University of Southern Mississippi senior and Interfraternity Council President Lee Johnson recognizes the perception many outsiders have about Greek Life on university campuses, and his goal is to change that viewpoint.
“I realize that many people see the Greeks as nothing but a bunch of partiers who care more about having a good time than getting a college education,” said Johnson. “But that’s so far from the truth about what our goals and objectives are, especially here at Southern Miss.”
Johnson and other members of Greek Life at Southern Miss brought that message home to President Martha Saunders during a luncheon held recently on campus. Johnson, a marketing major from Pearl, Miss., came up with the idea for the luncheon which also featured presentations from the College Panhellenic Council and the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Each group trumpeted the positive traits and educational commitments of their respective organization.
“I thought it went great and the president had some really encouraging things to say about the importance of Greek Life at Southern Miss,” said Johnson. “You can tell she wants us to be a successful part of the Southern Miss experience and to succeed beyond our time as students here. It’s great public relations on both our parts.”
The Interfraternity Council is comprised of eight national men’s social fraternities with approximately 500 students. The IFC serves as the governing council and advocacy body for these groups. There are 21 national men’s and women’s fraternities and sororities that make up Greek Life at Southern Miss, which includes approximately 1,300 students.
Johnson noted that the IFC has formed a three-year strategic plan called “The Sigma Initiative” that is designed to enhance the group’s noteworthy efforts and fix any obvious flaws. Recently, the IFC passed a resolution requiring all members to maintain a 2.6 grade point average. The new policy will go into effect for the Fall 2011 semester.
“We have been fortunate to perform above the customary male student on campus, but wanted to take steps to ensure our grades continue to meet the mark,” said Joshua Schutts, assistant dean of students for Greek Life. “High scholarship is a key component in recruitment, helps demonstrate health and relevance of our ‘product’ and ensures our members are retained and graduate on time.”
For more information about Greek Life at Southern Miss call 601.266.4823 or visit http://www.southernmissgreeks.com/home