Greek Scorecard highlights strengths of
Julia Guerrein, Editor-in-Chief
Penn State Behrend recently released the fourth Fraternity & Sorority Chapter Scorecard. The report details the membership, academic performance, conduct and community engagement of the social Greek organizations affiliated with Behrend. The Scorecard was born from the Penn State Board of Trustees’ new guidelines for recruiting new members, expectations, and generally, holding Greek organizations to a high standard.
The violations included in the Scorecard have gone through the university conduct process and the organizations were informed of any issues. Off campus violations may or may not be reported, depending on the nature of the violation. Individual infractions are not included, but group related infractions are. The Scorecard did not report any conduct issues from any of the fraternities or sororities during the Fall 2018 semester.
The scorecard also includes the average GPA for each chapter, which were above the average for the general student population.
“We have a lot of incentive based programs within our organization,” explained Cuinn Larmon, a junior physics major and Triangle President. The programs discourage skipping classes and encourage good grades.
The scorecard is a simple way to layout the basic information of each organization.
“The way that that scorecard can help is it’s just concrete facts. It may have a violation on it, but you can see when the violation occurred,” explained Colin Shakespeare, a junior history major and President of Delta Chi. “So if somebody would have a question about Delta Chi’s scorecard, I would have an answer as to what happened then, what we’ve done since then to change the culture, things like that. In that way I think the scorecard can be beneficial.”
The scorecard is a resource for the Behrend community, but it also provides valuable information to any student who may have an interest in joining one of the organizations.
“It hasn’t influenced us at all. I think it’s more of a comfort for people who want to join so they know we aren’t going to do anything to you, there is a zero tolerance policy,” explained Lea Saunders, a junior psychology student and the President of Theta Phi Alpha.
Many of the fraternity and sorority presidents emphasized the significance of Greek life on their college experience. A resounding theme was that these organizations have given students a community and have helped them build confidence.
“It’s made me a leader, it’s made me more compassionate for the people around me. You learn to be supportive while supporting yourself,” explained Saunders.
The scorecard is just one part of the new emphasis on preventing hazing and ensuring safety within organizations.
“We have had more training and more awareness of hazing reasons,” said Chelsey Bielanin, junior project and supply chain management and international business student and President of Alpha Sigma Tau. The regulations are supposed to, “protect the organization itself and us.”
Many leaders within the Behrend fraternity and sorority community emphasized that hazing has never been much of a problem at Behrend, so the new restrictions did not change much within the organizations. The biggest change is that new members cannot be recruited during their first semester, which is enforced through a minimum credit requirement.
“For our organizations, it closed off an entire section of students until the spring semester, and as they go through the fall semester they are already joining organizations and picking up time, so it is hard for them to find time it’s hard for them to find time in the spring semester,” said Kristina West, a senior biology student and the President of Panhellenic Council. West also emphasized that this has made the recruiting process safer for students and that they are able to recruit more older students.
The Scorecard acts as a way for students and the surrounding community to learn more about the social Greek organizations. Any information deemed important by Behrend officials will be included, regardless of the impact it may have on the organization.