Photo Credit: Rafael Gutierrez & Lindsay Smith
As Rush Week comes to a close at UTSA, students will be receiving bids for the Greek organizations that could severely impact their college careers.
Fraternities and sororities guarantee a network of friendship and connections– but at a potential cost to academic life and health.
One aspect of joining a sorority or fraternity is the philanthropy that organizations are required to partake in. Community service is one of the most prominent aspects of Greek life. Greek organizations devote a portion of their time to help benefit their designated cause.
In the past two years, Zeta Tau Alpha raised the most money nationally, donating more the six million to fight breast cancer.
According to USA Today, “college graduation rates are 20% higher among Greeks than non-Greeks.”
Most sororities and fraternities have a minimum GPA requirement in order to join and maintain membership. The UTSA Student Organizations Handbook requires a 2.25 minimum GPA in order to be involved in a registered student organization.
The most recent UTSA Greek life academic report shows that the average GPA for sororities was 2.8 and 2.7 for fraternities.
One of the most prominent downsides to fraternities and sororities is hazing. Anti-hazing laws exist in 44 of the 50 states and anti-hazing policies have been established in many Greek chapters. Getting caught hazing can lead to the suspension or even expulsion of the chapter.
Phi Gamma Delta in 2009, Sigma Phi Epsilon in 2011 and Kappa Alpha Psi also in 2011, were suspended from involvement at UTSA for incidences relating to hazing.
In the Spring 2013 semester, the University of Central Florida (UCF) banned all Greek activity after incidences of alcohol abuse and hazing.
UCF Vice President Grant Heston claimed that, “It was the right time to do it before something serious happened.”
Costs are another substantial factor of greek life. Students must pay an initial rush fee, followed by a recurring rush fee for the following semesters, ranging from hundreds to thousands.
Eddy Zerbe, a member of Kappa Sigma, has embraced Greek life since coming to UTSA. “The choice to join Greek life has honestly been one that has completely changed my life for the better. I joined to get more involved with my school and community and ended up finding life long friendships through a truly maturing experience that helped me become a better man.”