Jeff Cirillo and Christian Paz are staff writers for The Hoya.
Georgetown reiterated its policy against social fraternities and sororities in a campuswide email Sept. 1, highlighting high-risk behaviors commonly associated with Greek life.
In the email — the third such message released by the university — Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Jeanne F. Lord cited risks associated with a Greek-centered social life, including hazing and substance abuse.
“Experience and national data have shown that social Greek organizations are often associated with serious high-risk behavior, including hazing and alcohol abuse,” Lord wrote. “Georgetown’s decision not to support a social Greek system reflects our concerns for the safety and well-being of our students, and is rooted in the values that have animated this university for more than two centuries.”
Lord also said the university’s co-curricular environment is a critical feature of its culture and environment.
“We are a community of women and men who bring diverse experiences, identities and traditions to the Hilltop,” Lord wrote. “When we come together in this community, these differences enrich our life together.”
The university has consistently opposed Greek life and sent similar emails to students in previous years. Last year’s statement received pushback from leaders of Greek organizations including Alpha Epsilon Pi and former Georgetown University Student Association President Enushe Khan (MSB ’17) and Vice President Chris Fisk (COL ’17).
“We’re involved in charity, we put on scholarship events, community service, educational forums,” Alpha Epsilon Pi Master Jack Rosenberg (SFS ’17) said in an article in The Hoya. “We fill a hole that obviously 10 percent of the student body is interested in.”
In their statement, Khan and Fisk said the members of Georgetown’s Greek community are “Hoyas first and foremost.”
“For many, Greek organizations are spaces to find community, enhance leadership skills and develop into women and men for others,” Khan and Fisk wrote. “By holistically meeting the individual needs of so many Hoyas, our Greek organizations are precisely what the standard of cura personalis demands.”
Khan and Fisk countered Lord’s message last year, writing that professional and social fraternities and sororities have higher acceptance rates than established on-campus student organizations and are generally accepted by a majority of Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S.
Alexandra Williams (SFS ’19), a member of sorority Kappa Alpha Theta, said Lord’s email was disheartening and alienating.
“It was saddening to read the administration’s perspective on Greek life, which has been such a positive part of my experience here at Georgetown. Not only was the statement demeaning and dismissive, but hypocritical when the university endorses non-Greek campus groups that engage in the very activities that were highlighted,” Williams said. “I have met some of the most driven, kind and intelligent girls as part of Kappa Alpha Theta — girls who embody the ‘cura personalis’ that our school is so proud of.”