Holding frats to higher standards

The Interfraternity Council, a student-run, self-governing board that oversees 45 fraternity chapters on campus, has left a lasting impression on its chapters in countless ways.

“The Interfraternity Council acts as a major resource to its member chapters,” said Tim Mueller, junior in Business and vice president of Communications for IFC. “The VP of service works with service and philanthropy chairs to create and improve successful events, and the VP of recruitment works with chapters to improve the quality and quantity of men they recruit.”

The Interfraternity Council strives to motivate the chapters in the IFC to excel in many areas including alumni relations, academics, risk management, facility management, scholarship and community service, said Ashley Dye, assistant dean of students for fraternity and sorority affairs.

One thing that makes IFC different from other Greek councils is the Illinois Greek Initiative, or the IGI for short. It was developed by students about four years ago to set minimum standards that each individual chapter should meet in order to be successful. Each chapter receives a grade in individual topics during the final trials of second semester.

“Those chapters that received exceptional standards receive publicity that they had received that. Those chapters that are unsatisfactory meet with the judicial board to jointly craft an improvement plan for next year on how they’re going to improve the percentage,” Dye said. “It’s all a positive thing in wanting all of our chapters to be achieving a high level in all of these different categories.”

The IFC has worked with the individual chapters to improve their numbers tremendously throughout the year, as well as create a more positive image for the fraternities to exude as a whole unit.

“One of the biggest challenges of being in a fraternity is overcoming the stereotypes associated with the Greek community,” said Tommy Carrato, senior in Engineering and president of Interfraternity Council. “Our council tries to break down these stereotypes by rewarding our chapters for academic excellence and involvement in the community.”

The IFC recognizes the excessive time required to be an active member in a fraternity but also enforces the importance of a rich academic experience. Each chapter has different standards that their members are expected to uphold, Carrato said.  While these can vary greatly they almost always include showing good character, dedication to service and a minimum GPA requirement. 

“I think a student really has to have a good sense of time management to be a participating member, and I think that’s their biggest challenge,” Dye said. “When our chapters are doing what they’re supposed to be doing, a student will receive a very well-rounded experience as a member of a fraternity on campus.”

Many young men choose to join a fraternity for its leadership opportunities, networking possibilities, and social events.

“If you’re interested in joining a fraternity the best advice I can give is to get to know the members in several organizations, ask them the questions you have about fraternity life and choose the fit that’s best for you,” Carrato said.