According to Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Matthew Park, the fall 2016 semester was the first time the Greek system outperformed the campus averages academically. While Greeks saw an overall rise in their GPAs, nine Greek chapters experienced a decrease in their GPA averages for the fall 2016 semester.
“Right now within the Greek life room, administration has made it very clear that our number one priority should be education. Regardless of any types of flux, whether you increase or decrease from the previous semester,” Hunter Wolfe, interfraternity council president, said. “I am happy to see that some groups moved up, but I am unhappy to see that some groups went down. This has already been addressed with the chapters. We are working in full courts with the university and with whatever resources we have to help those chapters.”
Among the chapters that experienced a decrease were Chi Omega, Sigma Kappa, Kappa Delta Chi, Omega Delta Phi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Alpha Phi, Kappa Sigma and Sigma Nu.
“Well, it could be a number of different issues. Every organization has bad members, I believe organizations have low, middle and high-tier members that contribute,” Wolfe said. “Sometimes you get these low or middle tier members that don’t contribute and can be more hurtful to the chapters. Some people lose track of priority, forgetting to put their education first. If you’re going to be involved in the Greek life then I think your number one priority should be trying to better yourself and the others around you.”
According to Chi Omega President Hailey Morris, her sorority is still excelling and trying to better themselves.
“I’m proud of my sorority’s grades, it’s pretty normal for members to experience a decrease in GPA during the fall. It’s much slower with all the new members adjusting to college life, as well as previous members returning from summer break,” Morris said.
Wolfe says administration is determined to keep improving Greek life academically, and has put forth action in doing so.
“Right now, administration has reached out to me and my council. Before the semester, administration began to say, ‘we’re going to push education as first priority’ and that they’ve already reached out to each chapter,” Wolfe said. “I don’t know necessarily what administration has up their sleeve when they see chapters slip and not make the grades for several semesters in a row. I do know that they’ve made it very clear that action will be taken and that grades will be addressed. With the new faculty that’s involved, I have all the confidence that they’re very serious.”
Meanwhile, Chi Omega sorority has its own methods to install academic achievement.
“We have scholarships and study hours, especially for our new members. We stress tutoring and study halls. It’s important to stay on top of grades,” Morris said.
Wolfe said that although his chapter, Kappa Alpha Order fraternity, has had trouble in the past with grades, they have increased their overall GPA over the last three years.
“I don’t think it debunks anything, it is what you make of it and joining Greek life has been beneficial for me and some of my friends,” he said.
According to Wolfe, neither he nor administration expect grades to dwindle much longer.
“I don’t believe it will [dwindle] with who we have in charge and who’s directly leading the way for Greek life. We’re putting the tracks down right now, so it’s not going to get fixed overnight. It’s a process and it takes time,” Wolfe said. “We’re trying to lay a strong foundation so we know where it’s going. I’m doing what I can with my council to make these changes for the benefit of everyone.”
Wolfe said that although he believes a high number of members is important, quality beats quantity.
“I’ve heard some chapter officers preach about growth and wanting Greek life to be larger,” he said. “That is something we want here at Midwestern, but at the same time we can’t, and won’t, sacrifice our standards.”