Sororities and fraternities are undoubtedly among the biggest influences on campus, with some of the most successful fundraising. However, we’ve all been privy to a rumor or scandal, and it goes without saying that there are some mixed feelings about their presence. Most of our judgments about these organizations are arbitrary and based on Greek rank posts or hearsay- but what if we had the hard data to back up our assumptions?
On September 13th of last year, a new law, the Campus-Recognized Sorority and Fraternity Transparency Act, was passed. The bill mandates schools to release a comprehensive report on affiliated Greek Organizations; including stats like GPA, volunteer hours, and infractions. LMU has released similar reports (available on the student affairs website) for several years, though these were voluntary and much less exhaustive. Once and for all, we can see what goes on behind the closed doors of these “secret societies.”
This is the complete 2022-2023 report covering membership, GPA, volunteer contributions, and conduct. It lists 17 organizations, including multicultural Greek organizations. It’s difficult to compare their success given the wide range of sizes: the smallest has only five members (Chi Delta Theta), and the largest has 152 (Kappa Alpha Theta). So, the following charts break down this raw data even further, showing the average that each member contributed. Note some of this data is unavailable due to FERPA regulations, denoted with a dash on the original document above.
First up is the amount of money each organization fundraised in the past calendar year. In the lead with generous margins is Alpha Phi, who raised an average of $358.91 for each of their 150 registered members. Next is the leading frat, Lambda Chi Alpha, with $186.90 for 59 members. Generally speaking, most Orgs raise around 20-30 dollars for their respective charities per person. Delta Sigma Pi, a fraternity with 67 members, raised the least, with an average of $14.26 per student. It’s worth mentioning that while any charitable contribution is admirable, the fees (commonly referred to as dues) for participating in these organizations can be hundreds of dollars a semester.
Yet, money isn’t everything. Who is investing the most time in their philanthropy? Regarding average volunteer hours, the top three slots are held by sororities, which, on average, had much higher contributions. In the lead again is Alpha Phi, with 12.26 hours of charity work reported. The top frat, holding 4th place, is Chi Delta Theta, with 7 hours. The bottom five spots here are all held by fraternities, with the lowest reported philanthropy contributions from Beta Theta Pi, whose members volunteered an average of 0.35 hours, according to the report. LMU reports that across its 250 student organizations, students have contributed two hundred thousand volunteer hours. According to this data, about seven thousand five hundred came from Greek organizations, about 25%.
In terms of infractions, only three organizations reported conduct violations. They are Delta Sigma Phi with three, and Sigma Chi Phi and Delta Theta with 2. There is no additional data in the report pertaining to the specific nature of these incidents. however, no organization is on any form of probation.
The average GPA among Greek Org members is about 3.39 for their average, end-of-year, cumulative GPA. On the low end is Lamda Chi Alpha with 3.04, and at the high end, Kappa Alpha Theta with 3.61. To apply for a Greek Org, there is a minimum GPA requirement of 2.5, though some individual orgs have higher requirements. The reason for these standards is one of the biggest selling points of joining a sorority or fraternity is professional development and networking. This chart shows the end-of-year cumulative GPA for 2022, including new members. Specific stats on GPA by semester and member status were also released in the report above.
Now, while it’s fun to rank these organizations, it’s important that we recognize that this new bill is not an effort to perpetuate a popularity contest. The intention here is to increase transparency and allow prospective students to make well-informed judgments about the choice to participate. It also allows the student body to hold many of these orgs accountable. Still, to that end, this data, in no way, encompasses all the work that Greek organizations do on campus. They create community and foster friendships, which obviously can’t be quantified in a bar chart. As we move forward with this new standard, let’s use this new information responsibly and as an opportunity to make the LMU community even stronger