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Pitt Fraternity Council Levies Fine On Frats With Freshmen Pledges With Low GPA

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Fraternities at the University of Pittsburgh have no intention of becoming Delta House in the classic film Animal House.

Dean Wormer in Animal House: “Two Cs, two Ds, and a F — that’s a 1.2 grade average. Congratulations, Kroger, you’re at the top of the Delta pledge class.”

Distraction from studies is why many universities don’t permit freshmen to pledge a fraternity.

Dean Wormer in Animal House: “Mr. Blutarsky, zero-point-zero.”

Animal House was a spoof, but most fraternities take grades seriously.

“The fraternity idea, the concept of a fraternity should help you to focus on grades,” says Delta Chi president Pat O’Donnell.

O’Donnell says fraternity brothers help freshmen.

“We have a lot of engineers in our brotherhood,” he said. “All of our new members who are engineers can benefit from tutoring from brothers that took the exact same classes that they’re taking their freshman year.”

At the University of Pittsburgh, first-semester freshmen can pledge, but under a new rule that the fraternities have imposed on themselves, if the grades of that freshman falls below a 2.5 grade point average, the fraternity house itself will be fined.

Sigma Chi member Zachary Patton is president of Pitt’s Intrafaternity Council.

“We developed a policy that would hopefully put a little pressure on chapter leadership so they would be more concerned with academic performance of first semester freshmen during their pledgeship,” says Patton.

The fine is $20 for every one-tenth of one percent below 2.50 the freshman pledge achieves.

Not everybody likes the idea.

“I personally don’t like it at all because, depending on the fraternity’s average GPA, it’s going to discourage kids from joining the one they actually want to,” says Pitt junior Luke Raber.

But Patton insists Greek life is not for “ones that aren’t able to manage a long to-do list with their academics.”

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