Prefrosh preview: Greek life at Georgetown
Unless you have been horribly mistaken, at this point you should know that Georgetown is a Catholic, Jesuit University. This does not just mean that you have to take a few Theology courses and call it a day, but it also holds an impact on your campus activities. Since the university does not deem sororities and fraternities contingent with the Jesuit moral vision, Greek life is not included within the official Student Activities Commission. That doesn’t mean that sororities and fraternities don’t have a presence on campus.
Greek life at Georgetown is sort of like that extra piece of pie on the dessert table. It’s there if you want it, it’s not for everyone, and you don’t necessarily need to have it. Unlike at colleges with deep Greek systems, where much of your social life and college experience is based on the “letters” you wear, at Georgetown a lot of your social life is based upon other involvements on campus, and most students have friends from a variety of student groups.
Many student groups on campus resemble fraternities or sororities. Most clubs and teams host parties and pre-games for their members, have initiations or traditions of their own, and bring together a lot of different people into tight friendships, not far off from the fraternity traditions and bonds of sister or brotherhood.
While student groups dominate the social scene, Greek life is steadily gaining a larger role in many Hoyas’ involvements. Sigma Phi Epsilon, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Alpha Epsilon Pi, and Zeta Psi are the four social fraternities and the two social sororities Kappa Kappa Gamma and Kappa Alpha Theta have just started in the past year and a half.
These fraternities and sororities are not nearly as serious as they are at other universities. The biggest constraint is that they don’t have University-owned houses that are passed held by the fraternity every year.
Also, their pledging processes are not nearly as long and monotonous as they are in frats at other schools, and their parties are not out of a scene of Project X. While a lot of freshman guys have admitted to Vox that they joined a fraternity for the sole purpose of getting into parties, many students still regard Greek life at Georgetown as an opportunity to create lasting friendships, a way to participate in non-drinking, social activities, and you can get some cool t-shirts too.
In addition to social fraternities and sororities, there are co-ed professional fraternities such as Alpha Kappa Psi, the business fraternity, and Delta Phi Epsilon, the foreign service fraternity. Those frats have big job networks and host a lot of job-related activities each semester. Alpha Phi Omega, the co-ed community service fraternity is the only recognized Greek organization at Georgetown and has been a student group on campus since 1956.
Georgetown currently has no open plans to expand recognition of and rights for its fraternities, but in five to ten years or so, the presence very well could expand even more. Regardless, whether students are Greek or non-Greek, they still have the freedom to explore the wide range of activities that campus has to offer.
Photo: GU Sigma Phi Epsilon