CSUN Greeks focus on improving overall GPA

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Greek organizations at CSUN strive against traditional thought to prove their organizations are focused on more than just socializing.

Rachel Wareham, president of Alpha Xi Delta, said her sorority is not only on campus to have fun.

“We came to college to get an education first,” said Wareham, senior business finance major.

Alpha Xi Delta showed that academics are an essential part of their organization when they achieved the second highest ranking in grades among six Panhellenic sororities on campus last semester. Members of the sorority had an overall grade point average of 2.9 for the spring semester.

Kappa Kappa Gamma came in first out of the six Panhellenic sororities to get an overall 2.92 GPA, Wareham said.

Alpha Xi Delta members must maintain a 2.5 minimum GPA to stay active in their chapter. The sorority created a set of goals for the current semester to enhance their academics by raising their chapter’s overall GPA above a 3.0.

“Each semester we strive to be better and better,” Wareham said. “In essence, we are about education. We can have fun and do good in school as well.”

Robert Press, vice president and house manager for Lambda Chi Alpha, said he does not allow commotion to get in his way when studying.

Press, a history major, said when it is time to study for his classes he goes straight to his room, closes the door, turns on some music and begins to study.

“I live in the frat house, but I know when to study,” Press said. “I have the highest cumulative GPA in my chapter.”

Not all of Press’ fellow fraternity members share his study habits.

For the last couple of semesters, the fraternity’s overall GPA was low, and that the organization has one of the lowest overall GPAs out of all the fraternities at CSUN, Press said.

The group had an overall 2.1 GPA for the Spring 2005 semester. The fraternity was placed on social and academic probation by the InterFraternity Council, and now cannot participate in any organizational events except for Rush Week and brotherhood.

The chapter will remain on social probation until their chapter raises their overall GPA to 2.3.

But, this semester Lambda Chi Alpha made a complete 180-degree turnaround, Press said.

Each fraternity member is required to attend study nights once a week.

Study nights, also known as “Sigma nights,” are held every Tuesday and Thursday. If a member does not attend for at least one Sigma night, he must go to the Learning Resource Center for tutoring.

“We strive to have the highest GPA out of all the fraternities on campus,” Press said.

A set of strategic guidelines was set for the next two years and was designed to help get the Greek organizations on campus above the semester average GPA for all undergraduate students on campus, said Jamison Keller, Greeks adviser in the Matador Involvement Center.

This semester fraternities and sororities passed a policy stating they could not accept any members with a GPA below 2.3, Keller said.

The IFC raised the GPA requirement for all members from a 2.0 to 2.3 this semester. Each semester the IFC will increase the GPA requirement by .05 until it reaches a 2.5, said Jacob Stockfish, president of the IFC council. By Fall 2007, each organization will only accept members with a GPA of 2.5 or above, he said.

The fraternity with the highest GPA for spring 2005 is Sigma Nu with an overall 2.61 GPA, Keller said.

The fundamental mission of the national and local Greek organizations is to help students strive for academic excellence.

Within the Greek community each chapter must develop an academic adviser plan. Each council has an elected scholarship chairman who works with each chapter on raising their GPA.

“They need to live what they preach,” Keller said, concerning their GPAs.

Valencia Bankston can be reached at vbankston@hotmail.com.

In order to assist members in achieving personal and academic success, each chapter must provide adequate educational opportunities. Some of these programs include responsible alcohol use, relationship issues, communication, conflict resolution, career planning and time management.