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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Greeks’ GPAs lower than other students

    Greek students have lower grade point averages than students not in fraternities and sororities, according to a report published by Greek Life and the Registrar’s Office last week.

    To monitor the academics of greek chapters on campus, the Registrar’s Office publishes a report of fraternity and sorority grade point averages, said Tanner Marcantel, Greek Life graduate assistant at the Greek Life Office.

    The average grade point average for members of Greek Life for Fall 2005 was 2.803, according to the report. The average GPA for all UA undergraduate students is 2.929, according to the Registrar’s Office.

    Gary Ballinger, Greek Life program coordinator, said the report will be used to compare the academic performance of the fraternities and sororities nationally and locally as well as with the rest of the UA.

    “”Ultimately, we’d like to see equal or above,”” he said.

    The average GPAs ranged from 1.74 to 3.318, according to the list.

    Ballinger said the GPA report is used as a recruitment tool, because potential members and parents usually look at the GPAs when they’re posted on the Greek Life Web site to see how students involved in Greek Life perform academically.

    Pi Kappa Phi President Tyson Myers said he was excited his fraternity ranked in first place with a GPA of 2.878, but he thought the chapter’s 123 members could do better.

    “”Personally, I think it’s still low, (so) I was surprised to see we were first, but it’s still cool to be first,”” he said.

    Myers said he considered anything under a 3.00 low. He added that he thought the fraternity average did not reflect the grades of the majority of the members and that the men who got 4.00s last semester probably did not feel represented by the chapter’s average.

    Amanda Droopad, president of Theta Nu Xi, which placed first among the sororities with a GPA of 3.318, said she agreed with Myers and said she knew her sorority sisters could do even better.

    “”We have a good average GPA, but we have a lot to strive for,”” she said.

    She added that because her sorority only has four members, the chapter’s average GPA can fluctuate.

    Because they have a small membership, one person’s GPA could easily bring down everyone else’s, she said. But at the same time, their small membership meant there were fewer women to worry about staying on task.

    Droopad said Theta Nu Xi used many of the resources offered by the Greek Life Office to keep its high rank. She said members participate in a program called Strive For Xi, where students get incentives and prizes if they maintain GPAs above a 3.00.

    She said the Greek Life Office also hosts a scholarship banquet for those students who earn 4.00s.

    She said the Greek Life Office has increased its academic outreach to sororities and fraternities in an effort to change the negative connotations that plague the Greek Life system.

    Ballinger said the Greek Life Office reaches out to presidents of organizations to inform them of campus resources that can help them better their members’ grades. He said the GPA list is a tool that helps the Greek Life Office determine which chapters need more guidance.

    He said Greek Life Office advisers direct chapter members and organizations to campus resources such as the SALT Center, Disability Resource Center or the Writing Center to help them improve. He added that the list helps advisers spot academic patterns so they can help organizations plan accordingly.

    Droopad said most people think students in fraternities and sororities spend their time partying instead of studying and doing homework.

    Other organizations like Sigma Nu have made it a goal to bump up their average because in the past, they haven’t had high numbers.

    President Paul Chung said he was very proud that his chapter ranked second among fraternities, with a GPA of 2.851 and 30 members.

    “”I believe we did pretty well; we have people way above or below, but mostly around there,”” he said.

    The fraternity placed on the lower end of the fraternity GPA spectrum four years ago, but getting better grades became one of its main goals when it was trying to get reinstated, he said.

    Sigma Lambda Gamma ranked fourth among sororities with a GPA of 3.032 among 14 members. Fundraising chair Astrid Henao said her sorority greatly encourages scholarship and efforts are made to increase members’ GPAs.

    Some of those efforts include assigning “”study buddies”” to each member and organizing study hours.

    “”(Academics) is one of our five principles,”” she said. “”We definitely stress it; that’s the reason we’re here.””

    Henao said a chapter’s average GPA is important because it reflects what the organization is about.

    “”It affects recruitment because the sorority represents the women in it,”” she said.

    The sorority is planning on raising the GPA requirement for incoming members for next year, she said.

    Patrick Bryan, president of Lambda Theta Phi, wasn’t too happy with his chapter’s GPA. The organization was ranked last among the fraternities with a GPA of 1.740.

    “”It’s a big concern for me as a president,”” he said. But he said that the number of members and the organization’s status can affect the average.

    He said the fraternity had 8 members last semester, when the statistics were taken, and that it now has 11 members, which would probably bump up the average.

    Bryan added that Lambda Theta Phi has only been on campus for a year and that it is common for new organizations to have low GPAs because there is not an established history or academic plan in place.

    He said the organization is working closely with a retention specialist to formulate an academic plan to increase average grades.

    However, Marcantel said members can find a lot of support within the organizations, not just through the Greek Life Office.

    “”One of the positive aspects of a fraternity or sorority is that it provides a network for members to excel academically,”” he said. “”Junior and senior members can make recommendations or order to take classes or can just help you.””

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