The Georgetown University Student Association pushed back against a campus-wide email discouraging the presence of Greek life on campus sent by Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Dr. Jeanne Lord and Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Todd Olson this week.
In a statement emailed to the student body and posted on Facebook on Thursday, GUSA President Enushe Khan (MSB ’17), Vice President Chris Fiske (COL ’17) and the GUSA Executive expressed their disagreement with Olson and Lord’s email.
In a campus-wide email Wednesday, Olson and Lord wrote that Greek organizations are both high risk and counter to Georgetown’s values. Olson and Lord sent a similar email reminding students of the university’s policy against Greek life last year.
“Experience and national data have shown that social Greek organizations are often associated with serious high risk behavior, including hazing and alcohol abuse,” Olson and 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.”
In its statement, GUSA defended the role of Greek life on campus.
“As we have gotten to know members of different Greek organizations here, we are overwhelmingly convinced that students in Georgetown’s Greek community are Hoyas first and foremost,” GUSA’s statement read.
“The Greek letters they wear are in no way a replacement for the Blue and Gray, but rather an affirmation and celebration of their experiences on the Hilltop and a commitment to passing the Georgetown experience on to the next generation of Hoyas.”
GUSA Liaison to Greek Council Tucker Cowden (MSB ’17) said GUSA hoped the statement would affirm to students their right to join Greek organizations.
“The response was not adversarial but really just designed to affirm to the student body, particularly new students who are still sorting through various opportunities to get involved on campus, that GUSA supports their rights to freedom of speech and association and that the university does not need to formally recognize an organization for it to be a worthwhile opportunity for Georgetown students,” Cowden wrote in an email to The Hoya.
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