Eta Tau Chapter was founded at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. on October 26, 2013.
227 initiates as of (June 2018)
Georgetown University is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit institution of higher learning in the United States. John Carroll’s founding of Georgetown College coincides with the birth of the U.S. In 1789, Carroll secured the deed to 60 acres of land on a hilltop overlooking the village of Georgetown. Classes began in 1792. Within the first year, attendance grew to more than 40 students from as far away as the West Indies. In 1817, the school awarded its first two bachelor’s degrees.
The Civil War (1861-1865) nearly closed Georgetown, as the student body dropped from 313 to 17 between 1859 and 1861. A total of 1,141 students and alumni enlisted in the war, serving in both the Union and Confederate forces. After the Second Battle of Bull Run (Manassas) in 1862, several campus buildings were turned into a temporary hospital. To celebrate the end of the Civil War, Georgetown students selected the colors blue (Union) and gray (Confederate) as the school’s official colors in 1876.
Georgetown established the School of Medicine in 1851 and the Law School in 1870. Patrick F. Healy, S.J., the university’s president between 1873 and 1882, was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. and the first to head a major U.S. university. The university’s expansion continued into the 20th century with the opening of the School of Dentistry in 1901, School of Nursing in 1903 and the School of Foreign Service in 1919.
By 1930, enrollment reached 2,600. However, the Great Depression was a period of great consolidation for Georgetown as enrollment fell to fewer than 2,000 students. During World War II, the U.S. War Department designated Georgetown as one of a select number of universities to house the Army Specialized Training Program. More than 75 percent of students enrolled in the 1943-44 academic year were military servicemen. During the 1944-45 academic year, women were allowed to enroll in the School of Foreign Service. The years after World War II saw another increase in enrollment and expansion of the university. Georgetown created the School of Business Administration and the School for Summer and Continuing Education in the 1950s. Across the nation, the 1960s were shaped by the emergence of revolutionary ideas and social upheaval. Georgetown students were on campus when the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy took place. The women’s movement began to take hold, and women were accepted to the College for the first time in 1969.
Students demonstrated against the Vietnam War in the 1970s, causing some disruptions to classes and campus life. By the end of the decade, most of the anger and discontent had been redirected into positive social action. The 1980s were a time of tremendous growth on campus. During the university’s bicentennial year (1988-89), U.S. President Ronald Reagan provided the opening address to kick off the yearlong celebration, the culmination of which included a reunion ball with more than 3,500 guests at D.C.’s Union Station. The 1980s also began a golden age in two traditional sports at Georgetown. Under coaches John Thompson, Jr., and Frank Gagliano, basketball and track, respectively, enjoyed unprecedented periods of success from the early 1980s well into the 1990s.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Georgetown saw significant increases in the diversity of its students and faculty as it grew from a regional school to one of national prominence. Women also greatly increased their numbers within the faculty during the nineties, making up nearly 40 percent by 2001. In 2001, John J. DeGioia, Ph.D., became Georgetown’s 48th, and first lay, president.
Georgetown has grown to be a major international research university with eight schools, an affiliated hospital and many highly ranked academic programs. Today the university has more than 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who take classes at five locations: Main Campus, Medical Center, Law Center, GU-Northern Virginia and the university’s School of Foreign Service-Qatar. Georgetown has a large and diverse workforce that employs more than 5,000 faculty and staff members.
Presentation: Kappa Kappa Gamma is the first NPC group to install and have a chapter at Georgetown. Fraternity President Julie Marine Leshay, Colorado College, received email communication on May 3, 2013, from Georgetown students Carrie Cosgrove, Katherine Steininger and Bayla Pidgeon stating an interested group of women were vested in bringing a chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma to Georgetown. Prior to the Fraternity learning of this interest group’s intent, these women had reached out to the proper authority from National Panhellenic Conference and the Georgetown Student Affairs Office and received permission to contact Kappa Kappa Gamma.
