Phi Gamma Delta joins GW this spring as newest social fraternity

Media Credit: Photo Illustration by Danielle Towers | Assistant Photo Editor

The fraternity does not currently have plans to house members on campus but may do so in the future.

A new social fraternity will join the Interfraternity Council this spring with the goal of recruiting founding members to launch its newest chapter at GW.

Phi Gamma Delta, a fraternity that focuses on leadership, service and philanthropic work with 113 chapters nationwide, will recruit founding members from the GW community this semester before enlisting enough students to become a nationally recognized chapter in about two years. A member of the fraternity’s national organization said he hopes to begin to build a campus presence and connect with the GW community through informal events, like tabling and outreach to other student organizations on campus, to recruit members to rush in the fall.

Brian Joyce, the director of fraternity and sorority life, said the fraternity has been in discussions with GW about expanding on to campus for “many years.”

“Phi Gamma Delta has a dedicated alumni base and international headquarter office that is committed to building a sustainable and contributing fraternity to our FSL community,” he said in an email.

Joyce said Phi Gamma Delta will begin recruiting its first potential new members this spring as part of formal rush, and the chapter is looking for students who will serve as founding members to establish the chapter on campus.

“GW FSL will assist the chapter by helping them navigate the resources they have available to them,” he said. “We will also help explain GW policies and procedures so that Phi Gamma Delta is best equipped for success.”

Graham Hess, a field secretary for Phi Gamma Delta who travels to chapters in the Northeastern United States to provide consulting services, said he will teach the GW chapter’s founding members how to run the fraternity before he leaves campus to travel to another chapter. He said the establishment of the fraternity at GW is still in the “very early” stages, and members of the national organization are focused on promoting the fraternity’s name to the GW community with social media advertisements on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

He said the fraternity is currently a colony at GW, a group of students attempting to establish a chapter of a fraternity, until it can petition Phi Gamma Delta’s board of directors for a charter to become a chapter. He said he anticipates GW’s colony to become a chapter in about four semesters once the founding members have recruited enough students and are established on campus.

“All we’re focused on is getting our name out there, trying to ascertain what sort of colony or chapter that we can build at GW that’s going to be sustainable where the interest is going to be recruiting that initial class within the confines of the rules, and then we’ll engage in the recruitment process,” he said. “So we are very, very early on in the expansion.”

He said the fraternity does not currently have plans to house members on campus, but the chapter could decide to offer housing at a point in the future. He said the organization is working to recruit founding members and teach them the core values of Phi Gamma Delta before allowing them to run the chapter on their own.

“Really what we’re focused on, especially short term from an international perspective, is just recruiting the men and sort of training them on how to operate as a fraternity,” he said. “And we don’t necessarily think that a house is totally instrumental in making that happen. Plenty of our chapters and Phi Gamma Delta adults are successful without houses.”

Hess said Phi Gamma Delta will launch a media campaign including free and paid promotions on platforms like Instagram and Facebook to familiarize the GW community with the fraternity and increase its campus presence. He said the organization will also hold informal events like tabling and will reach out to some of the largest student organizations on campus outside of Greek life to better understand students and become leaders within the campus community.

“One of the priorities for us as we set up this new chapter of Phi Gamma Delta is that we want to be not just a participant in the GW community but a leader in that community,” he said. “Best way to do that is to build as many relationships as possible and facilitate that sort of partnership experience.”

Patrick Tajanlangit, the president of IFC, said the council will repost the fraternity’s media campaign on Instagram and host recruitment groups in February to present the fraternity and help Phi Gamma Delta establish a presence at GW.

“In the constitution, we have this expansion policy, where we’re supposed to support new fraternities that are opening up,” he said. “So I organized the recruitment groups, where we have the new chapters, relatively new chapters on one night, so PNMs, potential new members, can have the opportunity to get to know the new chapters as well as all the chapters.”

 

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