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Greeks Honored for Academic Excellence

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ Social events aren't the only thing fraternity and sorority members focus on. Academics are a pivotal aspect in the Greek community at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh.

"I think the reason Greeks have been excelling academically is because we feel obligated to our brothers, sisters and ourselves to do well," keynote speaker Stephen Sweet, a senior history major from Penfield, N.Y., told members of the Greek community in attendance at the semiannual Greek Scholarship Recognition Ceremony on Feb. 3. "One of the main principles of Greek life is striving for excellence, and today shows how much we truly have accomplished that goal."

The pillars of Greek life include friendship, leadership development, social interaction, service and philanthropy and scholarship.

The ceremony recognized members of Plattsburgh State University of New York fraternities and sororities for their academic achievement. The awards began with members of chapters with a G.P.A. of 3.0 or above being honored. Of sororities, Alpha Phi had the most with 15 members. Sigma Tau Gamma had the most for fraternities with 17 members recognized.

"I am so proud of Alpha Phi. We have only been on campus for six years and it seems like every year gets better and better for us," said Dianna Potter, president of Alpha Phi and a senior psychology major from South Glens Falls.

Special Awards were also presented at the ceremony. The Council Officer with the Highest G.P.A. was awarded to Pi Alpha Nu brother Scott Wessner, a senior political science major from Tuxedo Park, N.Y. Chapter President with the Highest G.P.A. was awarded to Phi Kappa Chi sister Heather Gilbert, a senior special education major from Monroe, N.Y., for her impressive 3.95 G.P.A. Sigma Tau Gamma member Michael Kass, a junior secondary education major from Commack, N.Y., was awarded New Fraternity Member with Highest G.P.A. Theta Alpha Lambda member Jessie Cassada, a junior cytotechnology major from Norwood, N.Y., was awarded New Sorority Member with the Highest G.P.A.

The founding members of Gamma Sigma Alpha were also recognized at the ceremony. They signed the charter for Plattsburgh State's newest honor society for Greeks. Members of Gamma Sigma Alpha must have a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.5 or higher during their junior or senior year or receive a semester G.P.A. of 3.5 or higher their junior or senior year.

After the signing, Cheryl Decker, president of the Panhellenic Council and a member of Alpha Epsilon Phi, presented awards especially for the sororities. Alpha Epsilon Phi and Sigma Delta Tau shared the award for Most Improved Sorority G.P.A. Alpha Epsilon Phi also won Highest Sorority G.P.A. and Highest Sorority New Member G.P.A.

"I am honored to present these awards to my organization," said Decker, a business major from Watervliet, N.Y. "Alpha Epsilon Phi is improving, and I am glad to see our scholarship program is working out for the sisters."

The awards ceremony was hosted by the Center for Greek Affairs. Allison Swick-Duttine, coordinator for Greek Affairs and Leadership Development, reminded chapters how to excel academically. "Strive for academic excellence, have higher standards to accept members, create an academic plan for your chapter and provide support for those members who need it."

The All-Greek G.P.A. has been steadily increasing every semester. For the past two years, the All-Greek G.P.A. (2.69) has been higher than the All-Campus G.P.A. (2.67).
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