Share This Page

Pitt frats plan fines for bad grades

| Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, 7:35 a.m.

University of Pittsburgh fraternities will be fined for pledges who get poor grades, a student-led effort to boost academic performance.

Pitt's Interfraternity Council, the governing body for 19 social fraternities, prescribed a 2.5 GPA for second-semester freshmen, encouraging frats to recruit men of high academic caliber when they pledge in the fall. The council will fine houses $20 for each tenth of a point below 2.5 their pledges fall.

“Chapter leadership is being held accountable,” IFC President Zach Patton said, so chapter officials can ensure “their pledge programs are directed in a way that demands appropriate academic focus.”

To join a greek organization, Pitt students must have at least a 2.5 GPA. First-semester freshmen are exempt because they don't have a Pitt GPA yet, said Summer Rothrock, Pitt's assistant director of leadership development and greek affairs.

Pitt's average fraternity GPA is 3.024, and the average for all male students is 3.042, according to Patton. School officials declined to confirm those figures.

“The fraternity average at Pitt has not been above the all-male average (at) any time in recent history, if ever,” Patton said.

Rothrock said in an email that she's proud of the IFC for encouraging academic excellence.

Neither the National Pan hellenic Council nor the Collegiate Panhellenic Association enforces comparable policies, though individual chapters may require members to maintain GPAs higher than the campus minimum.

“(That's) likely because sorority women have habitually surpassed the (campus-wide) male and female Pitt averages,” Patton said.

Money raised through fines will go toward academic programming for struggling pledges, with oversight by the IFC, Patton said.

If the policy had been enacted last spring, he said, chapters would have paid about $300, though spring pledge classes traditionally are one-quarter the size of those in the fall.

Megan Harris is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 412-388-5815 or mharris@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.