Every fall new students flood campus searching for friends and places to call their own. Even though sororities and fraternities boast life-long friendships as one of their biggest selling points, there is not an overwhelming amount of interest in Greek life from the student body here at USF.
There are six organizations on-campus recognized by Greek Council: four sororities and two fraternities. In total, there are around 160 Greeks.
Formal recruitment for new brothers and sisters started this past week for most Greeks on-campus although the length of initiation varies between organizations.
Something unique to the University’s Greek life is Greek Council. Greek Council is composed of Greeks from every organization and oversees them all in order to promote a sense of community. Kimberly Kane, Greek Council President, hopes Greek life will expand, but not too much too fast because, “there’s no way we could provide the richest experience that we’ve all enjoyed to big classes right now” because the amount of students interested in some organizations outnumber the actual active members and it would, “lower the meaningfulness of the experience.”
One of Greek Council’s goals this year is to have more of a presence on campus. One idea in the works is an open barbecue every other week in Harney Plaza where Greeks from all organizations on-campus can come and mingle with non-Greeks. Matt Merrill is the president of Lambda Theta Phi, Inc., a metro chapter, meaning that the brotherhood spans schools in the same district and in this case with California State University of San Francisco. “At State, they have a reputation for putting on good events,” Merrill said. “We’re going for the same by trying to put on events that will give us a good reputation as Greeks but also with students.”
Unlike most colleges with Greek life, USF does not have houses or a Greek Row. Merrill said, regarding Greek Rows at larger campuses, “there’s a certain luster behind houses” because there is an established feel of Greek life and people wear letters all the time.
Delaney Kennedy, Alumnae Relations Co-Chair for Delta Zeta, agrees that one of the drawbacks of USF Greek life is not having a house, but “most of the girls live together off campus anyway so it’s close.”
Reasons for going Greek are as various as the ethnicities we have on campus, but for Kennedy it’s about learning from other people and learning about herself in the process. “There isn’t a mold of a Delta Zeta. I’m not sure whether that’s a reflection of our city or of Delta Zeta,” Kennedy said.
Merrill has also seen a great change within himself after becoming a Greek. He said he used to be the guy who didn’t care too much about grades and never went to campus events. “If they (the USF community) only knew it was the direct opposite. It turned me around 180 degrees. The moment I joined I realized my true potential and my grades have never been better.”
The ultimate reason for brotherhood though is still “the passion of people and Greek life at USF. They’ve influenced me the most,” he said.
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