Classes have started, and they are nothing like high school. For example, the concepts are more abstract and require critical thinking. Professors provide the essential information, create the assignments, grade papers, and are available for questions. The rest of the students’ learning happens outside of the classroom on their own time.
Gone are the reminders from parents to wake up in time. There is no hounding from anyone to study, write that paper, keep up with their homework, or keep their grades up. This can be a relief for some, but potentially disastrous to others who have not learned to manage their time wisely. Students may find their grades slipping as they struggle with the delicate balance of managing academics, learning self-management, and having a social life.
Greek life may be the structure and accountability needed to meet the needs of a new student. They have standards that a student must meet to maintain membership, and they assign mentors to provide support, including help with academics.
Fraternity and sorority leaders have several high expectations for their members, however the main one is academic. They expect all members to maintain a minimum GPA in order to continue their membership with the chapter and it is different depending on the chapter. Reputation is important to Greek houses and they will provide support and incentives to keep their members accountable.
There can even be rewards for higher grades. According to BG Falcon Media, “prizes are incentives to receive good grades.” In Greek life, each fraternity or sorority chapter handles these rewards differently. They could be anything from scholarships to housing points that would eventually allow someone to move into a Greek house. Rewards are an effective way to keep students engaged and on track.
Amy Kirk, member of Sigma Kappa and vice president of the Panhellenic Council has said, “everybody likes free stuff. If they think they’re doing well, they’ll be rewarded. People like to be recognized.”
In a fraternity or sorority, academic help is available. For instance, they assign mentors to new members at the time of acceptance. These mentors are juniors or seniors and usually have similar majors and/or have taken the same classes. Also, having an experienced mentor offers a significant level of support academically and socially. Study groups are also set up to meet the needs of each chapter. Some Greek houses have hours set aside specifically for studying. Meeting academic needs is one of the top priorities of each fraternity/sorority in Greek life. If their members are failing, so are they. The future of every Greek house depends on the next line of members to be successful.
The National Panhellenic Conference has issued academic standards for sororities so that “each member organization places high value on education, academic performance and intellectual development.” Myfraternity states that “studies show how students who join fraternities in their first semester show greater gains in growth, learning and development.” Both statements show the importance of fraternity and sorority commitment to and value of academics.
Wrapping it up
Movies like “Animal House” and “Van Wilder” have often depicted the Greek experience as all play and no work. This stereotype, for most Greek houses, is incorrect. A study by Gary Pike shows “fraternity and sorority members are more engaged, report greater learning gains, and are more satisfied than students who are not members of fraternities or sororities.” This is a win for the Greek community. It presents a more realistic look into the benefits of academic support offered by fraternities and sororities.
Join the GreekXperience today. And, as a result, find the academic, life, and social support needed to transition successfully into the college years.