Understanding Sorority Life at George Washington University

With students returning to campus this month, many first-year students are experiencing life on a college campus for the first time.

With that comes a slew of new people, experiences, and challenges that make college time so memorable. For many new students, this includes exploring Greek life and involvement in a fraternity or sorority. 

Greek life is new to many incoming first-year students and a source of anxiety for students trying to find their way through college. To help understand the role that sororities play in campus life at George Washington University, here’s a rundown of some common questions we hear from GW students. 

Are sororities popular at GW?

Sororities are popular among some segments of the undergraduate population at George Washington University, but Greek life isn’t as big at GW as at other more prominent universities. There are fewer sorority chapters at GW than at large public universities, but the branches most prevalent at U.S. colleges and universities are represented at GW. Between sororities and fraternities, there are 34 Greek chapters at GW.

What percent of GW students participate in sororities?

The Division for Student Affairs at George Washington University estimates that around 1,300 students participate in Greek life at GW. Based on current enrollment figures, this amounts to about 11% of all undergraduates. Fewer students participate in Greek life at GW than at many other schools, but that’s partly due to GW’s location in Washington, DC, which offers students an abundance of off-campus social opportunities that aren’t available in smaller college towns. 

What are the benefits of being in a sorority at GW?

Sororities are primarily social organizations, so most students are drawn to sorority life because of the close-knit group of friends it offers within the larger context of campus life. Students who participate in Greek life often find that the friendships they make last long past their time in college at GW. Other benefits include leadership skills and service efforts since most sororities participate in some philanthropic endeavors throughout the year. 

How many sororities are there at GW?

There are 19 sororities at George Washington University. All Greek organizations at GW are governed by one of four governing councils, which coordinate Greek activities and serve as a liaison between the individual chapters and the university. These governing councils include traditional Greek councils and councils specific to multicultural and academic sororities and fraternities on campus. 

The three councils that govern sorority life at George Washington University are the Panhellenic Association, the National Pan-Hellenic Council, and the Multicultural Greek Council. The Panhellenic Association is specific to sororities, while the National Pan-Hellenic Council and Multicultural Greek Council govern fraternities and sororities. 

The 11 sororities at GW governed by the Panhellenic Association (PHA) are:

  1. Alpha Delta Pi
  2. Alpha Epsilon Phi
  3. Alpha Phi
  4. Chi Omega
  5. Kappa Alpha Theta
  6. Kappa Delta
  7. Kappa Kappa Gamma
  8. Pi Beta Phi
  9. Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi
  10. Sigma Delta Tau
  11. Sigma Kappa

The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) governs historically black sororities and fraternities across the country. GW represents 7 of the 9 Greek organizations chartered under the National Pan-Hellenic Council. The three sororities governed by the NPHC at George Washington are:

  1. Alpha Kappa Alpha
  2. Delta Sigma Theta
  3. Zeta Phi Beta

The Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) governs culturally-oriented sororities and fraternities at GW, including chapters for specific racial, ethnic, and social groups on campus. The five sororities governed by the MGC are:

  1. Kappa Phi Lambda
  2. Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/ Lambda Pi Chi
  3. Lambda Theta Alpha
  4. Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas
  5. Sigma Psi Zeta

The other governing council at GW, the Interfraternity Council, governs fraternities on campus. 

When does the sorority rush begin at GW?

The sorority recruitment process at George Washington is managed by the governing councils of the sororities, with the Panhellenic Association having a more formal rush process than the other councils. The PHA has both a Formal Recruitment process, which takes place at the start of the spring semester and an Information Recruitment during the fall. However, not all chapters participate in information recruitment. 

For the Spring 2023 semester, the formal sorority recruitment will take place from January 10th – 15th, during which prospective new members have a chance to meet members of the chapters, participate in social events and learn about the different offerings among the chapters. The process ends with Bid Day when prospective new members are offered a bid to join one of their preferred sororities. 

How much does it cost to join a sorority at GW?

Sorority members at GW can expect to pay a few hundred dollars each semester in membership dues. These dues are often not to the specific George Washington University sorority chapter but go to the sorority’s national headquarters, which manages costs and payments for each university chapter. Beyond membership dues, sorority members can expect to pay out-of-pocket for sorority or council events throughout the year. Membership dues may cover some costs, but others require additional expenses for current members. 

Do sororities have their own houses at GW?

Yes, most sororities at George Washington University have their own house or suite for chapter members. The homes are located in an area known as Townhouse row, which has university-managed townhouses for both fraternities and sororities. The GW sororities with a house in Townhouse Row are:

  1. Alpha Phi
  2. Sigma Kappa
  3. Kappa Delta
  4. Sigma Delta Tau
  5. Alpha Delta Pi

Other housing options include privately owned homes within the bounds of the GW campus or suites within Strong Hall. Three sororities have apartment-style suites within Strong Hall: Chi Omega, Pi Beta Phi, and Kappa Alpha Theta. 

Varsity on K is a pet-friendly building that features studio, 1, 2 & 3-bedroom apartments for rent in the vibrant Foggy Bottom neighborhood.

Other housing options at George Washington University

For Greek and non-Greek students looking for off-campus housing that provides convenient access to campus and an array of floor plan options, there’s no better choice than Varsity on K!

Varsity on K offers quick, convenient access to the George Washington University campus and is a prime destination for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students looking for off-campus housing. Located at 950 24th St NW, Varsity on K is just three blocks from the Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro station and the north side of the George Washington University campus. It is within walking distance of most academic buildings. 

Varsity on K offers modern studio, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments in a historic building that reflects the charm of the Foggy Bottom neighborhood. For information about pricing and availability, contact the Varsity on K team at (866) 656-3764.