On July 1, 2013, Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity was in receipt of a petition that a charter be granted to an interest group of unaffiliated students at Georgetown. On July 11, 2013, the Fraternity Council, Region 2 directors and Lambda Province directors unanimously voted in favor to approve the petition that a charter be granted to the interest group of unaffiliated students at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Date the invitation to colonize was received: July 1, 2013 (First email contact was May 3, 2013.) Date of the Fraternity Council vote to accept the invitation and proceed to colonize and establish a chapter: July 11, 2013
The chapter was colonized from a petition received from an interest group of unaffiliated Georgetown women students. Individual prospective member “Kappa Conversations” or interviews took place on August 31. This team was led by Extension Chairman Barb Adams Goettelman, Syracuse, with the help of Chapter Consultant Rebecca Shaw, Virginia Tech; Coordinator of Chapter Development Cori Egnew Woods, Richmond; Washington, D.C. - Suburban Maryland Alumnae Association President ViVi Tran, Central Florida; Gamma Chi Chapter Council Adviser Lee Bobbitt, Texas Tech; Diana Gale, North Carolina; Jen Stolp, UC Davis; Lambda East Province Director Libby Weith, Furman; Lambda Province Director of Alumnae Hilda Crucett Garrett, William & Mary; Lambda Coordinator of Chapter Support Adrienne Taylor Magnuson, West Virginia; members of Gamma Chi Chapter at George Washington University and Headquarters staff implemented this colonization plan specific to the needs of the first NPC sorority at Georgetown. Invitations to membership were extended and returned by 3 p.m. on August 31. Formal Pledging took place the afternoon of September 1 on the Georgetown campus led by Barb Goettelman. Bid Day activities, games and fun followed by a reception with desserts from Georgetown Cupcake planned by Cori Woods and Rebecca Shaw.
The sponsor chapter for Eta Tau is Gamma Chi at George Washington University. Gamma Chi members attended both Formal Pledging and interview day on August 31 and played an instrumental and important an important part in Installation Weekend which took place October 25 and 26.
The Fireside Service and Installation Service were held at the Georgetown Hotel and Conference Center with members of Gamma Chi serving as the sponsoring chapter. The weekend was led by Fraternity President Julie Leshay; Director of Membership Susan Pile, Miami (Ohio); Fraternity Ritual Chairman Susanne Wolff Vander Heyden, Washington State; Barb Goettelman; Installation Chairman Vicki Tallman Egnew, Ohio State; Region 2 Director of Chapters Lesley Dillon Lage, Akron; Region 2 Director of Alumnae Selena Staley Myers, Akron; Hilda Garrett; Libby Weith; Rebecca Shaw; and Cori Woods.
A beautiful installation brunch was held at the Georgetown Hotel and Conference Center. Barb Goettelman was the toastmistress. Fraternity President Julie Leshay welcomed Kappa to the campus and spoke about how the Fraternity fits into Georgetown’s campus life.
ViVi Tran presented the President’s badge to Eta Tau president Jessica Michael at the brunch. The model chapter meeting followed at the Georgetown Hotel and Conference Center with Fraternity President Julie Leshay presiding. Following her installation as Eta Tau’s president, Jessica Michael presided and closed the meeting.
Alumna’s thoughts about being a part of the new Eta Tau Chapter: Rebecca Shaw knew how special the weekend was for the charter members of Eta Tau. “I could see how each of the 24 women was hanging on to every word. It was a proud moment to see how much they wanted this membership in Kappa and just how appreciative they were.” Charter members’ thoughts about becoming Kappas: On June 21, 2013, Carrie Cosgrove shared: Our first vision is creating an opportunity unique to Georgetown’s campus which is bringing together girls with different interests and views. Georgetown’s student life is group-centric in the sense that students tend to meet and befriend only those classmates who share a common interest or view, e.g. soccer, international relations, political parties and so on. This can be a wonderful opportunity to meet others who share a particular interest as you, but we have few-to-no options for girls to be brought together from all different branches of interests. We see Kappa as a way to bring together the women’s community of Georgetown in a way that doesn’t exist currently.
