Greek Member Experience updates: explained

Anna Butrico

Last year’s Greek Member Experience (GME) pilot program is no longer optional, now bearing serious consequences if it is not completed. If 80 percent of each fraternity and sorority does not complete the program’s requirements, they will be suspended from having social events.

The GME program had its first trial run last year. It is set up to track student card swipes at events in 6 different “tracks”: Campus Involvement, Community Impact, Diversity & Inclusion, Faculty Engagement, Healthy Behaviors and Personal Development. Students are required to attend two to three events in each track, summing up to 15 events throughout the year. It was created to show Greek support for campus events, to connect Greek students to the greater Vanderbilt campus, as well as promote each individual member’s development. Last year, sororities and fraternities were not penalized if students did not complete GME.

This year, however, the Office of Greek Life is enforcing consequences. To guide students towards completing all the GME requirements, they have created benchmark checkpoints throughout the year.

By fall break, 80 percent of the sorority/fraternity chapter must complete four or more GME credits. By winter break, 80 percent must complete eight or more. By spring break, Greek members are required to have swiped at twelve or more GME events, putting them on track for fifteen or more by the end of the school year.

Senior Victoria Potter, the President of Vanderbilt Panhellenic Council, says that these consequences for not completing these standards are nothing new, as individual chapters have membership requirements that fall under the GME standards.

“Last year was the pilot year, so we were more relaxed with the chapters since there were many technical kinks to work through,” Potter said. “The Office of Greek Life is simply holding its members accountable to ‘being more’ which is no different than any other standards system. This just puts the responsibility with the individual and not the chapter leadership. I believe it increases overall accountability in the community.”

If chapters do not reach these benchmarks for each of the designated quarters, they will not be permitted to have social events. For example, sororities that don’t have 80 percent of their members complete four or more GME events by Fall Break will not be allowed to have their winter formals.

Sorority and fraternities have responded to these new requirements, and are equipping Greek members with weekly e-mails summarizing GME-eligible events, which range from attending a football game to listening to a speaker.