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AXD tops list of academic successes by Greek life groups

Barry McNamara
MONMOUTH, Ill. – In addition to gaining access to a variety of service and leadership opportunities and establishing lifelong friendships, joining a Greek life organization can have another important benefit – it can improve a student’s GPA.

Monmouth College’s Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life recently announced the grades received during the 2018-19 academic year by its Greek life organizations, and the women of Alpha Xi Delta led the way for both semesters, with a 3.28 GPA in the fall and a 3.33 mark in the spring.

They were followed closely by the men of Sigma Phi Epsilon during both periods.

“We take pride in the hard work on the part of each of our members that led to this outcome,” said Alpha Xi Delta Chapter President Jordan Utter ’20 of Germantown Hills, Ill. “I know how hard my sisters have worked this year, and it's great to see that it shows.”

Utter said Alpha Xi Delta has an academic achievement program in place, directed by Courtney Ouart ’21 of Toulon, Ill., which is part of the organization’s supportive academic environment.

“The program helps members find helpful academic resources, work on time management or track their academic progress throughout the semester, especially if a member is struggling academically,” she said. “In my opinion, our chapter environment plays a huge role in our academic success. On any given day on campus, you could easily find groups of Alpha Xis studying together in the library, the Center for Science and Business, outdoors, in the dorms, or in our house. Many sisters send encouraging messages to each other when larger exams or project deadlines are approaching. Overall, our organization is very open with valuing academics and this keeps our education near the forefront of our minds.”

Logan Evans ’21 of Glasford, Ill., the chapter president of Sigma Phi Epsilon, said the fraternity’s high marks were no fluke.

“We do talk about having the top Greek GPA,” he said. “We actually just set the new record for highest fraternity GPA this semester. SigEp believes that we are a valued partner in higher education, and part of that mission is having a high standard for ourselves academically. Having one of the highest GPAs on campus is a great way for us to show this dedication to our academics. In the span of a year, we went from a collective GPA of below a 3.0 to three-tenths of a point above a 3.0. We already have set our goal even higher and hope to keep growing as a chapter.”

Like the women of Alpha Xi Delta, the Sig Eps have an academic plan in place.

“In order to reach our goal, we create an environment where you don’t have to worry about sharing your grades and issues with the other brothers,” said Evans. “We want each other to prosper, and being able to talk about what you are struggling with, academically and otherwise, allows for the other brothers to step in and help. We also have a new substance-free housing policy, which allows us to focus on our studies and growing as people.”

Collectively, the academic news was good for Monmouth students involved in Greek life. In both semesters, the Greek GPA was roughly one-tenth of a point higher than the all-campus GPA.

“Greek students do well academically because of the network they have in their organization and Greek community,” said Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Student Involvement Max Seisser. “In addition, there are various resources through their own organization through academic plans, study hours and mentoring from other members.”

For the spring semester, Seisser reported that 73 members of the Greek community were on the Dean’s List, which requires a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

“That means that one in every three members of the fraternity and sorority life community was on the Dean’s List this semester,” he said.