Grand Valley State University's fraternity and sorority community achieved a grade point average higher than the all-undergraduate average, according to reports from the Office of Student Life. The undergraduate population achieved a semester GPA of 3.010, with the fraternity and sorority community inching higher with a 3.014 semester average.
“I am very impressed with the level of academic success that the fraternity and sorority community has continued to develop in recent years,” said Tom Coy, assistant director of Student Life for fraternities and sororities. “Since I came to Grand Valley in 2007, chapters have strived to hold themselves to the highest standard, and I am proud that their hard work has allowed them to reach this milestone.”
In recent semesters, the fraternity and sorority population has grown. With 997 students involved in a fraternity or sorority, up from 590 in the fall 2007 semester, Greeks have been striving to recruit high quality members to join their organizations. “I think that as we continue to show the rest of campus what we can give back, we are attracting better students to be our brothers and sisters,” said Fraternity and Sorority Life Staff Assistant Branden Stewart. “All fraternities and sororities place academic success as a No. 1 priority, and when we don't achieve at the level we set for ourselves, we have those brothers and sisters there to help us do better.”
The Office of Student Life has recently implemented changes to their academics policy regarding new members joining a fraternity or sorority. Previously, any student with an established GPA was required to have at least a 2.5 cumulative average to join a Greek organization. The Office of Student Life has chosen to begin increasing this minimum average by .05 each semester until it reaches 2.75. “There is no reason that the minimum GPA requirement for fraternities and sororities should be so far below the all campus average,” said Jesse Koch, Graduate Assistant for Fraternity and Sorority Life. “We feel that by increasing the minimum expectations, we are making a statement to prospective members that in order to be successful as a fraternity man or sorority woman, you must first be a successful student.”
Not only were fraternities and sororities successful in their academics this past semester, they also contributed a large amount of hours to the community and dollars to philanthropic organizations. According to reported numbers, fraternities and sororities accomplished more than 9,000 hours of service and donated more than $20,000 to philanthropy in the fall 2009 semester. “It is a great feeling to be a part of this community of students who are dedicated toward not only developing themselves as better students and friends, but are also focused on giving back to those around them,” said Stewart.
Fraternity and Sorority Life was started in 1971 when the first Greek-letter organization chartered on campus. Since then, fraternities and sororities have flourished as values-based organizations focused on service, character, leadership, and scholarship. With 23 chapters currently on campus and several planned expansions for the next year, students are invited to check out all fraternities and sororities by checking out www.gvsu.edu/greeklife.