Based on feedback from our Member Services Survey we conducted in the Spring, we will be piloting a few projects this fall. The first will be an online submission tool that will allow advisors to input names electronically and pay via a secure site to enable the fastest and the most accurate processing we can provide. We are partnering with WebGreek to use cutting-edge technology and are hoping for a seamless piloting of this processing option in August. Details will be distributed in July and August.
WebGreek was founded when three of the six WebGreek members lived as brothers of the same fraternity at UC Berkeley and often struggled with managing their chapter alongside their college life because any solution attempting to relieve their headaches just ended up creating a new batch of their own. So naturally, they pursued their own workable solution. They accepted the challenge of customizing web-based solutions for Gamma Sigma Alpha and we are excited to partner with them to bring you, our members and advisors, the best experience possible. Stay tuned.
Brett Chapman was a 2010-2011 graduate scholarship recipient. He was a graduate of Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in May 2010 and is currently pursuing his Master’s of Accounting at North Carolina State University.
During his tenure at GVSU, Chapman was active in the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity where he served as Treasurer prior to being elected President of the InterFraternity Council (IFC). His academic and leadership achievements were recognized with memberships in Beta Alpha Psi, Order of Omega and Gamma Sigma Alpha.
Chapman was involved in numerous community and volunteer activities including the GVSU Alternative Spring Break for two years. Most recently the group traveled to New Orleans, LA to assist in the reconstruction of homes damaged during Hurricane Katrina.
When asked what Gamma Sigma Alpha membership meant to him, he said, “My involvement in Gamma Sigma Alpha surrounded me with some of the brightest, intellectual minds the Greek community had to offer, and learning from them was one of my favorite benefits of the organization…With advice and direction from GSA members, my GPA was raised each semester I was a part of the organization.”
The advisor to IFC at GVSU, Jesse Koch wrote, “Brett serves as an example of what an exemplary fraternity man can be; a distinguished leader and an accomplished scholar.”
The Board of Directors and staff at Gamma Sigma Alpha wish Brett continued success as he finishes his graduate school career!
Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama chartered the Theta Psi chapter of Gamma Sigma Alpha on April 12, 2011. Almost 50 students were initiated as charter members of Gamma Sigma Alpha from across the 12 active fraternity/sorority organizations on the campus.
The State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz will charter a chapter of Gamma Sigma Alpha at the end of this month. It will become the Theta Omega chapter and boasts 14 charter members. The campus at New Paltz becomes the 5th campus in the SUNY system to host a chartered chapter of Gamma Sigma Alpha.
The Board of Directors and staff of Gamma Sigma Alpha welcome our new chapters and look forward to supporting you as you grow and recognize high academic achievements within your own communities!
Begun in 2000, the Gamma Sigma Alpha regional GPA competition seeks to recognize those schools within the geographic regions whose fraternity/sorority GPA is the greatest above their undergraduate GPA. Honor Roll schools are determined by those schools whose fraternity/sorority GPA is above the undergraduate GPA.
Northeast Greek Leadership Association: The institution receiving the award for the Spring 2010 academic period for the Northeast Greek Leadership Association (NGLA) is Drexel University. The NGLA winner for the Fall 2010 academic period is St. Francis University.
The Honor Roll recipients for NGLA for BOTH the Fall 2010 and Spring 2010 semesters are: Washington & Jefferson College, Drexel University, Saint Francis University and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
Southeastern Interfraternity Conference:The institution receiving the award for the Spring 2010 academic period for Southeastern Interfraternity Conferences (SEIFC) is Western Kentucky University. The SEIFC winner for the Fall 2010 academic period is Jacksonville State University.
The Honor Roll recipients for SEIFC for BOTH the Fall 2010 and Spring 2010 semesters are: The University of Georgia, University of Central Florida, Spring Hill College, The University of Louisiana at Monroe, Western Kentucky University, Jacksonville State University, University of Miami and University of South Carolina.