Secondly, we want to make sisterhood the most integral part of our future chapter. We want our sisters to be there for one another in every way possible, so we hope to implement academic and social support. The stress of Georgetown can bear down on anyone at any moment, and there is nothing better than having someone right there willing to help. Whether it would be tutoring in a specific subject, designated Kappa quiet study space during midterms and finals or emotional support from another sister, we see all of these possibilities and necessities in such a rigorous university. Also falling under our sisterhood importance, we would like Kappa to help younger students in their transition to Georgetown and college life. There are innumerable times that freshman and sophomores seek guidance from an older student, and we hope that our Kappa girls have the smoothest transition possible due to the advice and support of the older sisters and, in the future, Kappa alumnae. We desire to create true, loving bonds of friendship in Kappa.
This past year has been full of new experiences as the charter class at Georgetown University. Our instillation date on October 26th officially brought us together as sisters with the help of fraternity president Julie Leshay, our chapter adviser Rebecca Shaw, and our sisters from George Washington University. Our class spent many hours laughing over painting crafts and monthly dinners in our dining hall during our new member period. For Thanksgiving, we had a potluck dinner, which we hope can become a tradition. In celebration of a great first semester as Kappas; we enjoyed an off-campus holiday dinner together. At the year-end dinner we exchanged “Secret Sister” gifts, which we hope, will become an Eta Tau tradition. We are excited to see what this new year will bring.
As the first sorority on Georgetown’s campus, we are excited to be setting a new precedence. We spent the last few months getting to know each other and getting to know Kappa. We are excited to continue to learn about Kappa Kappa Gamma’s values and are so thankful for the support we have received from our many sisters working in the greater Washington D.C. area. We are a loyal, committed, and enthusiastic founding chapter, and we are excited to welcome a new group of women this spring.
We began the year welcoming 47 new members into the Beta pledge class. Bid Day occurred on Feb. 2nd and was an exciting afternoon filled with laughter, smiles, and picture taking. Then we had big little reveal on Feb 27th, which was one of the most fun evenings of last year! Next, we had our philanthropy event for the semester. We went to a local elementary school in DC where we read to kids and donated books to their school. It was inspiring to see so many Kappas passionate about helping Reading is Fundamental. Then we had our spring formal, which was a blast! Next was initiation, a special time for everyone as the Beta class officially joined the family. Over the summer, we sent five girls to represent Eta Tau and the Kappa Convention in Houston, Texas. The girls learned so much about their respective positions and how to benefit the chapter as a whole. Beginning the next semester, we went to the Founders Day event that the local DC Kappa Alumni group hosted. It was so amazing to see how ladies are so passionate about Kappa even beyond their college years. Then we had our winter formal in December and it was a wonderful evening full of sisterhood and friends.
Now for our chapter goals. We first off wanted to improve knowledge of ritual across the entire chapter. We worked on this goal by our Marshal having office hours where she let people learn more about it and answered any questions members might have had. We also wanted to improve sisterhood within the chapter. We worked on this goal by increasing the number of sisterhood events per month and thinking of creative of fun activities to do as a whole chapter. For example, our VPS scheduled a Kappa Halloween pumpkin carving activity one night in October that all of our sisters loved!
We recently gained more rights as a non recognized student group on campus. For instance, we now have the ability to table at more places on campus and rent out rooms. We owe this progress to the student government here at Georgetown. Another change that occurred this past year was a big one: the addition of another Panhellinc sorority here on campus, Kappa Alpha Theta. With this addition we expanded greek life and welcomed new friends into our lives. This makes two Panhellenic sororities here at Georgetown now. The establishment of Theta also led to the beginnings of the formation of a Panhellenic Council later in the year. We elected two members from our Chapter to represent Kappa on the council. Our chapter consists of over a 100 passionate girls that form a powerful presence of campus by having high standards of academic excellence and crazy, fun sisterhood events that bring us closer to our sisters each day. I know that each and everyone of my sisters would say that joining Kappa has been one of their best choices of their college life.
We hold chapter meetings in a University classroom on campus that we reserve each week. We do not have a house.
2015 has been huge for Eta Tau! In this past year we saw the addition of two new pledge classes, the Gammas and the Deltas, adding lovely new sisters to our growing chapter. We were so excited to expand our chapter and its crazy to see how much we have grown in just two short years. We now have over 130 members.
