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  #1  
Old 01-11-2003, 10:22 PM
OnePlus69Is70 OnePlus69Is70 is offline
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Angry how did this happen

So this semester, we decided grades would be our priority, since our GPA was lower then we wanted (though still respectable). We put academics ahead of everything. You could skip any chapter event if you had school work to do. We eased up on the pledge program so they would have time to do their work. We monitored everybody. We got people tutors and watched papers and grades. I can't see that we did anything wrong.

And it got us our worst semester on record. I don't have the full calculations yet, but I know every one of our pledges failed at least one class- one of them failed all his classes. The brothers didn't do any better- i think only two of us are over 3. I'm worried that when they do the final tally we'll be on probation. From the confessions I've gotten out of the NIBs, they wasted most of the extra time they were given for work. Ugh, what an embarassment.
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  #2  
Old 01-11-2003, 10:55 PM
Kevlar281 Kevlar281 is offline
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The way I get myself into trouble is I procrastinate if I have an excessive amount of free time. So if I have a very hectic schedule one week ill more likely get things done ASAP rather then put them off. Maybe that happened to your guys.
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  #3  
Old 01-12-2003, 12:11 AM
kappaloo kappaloo is offline
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I think there might be something to the above reply. I too tend to time manage better when I HAVE to time manage. If I have too much free time I always thing "Oh, I can just do it tomorrow".

Perhaps for next term you can set up study-area times, when all the brother study together, so instead of giving them free time, you are giving them a time they can always plan to study in.
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  #4  
Old 01-12-2003, 12:24 AM
MenaceKiller MenaceKiller is offline
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Most younger college students don't have the experience to know that they're wasting their time if someone doesn't set a schedule FOR them.

In your case, they saw that instead of needing to spend more time managing both pledging and school, they could relax and cram at the last minute, and play video games, go partying, socialize, etc.

We've experienced this circumstance in the past, and our solution was to be more rigid about our responsibilities -- senior members become responsible for their committee members, the Academics chairperson becomes the "Grades Nazi" and people stop procrastinating their school work and studying.

Rewards for getting high grades AND THE PROOF of those high grades (A's on tests, A's on projects, A's on report cards) motivate members in small ways.
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  #5  
Old 01-12-2003, 12:36 AM
KappaTarzan KappaTarzan is offline
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even though greek life isn't recognized on umass lowell's campus, we keep grades for our national standards.. a point system is pretty effective for us, points for good grades and other rewardable actions.. person with the highest points gets a reward, like a new set of letters.
also- mandatory study hours for pledges and sisters/brothers is very effective as a last ditch effort. if you maintain above a 3.5 you are excluded from this, and above a 3.0 you only have to do 1/2 the hours.

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  #6  
Old 01-12-2003, 01:16 AM
docetboy docetboy is offline
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Your problem seems to be that you could get out of pledging or events if you claimed you were studying, with no backup of any sort. People saw this opportunity, and took it.

First, I suggest you should NOT be able to get out of pledging. These meetings, etc. help build future brothers and help the pledges realize what will be expected of them in the future. If the pledges think they can have it easy as pledges, they can also have it easy as brothers. This will only lead to trouble.

You should demand from your pledges their regular events, to be present, etc. You should also have them put academics first. If they need to get out of a chore for studying, let them. But don't let them get out of weekly meetings, etc. One thing our chapter has is mandatory 2 hours of study in the library on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. As well, they had to mark on a calender the times they studied and have their pledge dad initial it off every 2 days. This does multiple things: The pledges had to study, while having monday nights free for house meetings and pledge meetings, etc., and having friday and saturday nights free. Having their pledge dad initial the calender will make most people actually study, and having it in the library means most pledges will make a daily routine and go to the library at the same time each day...often, pledges study together, so if one pledge does not show up that day, they get questioned by their study partner. As well, it teaches pledges to balance their lives around academics, social, and fraternity life...as they will be needing to do for the coming years.

Another thing our chapter does is to have grade checks 3 times a semester (for actives AND pledges). Have your academic chair collect the e-mails of everyones professors at the beginning of the semester. If e-mails are not collected from someone, give them a fine or extra chores or something. Then, once a couple of weeks into the semester, once after midterms, and once right before finals, have the academic chair e-mail everyones professor asking about the persons attendance, current grade, and comments about the person. This might not work if you are in a large school without big professor involvement, but this will make the student attend class and have good attitudes in class because the fraternity WILL find out during the semester.

Another idea is to try to find a rich alumni of your chapter, and to have him start up a chapter-only scholarship fund...where he gives small scholarships to people in the house based on academics, house involvement, ritual proficiency, etc. $$$ is a great encouragement. Or, you could offer cash rewards for top GPA, most improved GPA, etc.

These measures help bring academics back into your house, and is extremely important for us, as scholarship is synonymous with Kappa Sigma. They work pretty well for us most of the time. Our house GPA may be low among the fraternities at our campus, but above the all-mens average (and we have a competitive, but small, greek system). For example, we have Sigma Phi Epsilon on our campus, which requires a minimum 3.0 GPA to pledge or be an active in the house.

