New Fraternities Diversify Greek Life at GU
Published: Friday, September 7, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 22:09
Though SAE is mainly a social fraternity, the members participate in community service and organize philanthropy events. The group plans to partner with the Children’s Miracle Network and the Wounded Warrior Project, a program that provides services to injured soldiers as they transition to civilian life.
According to Keenum, maintaining the national traditions of the fraternity while beginning new traditions at a non-Greek school will serve as both a challenge and an advantage.
“We want to be unique, and we still want to follow the SAE traditions and have our own identity,” Keenum said. “This environment allows us to be ourselves within a national organization.”
SAE has come under scrutiny in the last year because of its hazing habits at other colleges. The brothers at Georgetown said they believe that this is where Georgetown’s unusual atmosphere could be an advantage.
“At a traditionally Greek school, you have certain expectations. Here, since we don’t have that … we [have] the ability to do all the good stuff without doing all the bad stuff,” Baker said.
With a turnout of over 100 people at the Student Activities Fair, SAE will likely expand greatly from its current 39 members.
Meanwhile, PIA, which is the oldest Latino fraternity in existence, appeals to a more specific community at Georgetown.
Veliz said he believes that Phi Iota Alpha offers a unique way for members to embrace Latin culture.
“[PIA’s] goal is to cultivate young Latinos into men with high moral values who are leaders and professionals in their communities,” Veliz wrote in an email.
Throughout the semester, PIA’s six brothers will focus on celebrating and sharing Latino culture and history with other Georgetown students. They plan to fundraise for nonprofit organizations, host celebrations for Latino events and educate the campus about Latino history on a weekly basis though Twitter and Facebook.
They did not set up a table at the Student Activities Fair and do not plan to actively recruit new members.
“Recruitment is largely internal. The group hasn’t come to a decision about what we should do. Membership is open to everyone, but the process itself is intended to be self-selective,” Veliz said. “We think that for new students coming here [who] would be first-semester freshmen, it would be a huge commitment — one they might not be ready for.”
As the two groups continue to grow, Zack Hubbard (MSB ’13), president of Sigma Phi Epsilon, said he is happy to see other Greek organizations on campus.
“We love to see more fraternities starting at Georgetown, because having more students in Greek life gives the university and administration the opportunity to see that there are a lot of positives that come with fraternities and sororities,” Hubbard said.