Greek Life: Academics Are Important to Us, Too

By Lwilliams
05/29/2015
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Article by Melissa Pope

Have you heard stories from your older brothers, sisters, or friends about how college is crazy hard? Maybe something along the lines of: “Get ready because you will never get to talk to your professors, classes have like 500 students in them, and/or your whole grade stems from one midterm and one final.” If you have, you are not alone. Just so you know, these college rumors are not necessarily the case for every single class; so don’t stress too much! Regardless, you may still ask yourself, “How in the hell am I going to be able to join a fraternity or sorority when it will be hard enough just keeping up with my studies and social life?” **Side note: asking yourself this question proves that you are thinking about the importance of a good education, so go you! ** Fear not, my friends. I’m here to help you with this potential stress factor. Believe it or not, Greek life can actually be a great way to keep you on track with your academics! certificate-of-achievmentA requirement to join and stay in a Greek chapter is to have and maintain a specific GPA. The average set by each chapter must correlate with its bylaws (essentially a rule book the chapter and every member must follow). It is typically greater than the GPA required by the school, which means that Greek members are often set to higher standards. For example, I had to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 to be a student in good standing at Oregon State, but my sorority requires all members to maintain at least 2.5 every term to be in good standing. If someone doesn't maintain this minimum GPA for more than one consecutive term, her membership may be reevaluated. Other chapters and academic Greek honor societies may have higher minimum GPA requirements, which means their standards are that much higher. Another great thing about Greek life is that members automatically have study buddies! You will probably have a few classes with some of your Greek brothers or sisters, and when a big test rolls around you have a great study group right there! Another plus is what we Greeks call study files. Now, don’t get the wrong idea here. Most people hear that these are drawers full of old tests. I don’t know about other houses, but this certainly was not the case at A Chi O! I know this because it was part of my job as a leader on exec to organize these files. Ours consisted of a filing cabinet organized by class and contained folders filled with lecture notes, flashcards, study guides, and printed PowerPoints. There may be an occasional essay or test here and there, but those are just used as study tools—I've never witnessed anyone plagiarizing or cheating. Members use what they find as a way to study for exams. I mean, if there are flashcards for your test in a file, why spend all that time making them when you can use ones that are already made? So you see, your sorority or fraternity wants you to do well in school. That’s the whole point of being in college anyway. Being a Greek is just an added bonus! I graduated college with a 3.8 GPA and was a dedicated member of my sorority for four years. It took a little work, sure, but I was able to balance school and Greek life in a way that was positive and healthy for both my social life and academic well-being. If I could do it, so can you!

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