GW expands Greek housing options

Three additional Greek-letter organizations will reside in townhouses on campus next year, as part of the University’s expansion of fraternity and sorority housing. The move comes after the University introduced Towhhouse Row this year, enabling eight fraternities and sororities to live in on-campus housing.

The Alpha Epsilon Pi and Beta Theta Pi fraternities and the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority will live in the houses. The organizations were three of 10 groups that applied for Greek-letter living.

The University is also in the process of reviewing applications for other on-campus options, said Tim Miller, associate director of the Student Activities Center. Two weeks ago, officials said GW would offer Greek-letter groups two residence halls on the Mount Vernon Campus and floors in Francis Scott Key Hall and the International House.

“There’s a large interest in Greek life at this point,” Miller said. “And this is a community that works better when they live together.

The Phi Sigma Sigma sorority will reside in a 16-person house at 2028 G St., and Beta Theta Pi and Alpha Epsilon Pi will live in nine-person houses at 603 22nd St. and 605 22nd St., respectively.

“It’s really exciting and a great opportunity for our chapter to grow,” said Dani Greenspan, president of Alpha Epsilon Pi. “It’s a great meeting place for brothers to hang out … and it helps us to be more visible on campus.”

Alpha Epsilon Pi, which came to campus last year and has 53 members, currently holds meetings in the Marvin Center.

Officials said they examined membership development, judicial records, academic quality, adviser relations, history, community leadership and philanthropy when evaluating groups.

Membership development and judicial records accounted for 25 percent, academic quality accounted for 15 percent and the remaining categories for 10 percent each.

Miller said Townhouse Row, which opened in August, proved that fraternities and sororities manage housing, despite some groups receiving sanctions from the University. The Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, which resides in Townhouse Row, is on social probation.

“The University is helping to expand the Greek community,” said Interfraternity Council President Ben Block. “It’s a sign of their support that they’re adding to the Greek housing options that are available.”

Groups found out about their new housing last week during spring recruitment.

Beta Theta Pi Housing Chair Steve Simburg said being informed of the University’s decision helped his fraternity during the rush process. The fraternity recruited four new members this spring, compared to six last spring.

“Pledges found out that some of them would be the first brothers to live in the house, and it filled them with a lot of pride,” Simburg said.

He said housing will “enhance (Beta Theta Pi’s) standing on campus.”

The chapter has existed at GW for seven years without university housing, and members said they are happy to finally have a central meeting place to hold events.

“It will be a tool to enhance activities,” Simburg said.

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