Fraternities were founded in American universities for the purpose of developing and broadening the academic faculties of their members while at the same time providing a sense of brotherhood and bonding that did not exist inside of the classroom. Since then, they have developed into so much more.
First and foremost, for almost every fraternity, is academics. Fraternities are made up of students, and students come to college with the intention to study. Many chapters within the IFC thus reward their members for high academic performance and encourage a certain GPA for all members.
Fraternities proudly work to not only make a lasting positive impact in the lives of their members, but also in their community. Last year, IFC fraternities at UCSD volunteered more than 4,100 hours of community service and were also able to raise over $9,000 that was donated to local and national philanthropic causes. It is the leadership that is learned and honed in fraternities that makes these events possible and these skills translate to everyday life.
The Interfraternity Council works to enhance the sense of community between the various fraternities and enables them to work together more readily. This allows for collaboration and innovation that would not be possible if each fraternity was working completely independently. IFC’s goal is enhance the fraternity experience and to ensure that we, as a community, are always getting better. We often work with other Greek organizations on campus to put on collaborative, educational and fun events that can help create and improve the sense of community on campus.
Fraternities are improving in many areas — academics, community service, philanthropic giving, creating and enabling leaders and reaching out to new areas of the UCSD community —, and I firmly believe that the best days of fraternities here at UCSD are ahead of us.
– Timothy Sirota, Interfraternity Council President
With many varying organizations on campus, the Panhellenic Council can be caught up in the mix. Technically, Panhellenic is the community comprised of the ten sororities that belong to the National Panhellenic Conference. On a deeper level, Panhellenic is a home away from home to almost a thousand women at UCSD and a life changing, life long experience for every individual member.
Although the media has tainted perceptions of Greeks, those who truly look at UCSD Greek life see that it’s a thing of its own. Negative press covers the worst of sororities with reports of racism, sexism, hazing, etc. At UCSD, the Panhellenic community works to not only dispel overarching negative traits that come with Greek life but eradicate them. We have a no-tolerance, anti-hazing policy, seminars on sexual assault and leadership conferences on diversity, and we strive everyday to break stereotypes by simply being the best version of ourselves in letters.
Sororities were founded as support and encouragement for women in a male-dominated college world. Centuries later, they continue to serve as a tenant for scholarship, service and individual growth while giving women common values to bond with one another. Sisterhood is a lot of things, but at the core it is finding people who will be your best friends, empower you and help you grow into whoever you want to be.
Every Panhellenic chapter has a national charity organization they raise money and awareness for all year. Ranging from a carnival to a dance competition, the philanthropy events raise thousands of dollars each. The biggest opportunity you get from being a part of Panhellenic, aside from spending your time in meaningful ways, is the opportunity to learn from others who want to get the most out of college just as much as you do. Part of the largest, most diverse block of females on campus, Panhellenic members meet, integrate with and are inspired by women from all walks of life. We take that collective power and try better our school, the world and one another to the fullest of our capacity.
– Leah Wong, Panhellenic Council President
Alpha Kappa Psi
Founded in 1904, Alpha Kappa Psi is the oldest and largest co-ed business fraternity. AKPsi is a group of students who share a common interest in professional development and proactively pursuing the career of our dreams. The Nu Xi Chapter at UCSD has over 60 members whose diversity in majors is unified with the individual success of each member.
Though it is commonly known that proficiency in resume building, interviews, public speaking and networking are great assets for any college student, a fair portion of the UCSD community is unaware that ΑΚPsi can assist with all of this. As an organization that is open to all majors, we have a huge network of actives and alumni working at companies such as Microsoft, P&G and Disney. By providing our members with workshops and mentorship programs, as well as a multitude of job opportunities and valuable leadership experience, our chapter encourages each individual’s professional development.
As a fraternity, we hope to be perceived as a professional resource for the student body. We co-host recruiting events with companies, provide seminars and workshops on resumes and interviews and arrange many other events geared towards enabling the professional development of UCSD students. Like social fraternities and sororities, we engage in many social activities, including quarterly retreats, barbeques, day outings, inter-chapter mixers, intramural sports tournaments and much more. What separates us is our unifying desire to develop ourselves professionally. Whether those interests lie within optometry, investment banking, public policy or otherwise, all our brothers make an active effort to further our offerings.
– Cathy Kim, Alpha Kappa Psi Nu Xi Chapter Rush Coordinator
Multi-Cultural Greek Council
The Multicultural Greek Council is one of three Greek councils at UCSD. It is composed of 15 Greek fraternities and sororities that stand unified to promote higher education and leadership with the added aspect of a cultural identity. The IFC and PHC are long-standing establishments, while the MGC is a growing, but somewhat under-the-radar force. Over the years, the UCSD MGC has cultivated a small close-knit community with many of its founders remaining local, creating a viable network of connections. The MGC’s role at UCSD is especially important given the great diversity of students on campus. MGC strives to serve the community with an emphasis on distinct cultures and is inclusive of all students, which means that students who may not identify with a particular interest may still join. First and foremost, the MGC embodies the ideal of knowing yourself and living confidently in who you are.
– Kaylee Miu, Multi-Cultural Greek Council
Alpha Phi Omega
Alpha Phi Omega is a national co-ed fraternity focused on community service. At UCSD, we are classifed under the Professional Fraternity Council due to our focus on professionalism and service to the chapter, campus, community and country. This is not to be confused with the fraternities and sororities in the IFC, PHC or MGC.
Our reputation varies from person-to-person, but a general consensus is that APO is a very large fraternity. Some people may not take our fraternity seriously due to the fact that we accept everyone who wants to join, but APO is proud to have such a large member base. Our belief is that we should not refuse anyone who wants to provide service to the community, so every recruitment quarter, we accept around 30 to 100 new members. It is easy for others to doubt the strength of our brotherhood, but with every large group comes a diverse pool of personalities and opportunities. The potential of APO is limitless because of our room to grow. Most people join with little history of extracurricular activities and leadership experience, but leave with countless lifelong friends and knowledge of how to be the type of leader that suits their personality. We welcome everyone to fully utilize APO’s opportunities in our three cardinal principles of Leadership, Friendship and Service.
Not only do we help our campus with activities like Roger’s Community Garden, but we also reach out to the San Diego community by helping out the senior citizens, youth, homeless community and environment. Our largest service project is Operation Santa, in which we provide San Diego families in need with holiday gifts of basic necessities and toys. This project in particular is open to anyone, affiliated or not, who wants to directly help a family in need by adopting a family’s wish-list, individually or with a group of friends. The bigger picture of Alpha Phi Omega’s mission is not to be an exclusive group of people with a common interest but to benefit and give back to the community, and we encourage everyone to do the same.
– Kelly Wong, Alpha Phi Omega Ro Phi Chapter President
Illustrations by Jenny Park