We started out 2015 with recruitment in January, which went great! We especially enjoyed the help of our LC SE. She went own to visit us multiple times including initiation to help us set up a perfect welcome to our new members. In February we hosted a casino night philanthropy event that was a huge success, thanks to our philanthropy chair of the time, Tiana Chan! Now it was time for initiation, which went was a wonderful time filled with kappa ritual and sisterhood bonding, all thanks to our marshal, Charlotte Kirks.
Next we had our spring formal in April where Cara and Nina worked extremely hard to put on a fun night for everyone! When we came back to school in late august we went straight into recruitment workshops and then recruitment itself. It was a huge success as we came out with 30 new delta class members. Hannah Smith did a wonderful job with recruitment and Jaclyn successfully led the new members into the new member period by planning an awesome bid day and big little reveal. We then had semi formal for the first time in October, which not surprising was another fun night full of sisterhood and dancing! Then came initiation again, and then the nominating committee began the elections process. We are so excited for our new officers and know that they will do amazing things for this chapter! We ended the year by having our winter formal in December at a nightclub in Dupont Circle, which was amazing as always. Now finals are coming up as 2015 comes to a close, we cant wait to see how our chapter grows in 2016!
Georgetown Panhellenic changed the times of recruitment from Spring to Fall. So this year was our first fall recruitment cycle and it went perfectly! We gained a wonderful new delta pledge class of about 30 girls. We also received a Kappa transfer from Wake Forest, Emily Cahill. We are so excited to welcome her into our chapter and have her join our sisterhood.
What organization(s) has your chapter historically/traditionally raised money for, or donated hours to, in your community? We organized our first annual Kappa Karnival last spring to benefit the DC Women’s Rape Crisis Center where we raised more than 1000 dollars for them. We decided to make this our signature philanthropy event and will be doing it every spring.
This year, at the Kappa Kappa Gamma Convention, the Eta Tau chapter was award the Recruitment Award for chapters at colleges and universities with less than 6 chapters. Additionally, the chapter received Honorable Mention for the Gracious Living Award for unhoused Kappa Kappa Gamma chapters.
In the fall, over half of the active members received one of these academic distinctions - and we also celebrated the fact that Kappa was #1 sorority on campus for academics, with an average GPA of 3.574 for the Spring 2016 semester. Throughout each semester, we also booked group study rooms in the library, providing a great place for members of the chapter to study together. Finally, we hosted a number of study breaks throughout the two semesters, encouraging sisters to take a little time off from studying for midterms or finals to spend time with sisters and receive appreciative small gifts (food, mugs, etc.) from the chapter.
Over the course of the past year, the Eta Tau chapter has has engaged in a number of philanthropic engagements, independently and in partnership with other Greek and student organizations.
Eta Tau has continued its commitment to volunteering for Reading is Fundamental, the fratenity's philanthropy. This fall, Eta Tau went to Beer's elementary school in DC to read to children for the afternoon, and to donate a number of books to the public elementary school.
Eta Tau hosts an annual Kappa Karnival as its signature philanthrophy event. This April, our chapter hosted our Carnival to benefit the Dog Tag Bakery, a philanthrophic bakery that trains, educates, and employs veterans and their caregivers. Additionally, in the spring semster, members of Eta Tau chapter participated in a Georgetown neighborhood cleanup to promote the chapter and greek life's positive impact in the community. In late April, the chapter participated in Georgetown University's Relay for Life fundraiser; Kappa Kappa Gamma was one of the top five fundraising group participants in the fundraiser.
This fall, Eta Tau hosted a charity yoga event in partnership with Georgetown University's Relay for Life student organization at Down Dog, a local Georgetown yoga studio. Eta Tau worked in partnership with DC Reads, a student organization working to provide mentorship and tutoring to underprivileged children in the DC metropolian area to run a face-painting booth at the organization's "Fall Fest". In the fall semster, Eta Tau chapter maintained its efforts to engage in philanthropic partnerships with Greek organizations on campus. Most notably, Eta Tau sustained its commitment to philanthropic involvement with Georgetown University's Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter. In October, Eta Tau ran a bake sale station at Sigma Phi Epsilon's Halloween 5K, benefitting the Doorways Foundation, an organization providing protection to survivors of domestic violence. In November, our chapter paired with Sigma Phi Epsilon to donate sandwich meals to a local food bank.
