The Georgetown University Student Association President- and Vice President-elect Enushe Khan (MSB ’17) and Chris Fisk (COL ‘17) will form an unofficial Greek Council to connect student government and the university’s unrecognized fraternities and sororities. According to Khan, the council will be a common meeting place for Greek organizations to communicate, exchange ideas and organize co-sponsorship activities.
“Because Greek life isn’t recognized, it’s tough to coordinate between the different Greek organizations,” Khan said. “What we see is that there’s a really common trend with objectives that different organizations on campus have and it’s tough to organize certain efforts or commitments to service our community when they are disjointed.”
The formation of the council is part of GUSA’s overall goal to support unrecognized student groups on campus. Past efforts to support unrecognized groups include the addition of dedicated storage space for unrecognized groups in Regents Hall, updated classroom reservations and available printing services in November 2014 under the administration of former GUSA President Trevor Tezel (SFS ’15) and Vice President Omika Jikaria (SFS ’15).
The council, which will form in March, will most likely consist of two representatives from each Greek organization, along with GUSA representatives in a supporting role.
Executive Officer of the senate Kotryna Jukneviciute (COL ’18), who served as co-director of outreach and chaired Greek policy on the Khan-Fisk campaign, is leading efforts to create the council.
Jukneviciute, who is a sister in Kappa Kappa Gamma, said the goal of the council is not to consolidate the different Greek organizations, but instead to open a forum for collaboration.
“This is going to be a place for them to just share ideas and support each other and each other’s efforts,” Jukneviciute said. “If one organization is hosting an event for example, it’d be a great way for other organizations to find out about it and support each other and increase turnout.”
Khan said GUSA would play a role in the council by supporting the organizations and offering assistance when needed. The benefits GUSA has provided to unrecognized student groups on campus include printing, tabling and booking rooms
“A big part of what GUSA would be there for is to highlight the fact that the student body recognizes the existence of Greek life and what we’re there for is a resource, in terms of co-sponsorship, which is a way to gain access to certain benefits,” Khan said.
GUSA Secretary of Campus Planning Ari Goldstein (COL ’18), who was co-director of policy for Khan and Fisk’s campaign and worked alongside Jukneviciute on Greek policy, said another goal of the council is to foster a culture of respect around Greek life.
“They don’t want recognition but they do want respect, and I think that they deserve respect especially given that almost a thousand students are in Greek life on campus,” Goldstein said.
Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson reaffirmed Georgetown’s opposition to Greek life in a campus-wide email in September.
“And as you make these decisions, we want you to be aware that Georgetown does not support a social Greek system; social fraternities and sororities are not eligible for access to University benefits and do not have University oversight,” Olson wrote.
Goldstein, who also is a brother in Alpha Epsilon Pi, said GUSA is committed to sending out an email in response to Olson’s email at the beginning of the 2016 academic year.
“Enushe and Chris are committed to sending out an email after that saying that we represent students and that means every student, and if you choose to join a Greek organization, we support you in that choice as an individual,” Goldstein said.
Khan said the council would align with Georgetown University’s values and show university administration the positive philanthropic activities in which Greek life organizations participate.
“What you see is that almost all of these organizations’ objectives are very much in line with what Georgetown University as an institution supports and likes to maintain amongst its student body,” Khan said. “So one thing is helping these organizations exist without unnecessary interference from the administration.”
President of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity Devin Baker (MSB ’17), who has yet to decide if SigEp will join the council, said GUSA’s efforts serve an important role if the council’s mission lines up with the fraternity’s values and practices.
“I think there is a level where everyone benefits, but we all are different and we stand for things that others don’t,” Baker said. “We all stand for generally good things but again, we operate differently.”
Kappa Kappa Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta and Alpha Phi Omega denied requests for comment as of press time.
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