For more information about Gamma Sigma Alpha and how you can start a chapter on your campus or get your school name on this list, click here. A complete list of award recipients will be published after the regional conferences commence.
Ashley Sanford is one of six graduate student scholarship recipients awarded by Gamma Sigma Alpha for the 2011-2012 academic year. Sanford graduated with her undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. She enjoyed her undergraduate time at APSU so much, she has continued there for graduate school. She is currently in her second semester in the Master’s in Corporate Communications program. Sanford is a proud member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority and upholds the fraternal principles in her own life: service, scholarship and sisterhood.
Sanford has been an integral part of many service projects during her time at school. Most notably, she has worked with the Ronald McDonald House, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Goodwill Industries and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. She also spent significant time volunteering as a note taker for the Office of Disability Services at APSU.
Throughout her undergraduate years, she joined many organizations, held numerous leadership positions and was recognized with a laundry list of honors, however her scholarly focus never waivered. Sanford continually made the Deans List and her academic achievements made her an excellent candidate for Gamma Sigma Alpha. Sanford said, “Gamma Sigma Alpha has allowed me to stand with a select few qualified initiates and exemplify the highest ideals of academic excellence in the Greek community. These experiences have made my four years as an undergraduate an experience of a lifetime.”
We wish Ashley continued success in academics and in all future endeavors. Congratulations again!
Posted: January 13th, 2011 in Scholarship Spotlights, Uncategorized | No Comments »
An Alpha Xi Delta chapter advisor and an alumna of Gamma Sigma Alpha, Alicia Woo, was the champion behind this charter. She saw a need to recognize academic achievers in the fraternal community and she stepped up to the plate. With the support of the fraternity/sorority advisor, Julie Mattingly, Woo recruited students who recruited other students and on December 9, 2010 , the Theta Chi chapter of Gamma Sigma Alpha was established at CSU-San Marcos. Congratulations to our newest charter members!
If you are lucky enough to work in the fraternal world and are heading to Phoenix for the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors Annual Meeting , plan to catch up with Gamma Sigma Alpha while you are there! Please consider the following:
- Join us for a complimentary continental breakfast on Friday, December 3 from 7-8 a.m. in the Sheraton Hotel, Encanto A. This is a great opportunity to share challenges & successes about Gamma Sigma Alpha on your campus or explore the idea of chartering a chapter.
- Plan to attend “Fraternity/Sorority Academic Achievement: Does Your Campus Make the Grade?” during Educational Program Block I in the Sheraton’s North Mountain Room.
- Stop by and see us in the Exhibit Hall.
- Check out our item at the Silent Auction.
- Don’t forget to mark your calendar to submit campus grade information in order to be considered for our regional GPA awards. Information must be submitted by January 24, 2011 online at www.gammasigmaalpha.org.
Thanks and see you there!
The equation is relatively simply, although many make it more complex than it really is; students go to college, get good grades, graduate then get a good job. At least that’s the goal, right? Unfortunately, college offers A LOT of distractions and the good grades part becomes the obstacle. Fraternity life should not be one of the distractions from the goal of good grades. What if it was the catalyst? What if your fraternity life encouraged academic achievement? What if the men within your chapter motivated and rewarded academic achievement. What if they fostered an environment that allowed students to study and upperclassmen modeled the way for younger members to be scholars? It should happen and it does happen, but not nearly as often as it should.
As a staff member for Gamma Sigma Alpha, a national academic honorary for fraternity/sorority members, I have the opportunity to speak with fraternity/sorority members across the country on a regular basis. One fraternity member called my office last Spring to ask about starting a chapter of Gamma Sigma Alpha on his campus. He was a member of XYZ fraternity and they have the reputation of being the ‘dumb jocks.’ As scholarship chair, he was hoping to help charter Gamma Sigma Alpha and counteract the stereotype. I was impressed with his enthusiasm, but when we talked through the membership requirements and he discovered we required a 3.5 cumulative GPA, he dismissed the idea. He said that no one in his chapter would qualify. I asked if he had seen the most recent grade report, how did he know no one would qualify? He said that the majority of members have a cumulative average of 2.3. Surprised to hear it was that low, I asked what the requirement was to recruit and initiate. It was 2.3.
