In the past, GW could honestly advertise that it had a small and intimate Greek-letter community that did not overwhelm the school – a fundamental appeal for many students. But in the past few years, the accuracy of this statement has steadily waned, as the number of organizations has increased and more Colonials have decided to go Greek.
The Hatchet reported last week that this year’s sorority recruitment doled out the most bids in GW history. While this record may have favorable consequences for the Office of Greek Life, we worry that it will bring about unintentional effects for the GW community.
The issue lies in the extremely rapid growth of Greek-letter organizations on campus. GW is now home to more than 38 organizations – too many for a city-based school that has been commended for its smaller, more intimate Greek-letter presence. Moving forward, the Office of Greek Life should better stagger the addition of new organizations and keep the average size of pledge classes from growing.
Logistically, GW cannot accommodate the needs of such a fast-growing Greek-letter community. Townhouses and other resources are scarce, and this deficit leads to intense competition for increasingly unobtainable space. During recruitment, hundreds of current and prospective sorority members pack into available rooms in the Marvin Center for hours on end, a logistical tour de force that will not be possible if the community continues to expand at such a speed.
The appeal for many current sorority and fraternity members was the less-than-overwhelming atmosphere of GW’s organizations when compared to those of large state schools. The Office of Greek Life must now focus on finding equilibrium between an increased interest in Greek-letter organizations and maintaining GW’s identity as a school not overrun by them.
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