edited.Grayscale_Divine9_RebeccaKanaskie2By Lori Wysong

News Editor

The “Divine Nine,” a group of historically black fraternities and sororities, visited Washington College for the first time ever for a meet-and-greet last Thursday.

Representatives of the nine Greek life organizations, brought to the College through the efforts of Lisa Nicole Smith, associate director for multicultural admission, and Sarah Tansits, assistant director of student engagement, were present in the Egg to meet with students. 

The goal of the meet and greet, according to Smith, was “to educate our entire campus about historically Black Greek life.”

“We wanted to make sure that we gave them full access to these different members so that they can ask those important questions and get connected,” she said.

Among those that came were some of the oldest historically black Greek organizations in the country, and together they comprise the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and WC Title IX Coordinator Candace Wannamaker said that the event came about because “Students went to Sarah [Tansits] and said, ‘Wow, I really think this would be a great idea,’ and Sarah jumped on it.”

However, Smith said that there has been interest in black Greek life at WC for longer than that.

“There’s been alumni here who actually can verify they’ve been wanting it for more than 10 years,” she said. “We actually did a blanket of email requests out to as high as statewide levels of people in these organizations, and they actually put in motion the opportunities for different groups to come and visit us.”

“Thank you to the organizations who came out to support this endeavor,” Tansits said. “I greatly appreciate it, not only the organizations coming out but the students.”

Smith and Wannamaker were pleased with the turnout as well. 

“I cannot tell you how happy I am that we had to get more chairs and tables out,” Wannamaker said. “For me, this is definitely a success to see all of you in this room so interested in this new venture that WC is really looking forward to.” 

While there is currently no definitive plan for any of the “Divine Nine” organizations to establish themselves at WC, Smith said “If it is to happen, then this is the start.” 

Wannamaker said that this event was part of a larger effort to increase diversity and inclusion at WC. 

“While these are historically African American organizations, they are not only open to African American people,” Smith said. “Every organization has people from different colors, backgrounds, religious traditions — we’re open to those things because we realize that that’s the state of our world, we want to be connected.”

ffort to increase diversity and inclusion at WC. 

“While these are historically African American organizations, they are not only open to African American people,” Smith said. “Every organization has people from different colors, backgrounds, religious traditions — we’re open to those things because we realize that that’s the state of our world, we want to be connected.”

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