When you walk onto campus the first day as a freshman, you are overwhelmed by the mass crowds of people. There are so many nameless faces and it is easy to get lost in a sea of people you don’t know. Groups of girls shuffle to and from classes together holding bags with foreign letters, guys ride skateboards down the long pathway in front of Hepner Hall, and you will do anything in your power to avoid dying when trying to cross the bike lane to get to your first class. We all had this day, at one point or another, whether it was last semester or three years ago. The reason going Greek at SDSU makes such a big impact is because it shrinks a student body of over 30,000 and provides us all with familiar faces on our way to and from classes. Each fraternity and sorority has its own personality at San Diego State, but we have all managed to bond while wearing our letters here. While running to your 10 a.m. class, it’s highly likely you'll bump into at least two girls in your sorority, a few from other houses and at least one guy you saw at a fraternity party over the weekend.
I posted a survey and shared it on the Greek pages here at San Diego State. I asked, “What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Greek community at San Diego State University?” I had an overwhelming 180 responses and one of the most common answers was that going Greek makes a ginormous campus feel small.
One person said, “The fact that I can walk down Campanile and see at least 10 familiar faces,” definitely had to be their favorite part of being in a house.
Many think that it is nice to be able to have a friendly face to say hello to on your way to or from class. I love walking across campus and running into girls from Pi Beta Phi. Even if it’s just a quick hello, it makes such a difference feeling connected to the University.
Coming in at a close second was the common bond we all share. A fall '13 Sigma Alpha Epsilon said his favorite part was being able to “meet tons of people and having something in common with all of them so you can always have a great conversation.”
On a Thursday night when you go out with three girls and end up at a party, you don’t only know them -- you know everyone. Being able to bond with different people from all different organizations is great because it connects us all through the bond of being Greek and we have shared experiences.
One response from the survey stated, “I love when I will be talking to a girl from Alpha Chi Omega and she asks me if I know a specific person and even though I am in Alpha Phi, I will still know who she’s talking about and be able to have a conversation with her.”
Another said, “I fell in love with State because of my sisters and because of the great guys I met here in the fraternities. Who knew a year and a half here would change my life forever. I have definitely found friends for life through my Greek experience.”
The final most common response to the survey was that there was a true love for being involved in the sisterhoods and brotherhoods here on campus. Learning the history of your organization and the secrets it has held since it was founded creates a tight bond among members. Through events, parties, philanthropies and meetings, members in Greek organizations have a unique opportunity to bond over common experiences and a shared love for the organization they are apart of.
One girl said, “Taking a little, first semester of this past year, was the most amazing feeling I have ever had. Having the ability to bond with someone who shares the same love for our house couldn’t make me happier and I am so happy introducing her to the rest of the girls in the house and showing her what it means to be a member of our house.”
The guys believe they have developed a camaraderie among them that will stick around for the rest of their time at State. All in all, Greek life gives a large school full of unfamiliar and unique faces a small, homey feeling that only those in the Greek community understand. It is a great experience and way to become more involved in campus life down in San Diego.