumni support.
Ammazzalorso said support is available in the area for the fraternity.
“We have our national capital area alumni club which will support all chapters starting up in the D.C. area,” Ammazzalorso said.
He said he felt differently about the presentation and the fraternity’s chance of becoming recognized in the fall of 2002.
“I think it went well,” Ammazzalorso said. “I developed a good rapport with the IFC.”
Morris said Pi Kappa Alpha’s and Sigma Alpha Mu’s presentations were stronger and both lasted about an hour, while Alpha Phi Delta presented for about 20 minutes.
“I was expecting big things from Pike because their national reps made a solid professional impression the night before their presentation,” Morris said, adding he met with the national representatives.
Fraternity representatives said they will continue to seek recognition, but Sigma Alpha Mu is the only organization that plans to remain an unrecognized colony at GW if rejected.
“Even if we’re not given the immediate slot, there was some discussion that there might be consideration for another group to come on in the spring of 2003,” said Buck, the Pi Kappa Alph expansion coordinator.
“The last thing we want to do is to come on campus without an invitation. It usually leads to bad blood and a strained relationship with the IFC.”
“We’ll go look at one of the other colleges. We’ll wait a year. We’ll keep
trying till we get it,” he said.
Silver said the colony plans to “comply with the rules of the University” and would petition for recognition next spring if Sigma Alpha Mu is not approved Tuesday.