Our conversation shifted, instead of talking about chartering a chapter, we discussed how the chapter’s recruitment tactics could be blamed for their reputation on campus. All of a sudden, this member was assigned an office in the chapter and challenged to make academics a priority, but they never had a dialogue about GPA requirements and recruitment. They were recruiting men who were obviously not making grades a priority and then asking them to change. He was given a round peg and asked to fit it into a square hole. He was set-up to fail before even beginning.
A follow-up conversation with this student led me to believe that he was having broader conversations with chapter leaders about assessing the chapter’s commitment to academics. They were reviewing policies, implementing their national scholarship program (they’d been doing this for years on paper, but not in practice), promoting campus resources for academic assistance and even implementing ‘quiet’ rooms in the chapter house during mid-terms and finals week. When they touted these changes during recruitment, they were bringing in men who were committed to scholarship, men who wanted to follow the simple equation; go to college, get good grades, graduate then get a good job. They were slowly beginning to change the culture within the chapter. But as all leaders know, change is slow, but progress is progress.
I know that there are chapters like this nationwide, who are recruiting students with low expectations and then expecting them to change, in academic achievement and other areas. As leaders, you need to be realistic and you need to know your chapter’s strengths and challenges. Assess the areas of challenge and make modifications as necessary. You and your chapter will be stronger in the process.
Our Guest Blogger is Jennifer Jones-Hall, a fraternity/sorority advisor who was responsible for starting the Gamma Sigma Alpha chapter at Valparaiso University last academic year. Additional resources to start a Gamma Sigma Alpha chapter can be found here. Still have questions? Contact us.
Another honorary for Greek students, are you kidding me? I don’t have time to advise and work with another group on campus?! Many of you are probably thinking that each time you receive an e-mail or postcard from Gamma Sigma Alpha, but from where I sit as the Assistant Dean of Students for Greek Life and New Student Orientation at Valparaiso University, it was simple to start a chapter and beneficial for my school and the students.
Last year I got asked to serve on the Board of Directors of Gamma Sigma Alpha. I was excited to return to such an important group of colleagues who really valued the academic experience within Fraternity and Sorority life. So when I said yes, I knew my next step was to be a good role model as a Board member and host a chapter at Valparaiso University. The last thing I wanted was to advise a new organization, so I took a most simplistic approach.
1. I chose to put out the letter to all Junior and Senior members of the fraternity/sorority community at Valpo who were eligible to see if there was some interest. I worked with my University Registrar to pull all Junior and Senior members of the fraternity/sorority community with a 3.5 cumulative grade point average.
2. Once I had that list, I put together a formal invitation that was sent to them via email with the possibility of starting a new chapter of Gamma Sigma Alpha.
3. The email invitation was sent and I had 20 men and women interested in becoming charter members. They paid their one-time membership fee of $30.00, scheduled an informal induction ceremony 3 weeks from then and off the Chapter Petition Form went! It was that easy.
Now the students are eligible for scholarships, they get some recognition on campus and have an honor society membership on their resume. More importantly, these junior and seniors are modeling the way for freshmen and sophomores in their own chapters about the importance of academic achievement.
I frequently get asked by advisors and students in Gamma Sigma Alpha chapters across the country what the ideal chapter size would be. Honestly, the society believes that all students who achieve high academic achievement should be recognized. Therefore, there is no maximum number of students you can initiate as long as the meet the membership requirements. We have seen some schools initiate 100 students and others charter a chapter with as few as 5 on the initial roster. We do challenge you to grow, so if you initiate 15 in the fall, try and recruit 20 in the spring. If you don’t know your numbers from last year, simply drop us an e-mail and we can get that information to you. Here are some pictures of a few of our chapters, West to East!