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A fraternity or sorority chapter can help personalize your college experience by offering a scholastic support system: hands-on experience in leading committees, managing budgets, interacting with faculty and administrators, exposure to potential careers through educational programs and discussions with alumni, the opportunity to give back to the community through service projects, and close friends who will cheer you on through successes and provide support when times are tough.
This is one of the most important aspects of college life. Academics are emphasized by all fraternity and sorority chapters from first joining through graduation. Each fraternity and sorority provides some form of scholastic assistance, such as, study areas, tutoring, awards, study sessions and incentives such as scholarships, to challenge members to reach their full academic potential. Fraternity and sorority members usually maintain a higher grade point average than non-members. While sororities and fraternities do not hold any magical keys to scholastic success, studies have shown that members of fraternal organizations are more likely to obtain a degree than non-affiliated students.
Fraternities and sororities exemplify democracy in action. They are families, communities, and many are legal corporations operating annual budgets of over $100,000. New members live and learn to work within these communities. Officers within each chapter are elected to manage the day-to-day operations of the organization. These officers are assisted by members serving on committees and by alumni who act as advisors. In addition, many national organizations have regional and national leadership conferences where students can learn a variety of leadership skills. Fraternities and sororities provide a solid foundation in leadership training that prepares members for the demands and responsibilities needed for the future.
Community service is an important aspect of fraternity and sorority life. It is safe to say that no other segment of the student population has dedicated more time and resources, or has raised more money for charity than the members of our fraternity and sorority community. From volunteering in elementary schools, to giving bloods, to raising money for charities, community service is a huge part of this experience.
For many students, socializing helps to make college a more fulfilling experience. Fraternal organizations provide a calendar of social activities including formals, homecoming, skit nights, mixers, sing competitions, and other special events. Sororities and fraternities can offer more of a family atmosphere and go beyond ordinary friendships - often lasting a lifetime.
Fraternal organizations sponsor teams to participate in various intramural sports and in other fraternity and sorority philanthropy tournaments. Some of these sports include flag football, soccer, basketball, tennis, softball, and floor hockey. Fraternities and sororities also have members that are varsity athletes. Football players, volleyball players, baseball players, and cheerleaders receive great support from their brothers and sisters. Members of fraternities and sororities provide a great deal of school spirit at Western Michigan University.
The role of alumni in the growth and development of fraternities and sororities is substantial. Alumni often serve as advisors, officials on a house corporation, or as regional or national officers and consultants. Lifetime friendships expand beyond individual chapters to include all members of the national and international fraternity and sorority community. Alumni organizations help students network for potential employment opportunities after graduation, and keep in touch through newsletters, correspondence, meetings, and special alumni events.