GPAs, parties and recruitment: What are the differences between UA fraternities and sororities?
A view looking down Greek Row, located on E. First. Street, in Tucson. Greek Row is home to most of UA's fraternities and sororities.
Sororities and fraternities both fall under the umbrella of Greek Life, but while both institutions offer similar opportunities, a number of prevalent differences exist.
For example, the GPA requirement to rush a fraternity at the UA is lower than it is to rush a sorority. While the requirement differs among the 12 sororities, the average minimum high school GPA requirement is a 3.0, and the average minimum college requirement is a 2.75. The minimum high school GPA requirement to rush a fraternity, on the other hand, is 2.75, and the minimum college requirement is 2.5.
The UA Interfraternity Council decides the rush GPA requirement, while the UA Panhellenic Council lets its individual chapters determine their requirements, according to Trace Camacho, director of Fraternity and Sorority Programs and assistant dean of students.
Another significant difference between the two is that fraternities are allowed to throw parties at their respective houses, while sororities cannot. Camacho said that this is a National Panhellenic Council policy.
While these rules are not necessarily in the hands of the members of Greek Life, some individuals do not agree with these national and local policies.
Sam Tankenoff, a family studies and human development sophomore and Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority member, said she finds issue with the fact that sororities can't throw parties.
“I believe that these differences are sexist,” Tankenoff said. “Sororities are not allowed to throw parties because it will ruin their image or create conflict for the university. But why should it matter if boys throw a party or girls throw a party? We should be considered equal, so I don't understand why it matters what gender hosts a party.”
Some people agree with the national rule. Reuben Nach, a pre-business freshman and Zeta Beta Tau fraternity member, sees the benefit of this policy.
“I think it is a great way of doing it because if sororities hosted the parties, and any fraternity could come, things would get out of hand,” Nach said.
Tankenoff and Nach don't see GPA standards as a poor reflection on fraternities or on Greek Life, though.
“While we might have higher GPA standards when rushing, I know fraternities use many tools to help their brothers with their grades,” Tankenoff said. “Academic support should be important for everyone in Greek Life. To me, the differences are surface level. Being involved in Greek Life can significantly help a person raise or maintain their grades.”
Nach added that since joining his fraternity in August, he spends at least eight hours in the library per week with his fraternity brothers.
Sororities and fraternities also have different rush processes. Camacho said that while the formal rush process is similar between the two, more fraternities than sororities will continue recruiting after the formal recruitment process ends.
Despite these differences, all sorority and fraternity chapters in Greek Life at the UA share the same values.
The pillars of Greek Life are scholarship, leadership, brotherhood or sisterhood, service and networking, according to the UA Greek Life website.
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