Hopefully you can try some of our ideas...hope they work out for ya!
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  #7  
Old 01-12-2003, 02:25 AM
OnePlus69Is70 OnePlus69Is70 is offline
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You actually e-mail professors for people's grades?! I can't believe you get them- we had a brother in the hospital and the school wouldn't even give me a copy of his schedule, and I had a signed note and everything. I can't imagine getting grades. That's a little disturbing for privacy concerns, actually.

Unfortunately, right as you are docetboy, it wouldn't work here. Mandatory study time is actually forbidden by the school- it's considered hazing. And if we fine someone, and they don't pay, what do we do? Toss them? Lose one or two members and we don't have a chapter anymore. Our pledge class was only three guys- and I count us lucky to have gotten that many.

But when only 100 freshmen out of 3500 rush 12 chapters, you gotta take what you can get. Recruitment is everything- if there are more guys rushing than can get in, the guys on the inside are more inclined to work hard. In our case, there are many fewer guys on the inside than the out- they feel like the fraternity should be doing something to keep them, not the other way around. And that's how you get situations like this- three straight semesters of taking what we could get has left us with a bunch of screw-ups, and a few guys who remember how things should be done.

I just got news that because of our grades, all our underclassmen are being moved back to the dorms, and we're losing our house. I think the first motion I'll make at our opening meeting will be to disolve the chapter- better to go with some kind of dignity.
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Old 01-12-2003, 10:18 AM
docetboy docetboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by OnePlus69Is70
You actually e-mail professors for people's grades?! I can't believe you get them- we had a brother in the hospital and the school wouldn't even give me a copy of his schedule, and I had a signed note and everything. I can't imagine getting grades. That's a little disturbing for privacy concerns, actually.

Yep. We have great faculty involvement, and a great greek affairs office. Part of the stuff we have to sign is allowing the greek affairs office to get your grades. At the end of the semester, they give summarized reports to the academics chair at the house.

For the faculty checks, we have alumni that generally favor the greek system and understand grades are important. They realize when a student joins a house, academics are an important role. And the faculty here (most of 'em atleast) want the students to succeed...

I'm sorry it wouldn't work out at your school. I'm also suprised STUDYING is hazing!! Hopefully, your house can consider working with the greek life office or trying to work some other options out.
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  #9  
Old 01-12-2003, 12:46 PM
texas*princess texas*princess is offline
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While I do agree that academics should come first (that's why we're in college in the first place, isn't it?), I think that unless these people worked full time, or just didn't have ANY time outside of class, then it probably should not have been said that your guys could miss events or meetings or whatever to do homework.

IMO, I think being part of any GLO should at least teach you time management skills and balancing school, work, and of course the GLO.

Just like everyone has already said, when you know you have time, or COULD have time later, it is likely you will put stuff off so they can goof off.

I'm really sorry your program didn't work as you planned, but you can use it as a learning experience and not do that in the future.
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  #10  
Old 01-12-2003, 01:20 PM
hendrixski
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Our house has one of the top two GPA's on campus. What we do is implement mandatory study hours for anyone who got below a 2.50 and on top of that we get their updated grades from teachers every week (kinda like Docetboy's house except only those who need it). We go about getting this by having the brothers go to the teachers with a form to get the grade and teachers signature every other week. The brothers that don't need monitoring get the grades themselves.


PS: those rules about mandatory studying being hazing is a crock-load of horse-$}{IT. We had a pledge who wasn't doing too hot in school and the only reason his parents let him stay was 'cause they saw we MADE him study.
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  #11  
Old 01-12-2003, 01:28 PM
hendrixski
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Our house has one of the top two GPA's on campus. What we do is implement mandatory study hours for anyone who got below a 2.50 and on top of that we get their updated grades from teachers every week (kinda like Docetboy's house except only those who need it). We go about getting this by having the brothers go to the teachers with a form to get the grade and teachers signature every other week. The brothers that don't need monitoring get the grades themselves.


PS: those rules about mandatory studying being hazing is a crock-load of horse-$}{IT. We had a pledge who wasn't doing too hot in school and the only reason his parents let him stay was 'cause they saw we MADE him study.
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  #12  
Old 01-12-2003, 03:03 PM
James James is offline
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Academic success . . . whatever that means.

Would you believe me if I told that your grades are just a product of a series of small habits?

Thats all they are, nothing mystical about it.

People that go to all their classes tend to get better grades. People that tend to study regularly (predictably) get better grades. And people with access to easy help get better grades.

Most people that get poor grades skip classes, study once ina while or only cram before tests, and tend not to get help when they need it.

So if you want to improve an individuals grades, you need to get them to classes, teach them better study skills such as studying regularly, and get them easy access to help.

The best place to start is your pledge classes. Even if you abandon your older brothers as lost causes, if you focus on the new member classes within 4 semesters most of your chapter will have better study skills.

So you need to weave grades into your pledge program. And thats not just emphasizing grades or mandatory study hours but rather teaching superior skills, shaping their behavior over the whole semester and then following up.
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  #13  
Old 01-14-2003, 08:31 PM
OnePlus69Is70 OnePlus69Is70 is offline
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Hmmm.....thinking through what everyone is saying, I think another of our problems is that we don't really have pledges in the traditional sense. We very rarely get freshmen. The last three semesters, all of our pledges but one have been at least second semester sophomores. By that point most of their habits are pretty well engrained. Ever tried to make a junior sit through study time in the library? It can be done, but only with methods I'd rather not use on a peer.
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