Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

University Discourages Students From Social Greek Organizations

KAPPA KAPPA GAMMA GEORGETOWN The Georgetown University Division of Student Affairs sent a school-wide email reiterating Georgetown’s disapproval of Greek life. The email highlighted hazing and alcohol abuse as reasons for the university’s stance towards fraternities and sororities.

The university reiterated its disapproval of social Greek organizations Sept. 16 in a campus-wide email, which discouraged students from joining such organizations because of the organizations’ common association with high-risk behavior such as alcohol abuse.

Greek organizations are inconsistent with the university’s Jesuit values, namely inclusion and respect for the individual, according to the email sent by Jeanne Lord, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students.

Georgetown does not provide funding or benefits for social fraternities and sororities, and these organizations are not officially recognized by the university.

“I write today to remind you that Georgetown University does not support a social Greek system: social fraternities and sororities are not eligible for access to University benefits, nor do they have the benefit of University oversight,” Lord wrote.

About 10 percent of Georgetown students participate in fraternities and sororities, according to the Georgetown University Student Association.

Administrators have sent a similar message to students at the beginning of the academic year since 2015. This year’s email specifically mentioned the second Council of Advisory Boards fair on Oct. 13, a new addition to the club recruitment cycle this year, which will provide students a second chance to meet club members.

GUSA released an open letter rebutting the university’s justification of its policies toward Greek organizations. The letter, which was included in GUSA’s weekly newsletter, argued the policy is unfounded because Greek organizations demonstrate diversity, are more inclusive than many other student organizations and are supported by other Jesuit institutions.

“For many, Greek organizations are spaces to find community, enhance leadership skills, and develop into people for others,” GUSA’s letter read. “The administration doesn’t need to recognize Greek life for us to acknowledge that it’s an important part of many students’ Georgetown experiences.”

The letter also took issue with the administration’s claim that social Greek organizations are associated with high-risk behavior, arguing this behavior is not unique to Greek life and pointing out the progress organizations have made in changing their culture.

Monica Rivero (COL ’20), GUSA liaison to unrecognized student groups, echoed the letter’s sentiment, stating that clubs that are recognized by the university can also lead to high-risk behavior.

“GUSA also acknowledges that both unrecognized and recognized student groups on campus can serve as places for high risk behavior,” Rivero wrote in an email to The Hoya. “We are committed to moving forward and cooperating with students to ensure that we can foster safe and healthy social spaces on-campus.”

The letter affirmed GUSA’s commitment to allowing students to have an option to engage or not in Greek life on campus.

“Whether you choose to join a Greek life organization or not, GUSA will ensure that decision remains up to you,” according to the letter.

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