Why did your chapter choose this organization(s) to support? We believe that it represents an important cause to benefit given the current political and social climate in colleges across the nation. Also our philanthropy chair sent out a poll asking which place chapter members wanted to benefit and the most people said the DC Women’s Rape Crisis Center.
For Eta Tau, 2017 was an exciting year: old traditions were celebrated, new traditions were initiated, and our sisterhood continues to strengthen. Chapter Council 2017 approached this year with fresh, exciting ideas, and it has been wonderful seeing these new traditions brought to fruition.
Throughout the year, we participated in and held several events that have focused on improving our chapter’s commitment to philanthropy, academic excellence, Panhellenic relations, and member development through sisterhood. To name a few, we hosted a Galentine’s Day sisterhood event, celebrated academic excellence with new professional development initiatives and two Academic Excellence Banquets, professional headshots, a trip to the movies, monthly book club meetings, several study breaks, a Dinner with Seven Sisters event, a women’s workwear workshop, our first chapter RIF event, a sisterhood pumpkin painting night, participated in other organizations’ philanthropy events, hosted our first annual Family Weekend Brunch, and so much more. To strengthen Panhellenic relations, Panhellenic planned the first ever meet-and-greet for our Chapter Council and Kappa Alpha Theta’s executive board, two Panhellenic pizza parties, Panhellenic office hours, and various other opportunities for members of both Panhellenic chapters to mingle and learn more about Panhellenic.
This April, some of our Chapter Council officers traveled to Pittsburgh for the very first Kappa Leadership Conference. These officers brought back with them new ideas that they immediately began implementing in our chapter to promote leadership and membership development. Additionally, we welcomed two Leadership Consultants, who each served as valuable resources for our chapter. With their guidance, we began new initiatives to enhance our chapter’s understanding of Fraternity Ritual – several ritual reviews, the Marshal Minute, and several forms of trivia regarding Fraternity history and ritual.
With our many successes, we certainly had our fair share of challenges this year, specifically with regards to budgeting. Unfortunately, we had fewer funds than we originally anticipated at the start of the fall semester, resulting in budget cuts. Despite this challenge, our Chapter Council, specifically our Treasurer and Assistant Treasurers, worked diligently to collaborate and find innovative ways to continue having fun events with fewer funds. This challenge in particular encouraged our Chapter Council to be as transparent as possible with Chapter members regarding Chapter finances. Additionally, with several pervasive issues surrounding our nation today, regarding feminism, diversity, and inclusivity, our Chapter has worked to address these issues and ensure that Kappa is a safe space where each member feels her voice is heard – specifically, through addressing all concerns brought through the anonymous Standards and Chapter Council forms, creating discussions surrounding women in the workplace and chapter issues, discussing ways we can introduce more inclusive language day to day, and feminist role model presentations.
In April, we said goodbye to 37 extraordinary seniors who created a lasting impact in our chapter. Through Fall Recruitment, we welcomed 34 incredible women into our chapter. They are dynamic, diverse, and wonderful young women who we are proud to welcome into our sisterhood. We are incredibly excited to see the impact they make in our chapter’s future.
With 2017 coming to a close, it has been remarkable to reflect on this year and see our chapter’s efforts to continue being a steadfast home to each and every member in our chapter. We are hopeful and excited that 2018 will be a year full of even more innovation in our chapter, with an unwavering commitment to Kappa Kappa Gamma’s ideals and values.
In 2017, Kappa Kappa Gamma Eta Tau has continued to develop through a variety of opportunities both on and off campus and seeks to make the chapter increasingly more inclusive.
Chapter Council altered their style of discussion to a more discussion-based platform which allows for increased dialogue regarding the challenges that our chapter faces most often. Our leadership is ultimately working toward a more collaborative environment to become more socio-economically accessible to all and retain more members long-term. These efforts hope to create a more cohesive chapter in the overall.
