Despite the status of Alpha Phi Omega — the only Greek organization officially recognized by the university — social fraternities and sororities have grown in popularity on campus in recent years. Sigma Phi Epsilon, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Kappa Kappa Gamma and, most recently, Kappa Alpha Theta are making a name on campus despite Georgetown’s policy barring sanctioned Greek life.
Given the university’s longstanding prohibition of traditional Greek life, some students have sought the Georgetown experience in part to avoid the culture engendered by those organizations. Yet with an unprecedented number of fraternities and sororities now open to undergraduates, Greek life at Georgetown is at a crossroads. As the number of brothers and sisters in these organizations increases, current leaders in Greek life have a unique opportunity over the next few semesters to establish a precedent of inclusion and community service, rather than exclusivity and self-service.
Georgetown is not a Greek campus, and unless the university finds reason to reverse its policy on Greek life, it is likely to stay that way. To best become part of wider campus life, rather than remain a fringe interest, Georgetown’s newest Greek organizations should work to incorporate Georgetown’s values — notably, service — in their missions. APO, a service based coed fraternity, has maintained a strong social presence while also implementing extensive service projects. While the newest social fraternities on campus are not based entirely on service, by making service a larger part of their focus, those fraternities could make a lasting impact on the university beyond the individuals who choose to rush. Incorporating service more in their missions would also go far to ensure that the administration and students of Georgetown would see Greek life in a more favorable light.
If the current trend continues, Greek life will gain a stronger presence at Georgetown in coming years. For the fraternities and sororities on campus that are currently leading the way, it would be wise for service to be on the forefront of their agendas.