Fraternity and sorority life plays an integral role in the SMU community, whether it be in academic, social, or professional spheres. In terms of academics, the Greek community at SMU routinely achieves a higher GPA than the undergraduate population, and all four councils consistently register average GPAs above 3.0. As announced at the Student Affairs committee meeting for the Board of Trustees last week, the all-Greek average GPA was 3.492 for the spring 2021 semester, compared to 3.360 for the all undergraduate average. Additionally, for the 2600 students who are members of Greek organizations, 87% earned GPAs above 3.0. As the community continues to focus on the value of scholastic achievement, this trend is anticipated to continue.
“The SMU fraternity and sorority community consistently has a higher GPA than the all undergraduate population, living out their value of scholarship and academic achievement. Students involved in Greek life also statistically have higher graduation and retention rates, providing a well-rounded experience to their time as an undergraduate,” Director for Fraternity & Sorority Life Ashley Fitzpatrick said.
Fraternities and sororities have had a presence on the SMU campus since the university opened in 1915. Approximately 43% of the undergraduate population currently holds membership in a Greek organization, providing a well-rounded college experience that aids in the development of personal and professional skills.
“Fraternity and sorority life gives students the opportunity to gain soft skills. Whether that be time management, leadership development, or simply how to change a tire, it gives them an opportunity to be a world-changer, exposing them to diverse experiences that will help them navigate life,” Assistant Director for Fraternity & Sorority Life Adam Joiner said.
SMU is home to more than 25 different sororities and fraternities governed by four Greek councils: the Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, and Panhellenic Council.
Interfraternity Council (IFC)
The Interfraternity Council, or IFC, is the governing body of nine fraternity chapters at SMU, many of which are affiliated with the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC). The student-run organization that exists to promote the interests of the University (which include scholarship, leadership, and citizenship), to promote the interests and unity of the Greek organizations represented on campus, to facilitate communication and cooperation between member fraternities and the University administration and faculty, and to promote the interests of college fraternities in general, which includes the consideration that they are viable and valuable collegiate experiences.
“Greek life has afforded me opportunities socially, professionally, and philanthropically,” IFC member Austin Foster said. “Socially, I have been pushed to meet people from all across our campus, our four Greek Councils, and our more than 25 chapters. I have been pushed to build bonds with my brothers that will last a lifetime and been afforded opportunities I would not have found on SMU’s campus without Greek Life. Professionally, Greek life has pushed me to be a more effective leader, learning how to set large institutional goals for our community and work to accomplish them, to interface with university and chapter stakeholders and find solutions that satisfy both parties, and to explore more opportunities for my post-university career. Finally, Greek life has pushed me to explore opportunities to give back to the community. Whether it be through the planning of IFC Basketball Tournaments, food packaging events, or Habitat for Humanity Builds, I have furthered my involvement in a manner that has brought me much joy.”
Multicultural Greek Council (MGC)
Multicultural Greek Council, or MGC, was founded to support and celebrate student populations from culturally diverse backgrounds. The Multicultural Greek Council is a coalition of perspectives and identities. By nature, it requires membership to examine themselves, make space for peers, and enhance everyone’s capacity to engage across the campus community. Similar to the IFC, MGC seeks to promote the interests of the university (which include scholarship, leadership and citizenship), promote the interests and unity of the Greek organizations represented on campus, facilitate communication and cooperation between member fraternities and the University administration and faculty, and promote the interests of college fraternities and sororities in general, which includes the consideration that they are viable and valuable collegiate experiences.
“Being involved with multicultural Greek life for the past three years has completely shaped my SMU experience for the better,” MGC member Hannah Koehler said. “As a member and leader, I was able to connect with other inspiring student leaders who shared similar values and sought to create change on campus and in our community. Having access to a network of successful alumni who offer their continuous support and guidance has helped me in beginning my professional career on the right foot as well.”
National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)
The National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations are historically black Greek-lettered fraternities and sororities. The NPHC promotes interaction through forums, meetings, and other mediums for the exchange of information and engages in cooperative programming and initiatives through various activities and functions. SMU currently recognizes five active NPHC chapters: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.; and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
“Being a part of Greek Life at SMU has given me the opportunity to join Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., a group of men devoted to leadership, scholarship, and giving back to my community including our University SMU,” NPHC member Matthew Merritt said.
Panhellenic Council is the governing body over the eight National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) sororities located on our campus. It is the responsibility of the Council to unite all eight chapters in the spirit of Greek unity, to enforce the NPC guidelines, and to oversee and regulate the recruitment process. The Council works year-round to promote positive ideals of sorority life at SMU and contribute to the SMU community through involvement, leadership, academic, philanthropic projects, school spirit, and overall support. SMU Panhellenic Council strives for excellence in harmony, loyalty, accountability, pride, integrity, compassion, innovation, scholarship, service, high standards, and respect.
“My involvement in Greek life has been one of the major pillars of my collegiate experience,” Panhellenic Council member Clare Ennis said. “It has introduced me to amazing individuals, both in and out of my chapter, and allowed me to take part in myriad opportunities I would not have otherwise had access to. In particular, I am grateful for my leadership experience on my council’s executive board, as it has helped me to impact both my individual council and the rest of the Greek community in a deeper and more substantive way. It has also aided in my personal growth immensely, and I am so grateful for the experiences I have gained through my participation in Greek life.”
For more information on eligibility requirements, membership, and how to join, visit smu.edu/FSL.