The first day of the Panhellenic Association’s sorority recruitment will fall on Sept. 11, but three sororities and the president of the Student Association said the day should be reserved for remembrance.
The annual six-day event is planned to run from Sept. 11 to 17 and will kick off with a six-hour meet-and-greet among prospective Greek-letter women and each of GW’s eight sororities. The Panhellenic Association, which oversees sorority recruitment, said they do not expect the Sept. 11 start date, on which the thousands of people killed in New York and Washington, D.C., will be remembered, to affect recruitment.
“We are sensitive to the fact that it is a day that should never be forgotten,” said Kelly Shea, president of the Panhellenic Association. “But it is important for Greek life to continue to grow on this campus and recruitment will go ahead as planned.”
Holding the first day of recruitment on the anniversary of the attacks initially was unsettling to three sororities, but after speaking with event organizers, the groups’ leaders realized the date could not be changed.
“We’re not opposed to holding the event that day,” said Leah Bloomberg, president of the Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority. “We just wanted to give our members and everyone on campus an opportunity to mourn for the victims of the attack.”
“The major issue is that we are in our nation’s capital, the site of these terrorist attacks, and because so many people here were affected by it, we felt it would be better to hold it on a different day,” Bloomberg said.
The Student Activities Center, which oversees Greek-letter life, and the Panhellenic Association took a majority vote among four start dates to determine which day recruitment would begin.
“We always have fall recruitment in September and having it the second week in September gives women who are interested in going Greek a chance to go through recruitment with out the stress of approaching midterms and papers,” Shea said.
The Panhellenic Association will be making special accommodations for individual members who have personal concerns with holding the event that day, Shea said.
Tim Miller, director of SAC, said he hopes the GW community can commemorate the attacks while pressing forward with a yearly ritual.
“I think that I need to live my life on that day and remember it for what it means to me and not let it stop my life,” Miller said.
Shea said the Panhellenic Association will hold a moment of silence on the first day of recruitment and make arrangements for students who would prefer not to participate in the day’s events.
SA President Audai Shakour, a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, said he has a philosophical opposition to holding such a celebratory event on a day he believes should be reserved for remembrance.
“For the first decade after such a tragic event like the terrorist attacks have happened, it is not right to hold large scale joyous occasions on that day,” Shakour said.
Bloomberg said she is now “looking forward” to recruitment beginning.
Shea said the Panhellenic Association plans on the event running smoothly.
“I have spoken to all the presidents and I feel that we have addressed all their concerns,” Shea said. “As I said before, we are sensitive to how important this day is, however no changes to the recruitment schedule will be made.”