Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Why Fraternities and Sororities Are Not Stupid: Reason 3
So, fraternities and sororities are not stupid. Know why? Because our members stay in school, that's why.
Reason 3: Membership in a fraternity or sorority increases first-year retention.
Based on state-reported data to the Integrated Postsecondary Data System, the national average for first-year retention is about 75%. Based on a multi-institution study by Robert DeBard and Casey Sacks, average first-year retention for fraternity and sorority members is about 94%.
We think that's pretty dang significant and impressive. Just like with grades, let's think about why our numbers are higher so that we can keep it that way.
First off, fraternities and sororities are founded upon brotherhood and sisterhood. So, by forming connections and families away from home, first-year new members are usually able to better adjust to their new environments. Think back to your first year of college. It can be super overwhelming when everything is new. When your new sisters and brothers join your organizations, it is your job as initiated members to make sure they feel welcome. A lot of that is just being their friend. Having friends somewhere makes you more likely to stay in that environment. Most of y'all seem to be doing a pretty good job of that.
In addition, sorority and fraternity members, whether formally or informally, serve as role models. Since our members tend to be more involved on campus, new members are able to talk to student leaders on a more intimate level, making them more likely to also get involved on campus. Questions about joining student government? New members can ask a sister who serves as Vice President. That new member who is not sure how to get involved in that service trip he read about? They can ask a brother who has been before. Even if our members are not involved in every organization, their involvement on campus helps them make connections to stay informed about other organizations.
Apart from friendship, sisterhood, and brotherhood, fraternities and sororities provide structured assistance when it comes to adapting to a university. Chapters' academic achievement programs, connections on campus, and knowledge of resources are invaluable to a first-year member's success. For students fresh out of high school, it can be daunting to figure out how to get help in an unfamiliar setting. Fraternities and sororities help their new members by being able to connect them with resources on campus before their problems get too big to handle.
So, by providing a home away from home, setting a good example, and helping our new members adjust to campus, our organizations are keeping our members on the path to success.
In other words, be cool; stay in school.
Posted by Anonymous at 12:49 PM