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Archive for Monday, February 17, 1997

BETA THETA PI OWNS KU GRADE-POINT TITLE

February 17, 1997

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Beta Theta Pi fraternity and Alpha Delta Pi sorority had the best cumulative GPA among 40 greek houses at KU last fall semester.

The guys of Beta Theta Pi don't wear plastic pocket protectors full a pens.

Their idea of a good time isn't a fireside chat about the need to improve models for forecasting economic trends.

While lacking the characteristics of a typical college geek, the Betas dominate the Kansas University greek community in grade-point average.

"Social life can be achieved anywhere, but academics is something that needs to be pushed. We do a good job of that. Everything else can take care of itself," said Matt Krische, Beta Theta Pi president.

In fall 1996, Betas racked up a cumulative GPA of 3.34 on a 4.0 scale. That was good for No. 1 among 24 KU fraternities.

Krische said it was continuation of a custom that has kept Betas on top of the GPA pile in all but four semesters since 1936.

"We're just happy to uphold it all these years," he said. "People who come into the house assume that tradition."

Bringing up the rear in terms of grade point was Theta Chi, whose members delivered a mediocre 2.25.

Among 16 KU sororities participating in the rankings, Alpha Delta Pi claimed the fall 1996 title with a combined GPA of 3.2. On the downside, Alpha Kappa Alpha recorded a 2.56.

Overall, the grade-point average of KU sorority women last fall was 2.98. The all-university GPA for women was 2.92. Fraternity men had a composite 2.8, while the average of KU's male students was 2.75.

So, greek vs. non-greek: 2.9 for greek; 2.84 for all-university.

All the above numbers were an improvement over fall 1995 averages.

Bill Nelson, associate director of KU's organizations and activities center, is responsible for compiling academic statistics on fraternities and sororities.

He said the GPA of greek houses had historically topped the university average.

That can be attributed to recruitment of pledges with strong academic backgrounds and structured study programs for members who falter in the classroom, he said.

"Some chapters have tutors, especially for first-year students," Nelson said.

Leaders of two KU greek umbrella organizations said more could be done to help members thrive academically.

Amy Stetzler, vice president for educational programs with the Panhellenic Assn., said the national Panhellenic Council designated this year as the Year of the Scholar.

"While our greek community consistently does better than the university, we can always improve," she said.

Matt Hamill of Interfraternity Council said attaining the minimum standard to earn a degree was no longer sufficient.

"We do have a new focus," he said. "Not only making sure people graduate, but that they really do well academically."

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