Three fraternities have been classified under the “immediate action required” category in the new Greek Life Advancement (GLA) results this semester, the first time any fraternity other than Delta Tau Delta has been placed in the category since the program began at Emory.
The three fraternities are Chi Phi, Omega Psi Phi and Sigma Nu. DTD, the last fraternity in the “immediate action required” category, was eventually removed from campus.
But Victor Felts, director of the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life and assistant dean for the Division of Campus Life, wrote in an e-mail to the Wheel
that he is working with all of these fraternities to help them return to good standing.
“Many of the low scores were due to failure to document community service and philanthropy events,” he explained in an e-mail. “Delta Tau Delta did not make any strides to improve their status. All three chapters are working to fulfill the original requirements.”
The GLA program places fraternities and sororities in gold, silver, bronze and “immediate action required” statuses based on a point system. The Greek organizations are judged based on academics, community service, campus participation and other criteria.
Sig Nu President Darek Sanford said that his fraternity has already upped itself to bronze status after a recent leadership retreat. He said the fraternity is continuing to better its position.
“We are setting up a chapter website to improve alumni relations as well as a library with past brothers’ notes and books,” Sanford said. “I am sure by next year we will be back on top both in intramural sports and the GLA program.”
Chi Phi is currently facing sanctions from its national office due to the chapter’s history of alcohol infractions and alleged recruitment violations. Chi Phi juniors and seniors have been placed on inactive alumni status and removed from the house as of Friday, and sophomores are being reviewed for readmission.
Despite hard times, Chi Phi is determined to meet requirements. Philanthropy Chair John Almquist said the fraternity is currently in talks to change their current status and is looking forward to completing every GLA point possible.
“We recognize the University’s demand for modification,” Almquist said. “Chi Phi understands we need to change, and we know we will.”
Omega Psi Phi President Mukhtar Nur did not respond to requests for comment.
Felts wrote that the GLA is geared toward improving Greek life by setting expectations.
“The GLA program has helped chapters identify areas of strength and areas needing improvement,” Felts wrote. “All three of the current fraternities below minimum expectations are aiming to raise their status.”
Sigma Phi Epsilon’s status dropped from silver to bronze this January. SigEp President Richard Higham-Kessler said the GLA ranking system is about working down the checklist and having enough time to fulfill the requirements.
“We have national SigEp values that we try to reinforce in our brothers at the same time as the GLA requirements, and only so much time to accomplish it all,” Higham-Kessler said. “It’s just a matter of trying to satisfy both.”
Higham-Kessler said that the GLA program is a challenge for Greek organizations to be more than just social groups, and it allows fraternities and sororities to offer more to its members than just a close bond.
Delta Delta Delta Membership Development Chair Nancy Adler said the GLA program is important in that it helps fraternities and sororities show their support both on campus as well as in the greater Atlanta area. Her sorority placed gold again, but she said that status does not have as significant an impact as some may think.
“I do think that it is an accurate representation of how much work and dedication the chapter has put into helping out the community and being active on campus,” Adler said. “Knowing that one has gold status certainly improves the organization’s reputation, but I think that most people probably don’t think too seriously about the status of a chapter when rushing.”
Sanford said that it was partially the fraternity’s role in the Emory community that caused it to fall short.
“Many of our brothers are athletes, students and fraternity men, and going to events like Homecoming fall low on the totem pole of Emory-related requirements,” he said. “Attendance at these events, or lack thereof, caused loss of gold status for my chapter this year.”
— Contact Alice Chen.