Eta Tau has implemented a lot of organizational changes aimed at creating a more efficient chapter. Our total shift to the GIN system is almost complete; we have successfully uploaded all documents, forms, and calendars to that system. Our last remaining step is to send all chapter correspondence out using the GIN interface, which should be complete by the end of this academic year. The usage of committees has also been improved; new members have been assigned to committees and committee heads have been working to better communication with their committee members, as well as better utilize the resources they provide. We have also implemented a new "committee recap" system in chapter, where one member of each committee stands up in chapter to recap what has been discussed in their meeting. This practice aims to increase regular chapter member participation. By the end of this academic year, we aim to implement positions within each committee to assign tasks and responsibilities to better engage chapter members with leadership roles. All these efforts to increase chapter participation aim to culminate in a greater effort on the part of the chapter to get to know our next LC.
In the fall, over half of our active members received an academic distinction. We also celebrated Eta Tau's average GPA of a 3.578. Throughout each semester, we provided chapter members with a number of opportunities to excel academically and professional. We booked private study rooms in the library for Kappa use only, debuted a number of initiatives, such as the Study Abroad Spreadsheet, Major Buddies, Senior Coffee Chats, and KKG Alumni Network, and hosted a number of study breaks for members.
Furthermore, this year our chapter continued to work towards the preservation of ritual and history despite our relatively new establishment. After our Registrar and Marshal reorganized and took inventory of our off-campus storage unit, we were able to purchase new white ropes for our 34 initiates to use at our recent initiation on November 11. This was by far our most successful and efficient initiation to date with every member of the Zeta pledge class being initiated together. Three new members' moms were able to attend Fireside and Initiation: Francesca Kehoe, Lindsey Schneider, and Peyton Shelburne. Out of 34 new members, 28 ordered fraternity badges. Additionally, we now have a t-shirt blanket to use at recruitment that depicts the variety of events that our chapter has held over the past 4 years.
In addition to welcoming 34 new members into our chapter this fall, Eta Tau has continued to make strides with our public relations. This year public relations has increased dramatically as we continue to build a positive relationship with the university administration. We have worked to ensure this by creating an online store to give members access to merchandise to represent our chapter on campus, designing and purchasing a banner to put up during all Kappa Kappa Gamma events, purchasing a camera for the chapter's use to increase the photos that our chapter has, and increasing the understanding across the chapter of the importance of positive imaging online and across campus. Finally, we will be holding a hot chocolate event for all students during finals week as a stress reliever and to exhibit the positivity that Kappa Kappa Gamma brings to Georgetown's campus.
The Education Chair and programming committee have also become a larger, more dynamic presence in our chapter. Every month there has been at least one programming night per month where we incorporate Georgetown's motto of cura personalis, or care of the whole person, into our programming events. For example, we've had personal gender based violence presentations, discussions about sexual assault, SoulCycle classes, documentary screenings, improv troupes leading us in team bonding exercises, and wellness workshops in order to try and foster a sense of holistic well-being amongst our sisters. We have laughed, bonded, and learned the value of balance through these monthly events.
In terms of senior programming, we've placed a large emphasis on senior sisterhood with manicure events and self-defense workshops, as well as a bonding-based senior orientation. We have also continued doing senior wills, senior gifts, family letters, and a then-and-now style slideshow, to celebrate our graduating sisters. Additionally, we've celebrated Founders Day in a meaningful way; we've partnered with surrounding alumna associations to commemorate our founders with a chapter-wide dinner, presentations on the six founders accompanied by trivia and giveaways, and a thoughtful ceremony. We continued the tradition of doing Founders Day awards, where we celebrate the traits of our 6 founders and present the women in our chapter who also possess those traits with commemorative posters.
Outside of chapter and senior programming, the committee has continued to have a positive impact on our chapter's culture. We have started a monthly book klub, Wellness-Wednesdays, our first annual Family Weekend Open House at the local coffee shop, our First Annual Secret Snowflake gift giving event, feminist role model presentations during elections, and more. By starting all of these new sisterhood- and empowerment- focused events, the education chair and programming committee have certainly increased their presence in Eta Tau.
