As a result of a rise in both standards and incentives, the cumulative Greek grade point average is at its highest in history this semester.

Last semester, the sorority cumulative GPA was 3.114 and the fraternity cumulative GPA was 2.797. This semester, however, saw an increase in both GPAs with the sorority cumulative GPA rising to 3.185, and the fraternity GPA rising to 2.903.

“Every fraternity and sorority is different for their exact GPA, but when you’re in Greek life in general you really are held up in a high standard,” said Kathleen Rosensweig, vice president of member development at Pi Beta Phi.

According to Rosensweig, not only has the GPA improved, but there has been a drastic change in the number of members on academic probation. Last semester 18 members of Pi Beta Phi were on academic probation. This semester, they’ve cut that number in half.

“I really feel that people just wanted to try hard,” Rosensweig said. “I deal with all of the people on academic probation, they have to report to me, they have to tell me their progress. I noticed that everyone who was on academic probation was really striving to get off it, and those are the people that brought our grades up.”

Members of Pi Beta Phi are required to maintain a GPA that is higher than 2.5, or they are put on academic probation. Compared to the school’s requirement of 2.0, she believes holding members to a higher standard yields positive results in their overall GPA.

“For us personally, if you’re below a 2.5 you have no voice and no vote in anything,” Rosensweig said. “You can participate in events, but it’s not just a stern talking to. You have to report to the library every week.”

In addition to logging a certain number of hours per week at the library, members of Pi Beta Phi must also attend workshops and show that they are dedicated to raising their grades.

But, Pi Beta Phi is not the only Greek organization who has seen an improvement.

Yani Concha, senior business major and president of Alpha Tau Omega, also credits high standards for the rise in fraternity GPA.

“Nationally our fraternity requires a 2.5 GPA to enter and be maintained,” Concha said. “However, at UCF our standards are higher, we require a 2.75.”

In addition to a higher standard, Daniel Porter, senior finance major and member of Alpha Tau Omega, thinks having his brothers to study with helps keep his grades up.

“If someone has a problem with something, we can help each other out; it’s all about the buddy system,” Porter said.

At times, a room full of fellow college students can become a room full of potential tutors.

“What makes us different is accountability,” Concha said. “We are all there to help our brothers, with classes and just about everything. Sometimes it just takes somebody else to take the time to explain something.”

For the past three semesters, Pi Beta Phi has been using some more creative methods to encourage members to maintain a high GPA.

The sorority hosts a raffle at the end of each semester; to enter members must have received A’s in their classes. As incentive, the prizes in the raffle are not mere $5 gift cards, but designer purses.

“We have incentives for people, so rather than getting them up to a C we get them up to an A,” Rosensweig said.

But above all, Rosensweig feels that members of the Greek community, and specifically at Pi Beta Phi, honestly want to do well in school, regardless of whether or not they get a designer bag for doing so.

“We all want to succeed; we all want to be the best. We’re very competitive people,” Rosensweig said.

Source: Central Florida Future, Greek GPA hits all-time high, Academic probation number cut in half, by Jordan Snyder, senior staff writer. Published: Wednesday, June 29, 2011;  Updated: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 19:06