Underscoring its commitment to combining a strong social outlet with a sound educational experience, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has been named by web site Best Colleges Online to its recent list of "10 Colleges That Get Greek Life Right."
In its designation, Best Colleges points out that there are many opportunities to get involved in one of WPI's 18 fraternities and sororities. The entry states, "Greek organizations are often just as focused on community service, building study skills, and helping to better the WPI campus and surrounding community."
Emily Perlow, director of Student Activities at WPI, said student interest in WPI fraternities and sororities has grown significantly over the past several years due to a campuswide commitment to a well-rounded college experience.
"I'm very proud of the fraternity and sorority community at WPI," said Perlow. "I believe it takes alumni, undergraduate members, advisors, and the institution to work together in partnership to build a successful fraternity/sorority experience."
Perlow noted that WPI fraternities and sororities perform thousands of hours of community service in greater Worcester each year. Additionally, each chapter is affiliated with a particular philanthropy for which they continually raise funds and serve throughout the year. In addition to their individual charities, fraternities and sororities serve together in blood drives and citywide clean-ups.
This past year, WPI fraternity/sorority organizations performed 18,978 reported hours of community service, an average of 15.65 hours per member. This totals more than 790 total days of cumulative service. Fraternities and sororities also donated $73,150 to philanthropic causes, an average of $60.35 per member. WPI has supported a number of local and national groups, including the Friendly House of Worcester, local nursing homes, the Ronald McDonald House, and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Perlow also said there has been increasing responsibility during social functions as chapters have moved toward greater peer accountability, using their council judicial board more effectively, and working hard to create an environment where chapters make mature decisions in social environments.
As a result of their work, WPI fraternities and sororities have also received a number of awards in the past year. At the Northeast Greek Leadership Association Annual Conference last February, 13 students and one chapter advisor were awarded philanthropy, community service, and multiculturalism awards.
"The fraternities and sororities at WPI are outstanding organizations for students and we'll continue to work hard to make a difference on and off campus," said Perlow.