Are Greeks Putting Academics First?

Greek life is, what some could describe as, a large part of the Bowling Green State University (BGSU) community. Making up around 13% of BG students, Greek life brings in new members to their respective councils every term and are steadily growing.
One common misconception of the lifestyle is the abandonment of academics. Members of the chapters are often assumed to be more focused on their social lives rather than the ones that are keeping them in school.
Two chapters, Panhellenic Council chapter Kappa Kappa Gamma (KKG), and Interfraternity Council chapter Phi Kappa Psi (Phi Psi), are the two of the top chapters in their respective councils for upholding the highest GPA for the fall semester of 2016.
“Our minimum requirement for women is a 2.67. If a woman in the chapter holds a position on Chapter Council, they are expected to maintain a 2.75,” said Grace Kress, Academic Chair of Kappa Kappa Gamma.
With acknowledging the issues, it is important to included more sides than one in the Greek community.
Mason Settle, Academic Chair of Phi Kappa Psi stated, “Our minimum requirement is 2.5 and 2.75 if you would like to hold a position.”

Greek Resources

The Greek report for the Spring semester of 2016 can be found here.
Greek Standards of excellence can be found here.

Some chapters take certain privileges from members not meeting their minimum. Settle explained that with not reaching standards, members are prohibited from attending social events to better focus on their studies and attend study hours.
On the opposite end, Kress exclaimed the KKG process is not meant as a punishment but rather a helping hand.
“If a woman is on Period of Concern (POC) they are not restricted from anything rather just aware that they need to go the extra mile with school,” she said.
While both ends of the process work, chapters are also rewarded for their good grades in some cases. Many, often sororities over fraternities, have incentives such as monetary amounts and chapter merchandise to help reward members for excelling in academics.
Kress explained members that turn in certain hours or grades are rewarded with raffles, t-shirt giveaways, and awards.
An example she gave was, “at the end of every semester, the woman with the most improved GPA and the woman with the most study hours is recognized at chapter and rewarded with a gift, usually a stitched letter t-shirt.”
Ways of academic achievement and improvement is very present in the Greek community. With 17 chapters in the Interfraternity Council, 11 chapters in the Panhellenic Council and new members adding to chapters each term, keeping up with large numbers of people can be difficult.
KKG and Phi Psi showcase the determination it takes to keep academics as a top priority.
“I believe our chapter has done a great job of establishing that grades come first and other aspects of the fraternity like social come after that,” said Settle.
As far as how chapters feel about the stereotype, Kress believes it is something that takes the community as a whole to change.
“In order to crush the stereotypes that come along with being Greek, we as a community need to come together to prove to everyone that we value education equally as much as we value being involved on campus,” she stated.
Both chapters hope the stereotype is one day no more.

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