Phi Sigma Sigma closes GW chapter, surrenders chapter house

The Phi Sigma Sigma sorority has surrendered the chapter’s charter and will no longer be active on campus, officials said.

University spokeswoman Crystal Nosal said the townhouse at 607 23rd St. previously occupied by Phi Sigma Sigma has been surrendered and reassigned to the National Pan Hellenic Council. She said the organization is leaving the University on “positive terms,” and officials would welcome their return to campus at a time of “mutual agreement” between GW, the Panhellenic Association and Phi Sigma Sigma’s headquarters.

“The members of the Kappa chapter of Phi Sigma Sigma, in partnership with the organization’s international headquarters, jointly decided to surrender the chapter’s charter at The George Washington University,” Nosal said in an email.

Phi Sigma Sigma was the center of controversy last fall after a Snapchat post from the sorority’s then-president was captured showing the front of a plantation gift shop with a racist caption. The president later resigned.

After the post surfaced in September, several members left the chapter, and University officials suspended Panhel’s social activities and informal recruitment for the semester so sororities could participate in diversity trainings. This January, Phi Sigma Sigma pulled out of the recruitment process before bid day.

Katie Wonnenberg, the grand archon of the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority, said the sorority’s remaining chapter members, in consultation with the international headquarters, collectively made the decision to close the chapter following the spring 2020 semester. She said the chapter plans to return in the future.

“It is our goal and desire to return, the Kappa Chapter of Phi Sigma Sigma is a proud member of our pyramid and we hope that at some point down the road, we can return to GW and continue to be a contributing member of the student life experience,” Wonnenberg said in an email.

Phi Sigma Sigma is no longer listed as a chapter of the Panhellenic Association on the Division for Student Affairs’ website.

Alexa Saberito, the president of the Panhellenic Association, confirmed the chapter made the decision to leave GW.

“Phi Sigma Sigma voluntarily made the decision to withdraw their charter and therefore have vacated their house,” Saberito said in an email.

Aashka Varma, the former president of Phi Sigma Sigma, did not return multiple requests for comment.

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