Overall, we look forward to the positive impacts that 2018 Chapter Council and all members will make to continue this progress next year.
During this past year, Eta Tau has engaged in philanthropy and service for others in a variety of ways both on and off campus. In addition to each member completing service hours that often included unique and interesting clubs outside of our chapter, we have collectively partnered with other Greek and non-Greek organizations, raised awareness about important causes, and donated money through fundraising efforts.
In the spring of 2017, we focused primarily on Kappa Karnival which took place in April. For our annual Kappa Karnival on April 1st, we secured a co-sponsorship with Georgetown University Hawaii Club and donated all of the proceeds to Kahumana, a non-profit in Oahu whose mission is to co-create a healthy, inclusive, and productive, farm-based community with homeless families, people with disabilities, and children. We raised and donated $2000 to Kahumana. The event itself was a huge success, as we had the biggest turnout of any of our Karnivals to date, with participation from all of Georgetown's Greek organizations as well.
In the fall of 2017, we spent most of our energy aiding Reading is Fundamental. We raised about $800 dollars to go to the national RIF organization through our Family Weekend Brunch in addition to hosting a book drive that received about 250 books that will be going to DC Preparatory School. We crafted bookmarks in both the spring and the fall which will be going to DC Prep as well. Eta Tau also hosted a Reading is Fundamental station at the Center for Social Justice’s Fall Fest where the entire chapter came to do Mad-Libs, read fortunes, and play basketball with elementary school children in the CSJ’s tutoring programs.
Eta Tau has also been a helping hand to other organizations on campus this year. We purchased 50 books for the Center for Social Justice last spring to help them finish their book wish list for tutors to read with students. Our chapter members signed up to run Sigma Phi Epsilon’s annual Halloween 5k in which all the proceeds go to Doorways for Women and Children, an organization that provides protection to survivors of domestic violence. We also hosted a bake sale at the 5k. Additionally, we participated in Delta Phi Epsilon’s collection of pads for the homeless. Our chapter collected a total of 45 boxes of pads that went to N Street Village, a Washington D.C. shelter that aims to empower homeless and low-income women.
Our chapter has engaged with other off-campus organizations by raising $1040 for a young Zambian girl named Advent through Save the Children in the spring. We collected food donations for Washington D.C. Capital Food Bank this Thanksgiving season. We collected a total of 113 boxes and cans of goods for the food bank. We have also planned to sponsor nine children from the Georgetown School of Nursing Angel Tree to buy them presents for the upcoming holiday season.
Finally, we engaged with our local chapter of Relay for Life. Georgetown's Relay for Life, which was held on April 21st and raised over $100,000, $9,824 of which was raised by our Eta Tau team. At the event, many women from our chapter painted faces, participated in the Luminaria Ceremony, and cheered on one of our own in the Survivors Lap. This fall, our team has already raised $605 for the 2018 Relay for Life event.
Eta Tau looked both close to and far from home this year when selecting organizations to support. While we hold our commitment to RIF, Relay for Life, and other Greek organizations constant year to year, Kahumana, Georgetown's Center for Social Justice, Save the Children, Washington D.C. Capital Food Bank, and the upcoming Angel Tree were suggested to the chapter by our very own sisters. Working with organizations close to the hearts of our members is a phenomemenal way to keep them involved in our philanthrophic pursuits.
Eta Tau proudly completed its first COB in the spring of 2018 and welcomed 15 new members. These women are some of the most involved and dedicated in our chapter, and they are incredibly special to us as our first COB class.
The President, Marshal and Membership chair traveled to Denver to celebrate Kappa Convention, where our chapter won the Best Recruitment Award and an Honorable Mention for standards.
In the fall, our chapter celebrated its 5th birthday, and we welcomed 28 new girls in our Eta class. We increased our philanthropy efforts exponentially by volunteering weekly at a bilingual preschool in DC and reading to the students there.
Despite efforts by the university to suppress Greek life, membership numbers are growing and chapters are gaining public recognition from other on campus groups. The chapter has a high morale at the moment and is excited to welcome back 20+ girls who were studying abroad during the fall semester.