Officials temporarily expand Greek life fall rush to freshmen following isolating year

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Brian Joyce, the director of fraternity and sorority life, said officials decided to open fall recruitment to freshmen in light of the year of isolation students experienced during the pandemic.

In response to the social isolation that the COVID-19 pandemic has fostered, officials are allowing all freshmen to rush Greek life during the fall semester.

Brian Joyce, the director of fraternity and sorority life, said officials have temporarily lifted a rule requiring students to complete 12 credits before rushing for recruitment this fall to help more students find community on campus after a year of seclusion throughout the pandemic. The rule change may only be for this academic year but is the first time in five years that freshmen are allowed to join a Greek life chapter in their first semester at GW.

Officials implemented the 12-credit requirement in fall 2017, preventing freshmen from rushing until the spring semester to give them time to acclimate to the University before joining a chapter.

“We understand that COVID has impacted our community in a variety of ways,” Joyce said in an email. “The University suspended the 12-credit hour rule temporarily because this has been an especially challenging year to find community. We hope this removes any barriers for students of all class years to find community and create meaningful and positive connections.”

Officials had also removed the 12-credit requirement last academic year for the Panhellenic Association’s formal recruitment in the spring to eliminate any barriers to students making connections with the Panhel community.

Joyce said the Interfraternity Council chapters hosted formal recruitment, and five Panhel chapters are holding informal recruitment – Alpha Epsilon Phi, Alpha Phi, Kappa Alpha Theta, Pi Beta Phi and Sigma Delta Tau. He said the Multicultural Greek Council and the National Pan-Hellenic Council are hosting “an individual membership intake processes” throughout the academic year.

“​​Recruitment is an opportunity to learn more about the chapters’ shared and distinct values, create meaningful relationships and give potential new members (PNMs) a glimpse into the fraternity and sorority community,” he said. 

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