Greek Life Gets Academic With New GPA Regulations

Ozzie Bunbury

Within the last academic year, Greek Life at Southern has made great progress to unify the requirements of all fraternity’s and sorority’s GPAs, an effort led by the Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Francisco M. Lugo.

While Greek presence on campus has been continuing to rise with no signs of slowing down, (going from 11% to almost 14% of the undergrad population*), the overall academic standards of the organizations has been called into question. A member of the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO) since his college days, Lugo knows the ins and outs of the system and only wants to see sustainable results from the community.

“The main goal is to figure out how we hold each other accountable and how we hold our chapters accountable…At the end of the day, we want our students to be successful, so we asked ourselves how we could find that common ground of compromise,” Lugo said. 

Since stepping into office, he has made a conscious effort to bring academic consistency into the community. He and his team implemented a new academic policy revision which began in August of 2014.

They can do a lot of things in the community and can see tangible results, however, that’s if the chapter keeps the grades above 2.7.

The old academic policy was very inconsistent, and wasn’t the most effective way of bringing long term results. With the adjustments Lugo made to the academic policy, stability seems much more attainable.

• Here are some of the additions to the new and improved academic policy for Fraternities and sororities who fail to have at least a 2.70 grade point average each academic semester will be placed on academic probation with the following sanctions and restrictions:

1. First Academic Semester Probation

a. Host three (3) academic programs during the semester for the chapter using University academic resources and mandate 60% chapter participation.

b. Chapter president must have monthly Chapter Liaison meetings with Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life staff. “Having a chapter president meet with a liaison, isn’t really an advisement meeting, but more of a check-up and letting the chapter know they have support from the University, because at the end of the day they want to see their students do well,” Lugo said.

2. Second Academic Semester Probation

a. Suspension of ALL chapter Social event privileges

b. If the chapter achieves a 2.70 semester grade point average at the end of the semester, the chapter will move back up to First Academic Semester Probation the following semester.

*By placing a level 2 academic probated chapter back up to level 1 instead of removing the chapter completely from the punishment, that is pushing the chapter to maintain their commitment to academics, instead of just letting them off easy.

3. Third Academic Semester Probation

a. “Suspension of all formal recruitment and/or intake privileges.”

4. Fourth Academic Semester Probation

a. “Revocation of Georgia Southern University recognition of the chapter for two (2) full academic years which includes the chapter losing the ability to utilize University facilities and participate in University events for two (2) full academic years.”

What it was in the past is much different from what it is now. These policies have been put in place in order to, not only prevent poor academic performance, but in the event that it does happen, work long term to prevent it from happening again. The privileges of Greek Life only come when the members hold up their end of the deal. Lugo said that the policies aren’t out to get people, they are there to give an added incentive to stay on the right track.