The Panhellenic Association announced Friday that the Chi Omega sorority will return to GW after a 40-year hiatus, beginning in fall 2008.
The Panhellenic Extension Committee chose Chi Omega over Kappa Alpha Theta and Delta Delta Delta. The three sororities up for consideration each gave presentations on campus and Chi Omega was subsequently chosen.
“We could all tell that (Chi Omega) had done their research and were fully aware of GW’s unique Greek life and would be able to provide the support a new chapter needs at an urban campus,” said Olivia Fay, president of Kappa Kappa Gamma.
The decision to add another chapter to the Greek-letter community came last year when “sororities voted in favor of expansion and invited another chapter to join GW,” said Amanda Gancayco, vice president of marketing and public relations for the Panhellenic Association. “We are always interested in expanding Greek life and getting more of the student population involved,” she added.
Chi Omega established itself at GW in 1903 but left campus in 1968 – a slow period for Greek life on college campuses.
“GW was heavily involved in the Civil Rights movement and anti-war protests. The environment was not good for fraternities and sororities,” wrote Director of Greek Life Dean Harwood in an e-mail. “Due to a lack of interest, and other issues related to GW policy, 10 sororities including Chi Omega and most of the sororities now on campus, closed down during that year.”
Harwood added that, “From that point until the early 1980s, Greek Life was pretty much non-existent on campus.”
Representatives for the Panhellenic Association said bringing Chi Omega back to campus will further develop the Greek community and maintain the “sense of sisterhood” cultivated by the sororities at GW. Currently about 19 percent of the undergraduate population at GW is involved in Greek life.
Recruitment for the Phi Alpha chapter of Chi Omega will begin in October, following the regular fall recruitment for the other nine Panhellenic Association sororities.