Having it all in fraternity/sorority life

With more than 250 student organizations at UNI, there are plenty of ways to get involved. Some groups focus on academic achievement, others on leadership, service or simply having fun. With so many options, it can be hard to choose. Students involved in Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) don't have to.

Fraternity and sorority life
Members of UNI's four fraternities walked a mile in red high heels during the annual on-campus Walk A Mile In Her Shoes event to protest sexualized violence.

"Joining a fraternity or sorority is a great way to instantly become embedded on campus," said Steffoni Schmidt, UNI program coordinator in UNI's Student Involvement Center. "Many FSL members are also involved in at least one other student organization on campus because they see the benefits of being involved and they know how to be leaders."

FSL members are involved in many Homecoming activities, including Pride Cry. Each men's chapter is paired with a women's chapter to "out spirit" other groups while performing the UNI Fight Song. And two of this year's five Homecoming King candidates were fraternity members. Royalty selection is based on academic performance, curricular and co-curricular involvement, contribution to UNI and the university communities, and school spirit – all which are natural extensions of being an FSL member.

Within their chapters, students can hold an office on the executive board, chair committees, and plan fundraising events to support local and national organizations. 
During the 2012-13 school year, $25,000 and more than 4,000 hours were donated to charities such as Autism Speaks, the American Red Cross and Ronald McDonald House. During the same year, UNI's four sororities joined forces and raised $1,500 for The Circle of Sisterhood, a charitable foundation that works to remove educational barriers for girls and women around the world. Members of UNI's four fraternities walked a mile in red high heels during the annual on-campus Walk A Mile In Her Shoes event to protest sexualized violence.

When they're not giving to others, FSL members are giving their all in the classroom. Each chapter has tutoring and study programs, and members learn time management skills that are critical to keeping their grades high and projects turned in on time. "These resources are especially important for incoming students," said Schmidt, "since UNI's academic class structure is different than it is in high school."

This academic commitment pays big dividends. "The all-women's sorority GPA average for spring 2013 was 3.27, which is higher than the all-women's campus GPA average," said Schmidt. "The all-men's fraternity GPA average for that same semester was 2.99, which is also higher than the all-men's campus GPA average."

UNI's fraternities and sororities invite new members into their organizations each fall and spring. Learn more about each chapter and how to become an FSL member by visiting www.uni.edu/involvement/fsl.

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