Greek letter leaders: Are you ready to begin “Living the Ritual?”

For those of you who are freshmen, know that there has been no better time to join the Greek community. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the first fraternity at the Columbian School. The GW Greek community now makes up approximately 18 percent, or 1,600 members, of the undergraduate population. Membership has never been stronger.

We hope that you will take the time to explore the wonderful opportunities that Greek life can provide. Greek life offers an experience that will truly enhance both your college career and your life after GW.

Here are some interesting Greek facts: 85 percent of Fortune 500 key executives are Greek, all but two U.S. presidents since 1825 have been Greek, 76 percent of U.S. senators are Greek and both women elected to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court were sorority members.

Students, interested in Greek life or not, should explore all three councils. It is important to understand that it is not about the general perception of where you belong, but rather the brotherhood or sisterhood you feel most comfortable with and complement in interests and beliefs.

The Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC)

The Inter-Fraternity Council at The George Washington University offers a unique Greek experience for undergraduate men looking to seek membership with a social fraternity. With 14 national fraternity chapters on campus you are sure to find an organization that fits exactly what you are looking for. Chapters range from 30 to 100 men, and the majority of fraternities have a house or a designated floor in International House.

Our award-winning IFC constantly excels in the areas of philanthropy, scholarship, community, leadership and brotherhood. Throughout the academic year, many chapters hold weeklong philanthropy events where the entire Greek community is involved to help raise money for a specific cause or charitable organization. The IFC has a positive relationship with the administration and works tirelessly to uphold the standards of GW. Each year our fraternities attend their national conference and have come home with multiple awards, including “Chapter of the Year” recognition.

The IFC stands by the University in its policy to encourage participation in only those officially recognized fraternities of the GW Inter-Fraternity Council. We discourage you from joining any one of the three off-campus organizations. These are in no way affiliated with our Greek system and include Alpha Pi Epsilon (or “Apes”), Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Sigma Alpha Mu (SAMMY).

Fraternity recruitment will take place Sept. 24 through Oct. 6. This is a great opportunity to meet people and learn about fraternity life.

The Panhellenic Association (Panhel)

GW sororities are unique. Not only have the nine Panhellenic GW sororities consistently been ranked some of the best in the country by their national chapters, but they have also won numerous awards here on GW’s campus from the Student Activities Center, the Office of Greek Life, the National Panhellenic Council and the Student Association.

The sororities on GW’s campus are what are known as social philanthropic societies. While none have a specific affiliation with a department or school, all of the Panhellenic sororities focus on promoting good studies and scholastic activities. Additionally, last year Panhellenic sororities raised more than $100,000 through philanthropic activities. The benefits of joining a Panhellenic sorority are numerous, but perhaps the largest advantage of joining a sorority is the friendships you’ll make and the exciting new experiences you’ll encounter.

To join a Panhellenic sorority please visit http://studentorgs.gwu.edu/panhel and sign up through the Web site listed at the top of the page or attend our information session on Friday, Sept. 27 in Marvin Center room 414 from 4 – 6:30 p.m.

The Multicultural Greek Council (MGC)

The Multicultural Greek Council consists of nine organizations with an interest in Asian, black and Latino culture. Given the diversity of our history, values and practices, the recruitment process is just as individually unique. To learn more about each organization, look out for and attend MGC events, individual chapter and contacting a member from the organization.

The biannual MGC Week will be occurring from Sept. 16 to Sept. 22. The week will be filled with free food, great music and wonderful opportunities to meet new people and learn about being a part of the Multicultural Greek community. For more information please contact mgc@gwu.edu.

The writers, Chris DiBitetto, Emily Metz and Mei Kei Loo, are presidents of the Inter-Fraternity Council, vice president of Recruitment of the Panhellenic Association and President of the Multicultural Greek Council, respectively.

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