Going Greek turned Junior Tim Hicks from a "shy, quiet kid" to a potential leader. Like many other students who have joined a Greek organization on the SSU campus,
Hicks assumes that had he not joined his fraternity, he would not have had the same positive experiences he has had at SSU.
Students like Hicks have looked to Greek life as a way of bettering their futures, gaining experience in leadership roles and branching out to other extracurricular activities.
That is all being celebrated during "Greek Week" on campus which ends Friday.
SSU's Greek sororities and fraternities have now accepted for membership nearly 15 percent of the undergraduate population on campus, especially a vast majority of freshmen and sophomores. The numbers continue to climb each semester. Most of the larger groups have doubled in size within the last two years. The continuing demand is driving plans to add a new sorority and fraternity in the fall.
There are currently 17 Greek organizations on campus, including the national/international and traditional/multicultural groups, along with a few local organizations. The four Panhellenic sororities have a membership ranging from 110-125 young women each.
"Greek Life has given students an opportunity to become involved and invested in their college years. More and more students are seeking out the traditional college experience at SSU and Greek Life provides that," says Riley Pennington, Chair of the Panhellenic Extension Committee and President of Alpha Xi Delta.
Formed on the principle of philanthropy, the Greek community has put forth tremendous efforts to give back to the community, and create a better campus experience for students, says Heather Howard, Director, Center for Student Leadership, Involvement & Service. Each organization has been established to help the community around them.
Alpha Gamma Delta's "Lip Jam," raises money for diabetes research for children. Gamma Phi Beta's "Powderpuff" tournament, donates proceeds to Campfire America. Alpha Xi Delta hosts "Charity Denim," as well as their upcoming event "Karaoke for a Cure," raising money for Autism Speaks.
Alpha Delta Pi visits the Ronald McDonald House in San Francisco every Saturday to help clean the playroom. Phi Delta Theta holds an annual "Skate-For-Fate" event, raising money to purchase presents for children spending the holidays in a local children's hospital.
Friday's events wrap up the entire week of Greek activities, including a field day celebration on Commencement Lawn, filled with games and activities, surprise competitions, as well as prizes to be won. The entire Greek community will be in attendance as SSU's first ever "Greek Week" comes to a close. Games will take place from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. For the grand finale, the overall winner of Greek Week will be awarded a trophy.
The Greeks have worked hard over the last year to return to their roots and the positive values and standards they were founded upon, says Howard. "They are working diligently to plan for the 2010-11 year, with an emphasis on Greek unity and giving back to SSU and the Rohnert Park and Cotati communities as the forefront of their efforts."