Greeks push to raise academic standard

Greeks push to raise academic standard

by Brandon Newell

Greek members are increasing their emphasis on academics with praise and punishement, a practice that is seeing positive effects in the all-Greek GPA.

“The all-Greek grade average last semester increased from a 3.146 GPA in the spring of 2001 to a 3.182 GPA in the fall of 2002,” said sophomore Panhellenic Council and Kappa Kappa Gama member Melissa Hake.

The rise in Greek grades is not merely luck according to Assistant Dean of Students Rich Ramos.

“The Panhellenic Council has set up a more rigorous formal study plan where members are really pushing to maintain academic integrity,” said Ramos

“Interfraternity Council has implemented different things,” said junior and council member Justin Johnson. “The goal of pursuing a 3.00 in all mens’ houses has almost been met and a big attribute is the scholarship program with the house scholarship chairs acting as a liaison to update on round tables production.”

According to Christine Walsh, KKG scholarship chair, the Greeks are rewarded for keeping their grades high.

“The all-women’s Greek GPA has regularly been above the all-campus GPA,” said Walsh.

Walsh said KKG members take part in activities within their chapter such as required study hours, minimum GPA requirements for active membership, in-house tutoring, and incentives to go to class and get good grades.

“Every semester we have a scholarship banquet to recognize members that made the President’s List and Dean’s List, or members that had above the all-campus average or who greatly improved their GPA,” said Walsh. “We also give out pearls to put on our badges to those members that received GPA’s of 3.7 and above for two consecutive semesters.”

Alpha Tau Omega president Matt DeWolf said they have many similarities with KKG’s programs in hopes that new rewards will upgrade their academic achievements.

“Right now we, as a fraternity, have increased a little over .1 in our GPA,” said DeWolf. “Last fall a monetary program was implemented where money was given out for grades, like $500 for a 4.0 GPA and the highest GPA in each class gets free books paid for by the fraternity.”

“To achieve these goals we’re really cracking down on study tables to make sure members are going and if they aren’t there are new increased penalties in monetary value or kitchen duty,” said DeWolf.

The Panhellenic Council and Interfraternity Council are working cooperatively to enhance study skills among all Greeks.

A stiff competition drives some incentive to be the best in the campus fraternities and sororities.

“A grade cup is offered to the highest fraternity and sorority,” said Johnson. “What it really provides is the bragging rights among the other associations and we use it as a motivational tool which allows us to maintain our average equal to or higher than the campus average,” he said.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon president Nate Boulton echoed support for the grade cup.

“The Grade Cup is a great incentive itself. I think every house knows how important it is and how holding it positively affects your house’s image, both internally and externally,” said Boulton.