Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Op-ed: Deferred recruitment will benefit the Greek community

Christina Witkowicki is the director of student involvement and Greek life in the Center for Student Engagement.

After a great deal of research, benchmarking and discussion, GW has decided to move to a deferred recruitment process for joining a fraternity or sorority on campus. This shift will occur during the 2017-2018 academic year, and will require all students wishing to join a fraternity or sorority at GW to have completed 12 credits on campus in order to be eligible.

In January 2015, the University formed a Greek Life Task Force to identify the “ideal Greek experience” at GW and to make recommendations to help our community move in that direction. This task force included Greek-affiliated students, unaffiliated students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni and members of fraternity and sorority inter/national headquarters.

The task force met throughout the first half of 2015, and the topic of deferred recruitment arose. The task force then recommended creating a committee to evaluate the current timing of recruitment, rush and intake at GW.

In December 2015, the Recruitment Evaluation Committee convened to research and benchmark GW’s recruitment practices and national best practices. The committee, comprised of affiliated and unaffiliated students, faculty, staff, advisers and parents, looked at recruitment practices among GW’s market basket schools, assessed campus climate and researched on Greek involvement.

The committee submitted its final report on its research and outlined arguments in support of deferred recruitment, along with arguments in support of open recruitment. This week’s decision was based on this research, as well as other recommendations around education from the Greek Life Task Force.

This decision was not made because the fraternity/sorority community did anything wrong. Deferred recruitment will afford the GW community many opportunities that the current recruitment timing does not offer. Deferred recruitment gives incoming GW students the opportunity to settle into GW prior to needing to make a decision on joining a fraternity or sorority – a lifetime commitment that shouldn’t be rushed.

Students will be able to establish friendships during the first semester without the stress of recruitment. They also won’t be left feeling out of place or rejected by one third of the student population if they choose not to “go Greek.” This will also give students a chance to establish a good GPA, and show that they can meet the minimum standards of membership – a basic requirement for our organizations.

The Center for Student Engagement and Greek leadership will help educate potential members on what it means to be Greek at GW and help them evaluate and determine if Greek membership at GW is the right choice for them. These opportunities will result in more prepared and committed members, and a stronger GW Greek community overall.

We are excited for the future of the GW Greek community. With a strong legacy of over 150 years at GW, we are looking forward to the next 150 years and beyond.

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