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According to data collected from Cal Poly’s fraternities and sororities, the school’s greek life collectively raised $457,000 in 2016.

Cal Poly’s greek life makes up 20 percent of the student body. Roughly 3,500 affiliated members across 36 Panhellenic (PHA), Interfraternity Council (IFC) and United Sorority and Fraternity Council chapters dedicated more than 35,000 hours to philanthropies in 2016.

Across the board, IFC raised $204,000, PHA, $176,000 and USFC, $117,000 in 2016.

“This shows just how much effort they put into making the community a better place and not only making a difference in their own organizations, but in the San Luis Obispo community as a whole,” interim coordinator for fraternity and sorority life Payton Gates said.

Top fundraisers from each greek council included IFC’s Tau Kappa Epsilon ($128,000) for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Omega Xi Delta ($90,000) for Along Comes Hope and PHA’s Sigma Kappa ($49,000) for the Alzheimer’s Association.

IFC Vice President of Public Relations Joe Benson said the amount is a huge success for greek life. Benson took it upon himself to reach out to each greek life chapter to gather the 2016 philanthropic data.

We were talking about a better way to communicate the philanthropy and service greek life has,” he said. “I thought it was so important to have in records.” 

The 35,000 hours volunteered amount to a value of $1 million, according to independentsector.org. The value is calculated based on the 2015 average non-profit employee’s wage ($23.56/hr).

The philanthropies greek organizations gave to included their national affiliate organizations. An example is Chi Omega’s alliance with the Make-a-Wish foundation and Alpha Omicron Pi’s official partnership with the Arthritis Foundation, Benson said.

“It is absolutely amazing and one of the true reasons why  I felt motivated to become IFC president because I was confident in our community and the contributions they make to SLO and community overall,” IFC president and business administration junior Danny Halprin said. “These are the things greek organizations pride themselves on and we are happy to see outcome like this and strive for even more in the coming year.”

Graphic by Cecilia Seiter

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