University fraternities and sororities received higher fall semester grade averages than non-Greek students, according to a report released Jan. 16.
The report, which was released by the Greek Council, indicates the combined Greek GPA average was 2.87 last semester, an increase from 2.73 in fall 2011 and 2.80 in fall 2010. Jesse Cler, Inter-Greek Council president and senior from Penfield studying economics, said fraternities and sororities generally post higher GPAs than other campus members, but they performed exceptionally well in the fall semester.
“In order to be in a fraternity or sorority on campus, it requires at least 2.5 grade point averages,” he said. “So we hold ourselves at a high standard for academics because that’s the number one reason we’re here at school.”
All Greek life members are required to attend academic speaker presentations and are offered academic opportunities, such as study groups, by Inter-Greek Council academics sub-chairs, he said.
“We did even better than we have in the past, so we’re very proud of that and we really worked hard on grades, meeting a lot of different standards and requirements to get those grades,” Cler said.
Andy Morgan, fraternity and sorority life coordinator, said Greek pledges need a 2.5 GPA to join a fraternity or sorority, and members must uphold similar or improved results each semester. Fraternities and sororities provide structured academic programs, so studies are a weekly focus, he said.
“I think that’s a testament that our fraternities and sororities are recruiting better students, and they’re doing a better job educating their new members on academics,” he said.
Morgan said the groups’ average GPAs were the highest he has seen in the last three years. Pledges showed higher fall semester GPAs than most of last semester’s initiated members.
Nicholas Simpson, Iota Phi Theta president and a senior from Homewood studying political science, said fraternities and sororities also manage their own requirements to achieve academic success. Simpson said his fraternity, which received the highest GPA average last semester, had two-hour study sections Mondays through Thursdays, and members attended at least twice a week. The fraternity kept an attendee record, he said, and students worked with non-fraternity members if they needed help studying.
Simpson said Greeks wanted to prove they can achieve good grades and use new initiatives to show the university their positive side.
“We’re trying to put together a book club for students on campus, so the common reader and everyone can come together to think about higher reading or higher discussion,” Simpson said.
Morgan said high GPA averages are nothing new with Greek groups, and the trend is likely to continue.
“Research shows that when students are involved in campus organizations, they typically have higher than average grade point averages,” he said. “Our students who are involved with fraternities and sororities back that research.”