Photo courtesy of Danny Halprin

Danny Halprin is a business administration junior and president of the Interfraternity Council (IFC). The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints and editorial coverage of Mustang News. This column is part of a series called ‘Sincerely, SLO’ where San Luis Obispo leaders share their thoughts on certain topics.

My name is Danny Halprin and I am the Interfraternity Council (IFC) president for the 2016-17 academic year. I would like to congratulate all first-year readers on joining the Mustang family — you have just started a fantastic journey, and we welcome you with open arms.

I know transitioning into a world of new opportunities can be intimidating, especially when you don’t know which path to choose. Between classes, clubs, job opportunities and new adventures to experience, it can be tough to determine the best way to spend your time. I’d like to tell you about the greatest character building and life changing decision I’ve made since coming to Cal Poly.

When I first arrived, I was eager to get involved and find my place on campus. After the first few weeks of class, I felt comfortable enough to push boundaries and put myself out there. I had considered joining a club sport or picking up new hobbies, but I was unable to find exactly what I was looking for. I knew I was looking to be a part of something bigger than myself, but didn’t quite know what that entailed. I imagine many first-year readers currently feel the same way.
Luckily, I soon discovered a flourishing and vibrant community that showed the promise of creating lifelong friendships. At the time, I had yet to discover that this community consisted of a large number of the many outstanding student leaders and achievers on campus. I thought I found exactly what I was looking for. I’m talking about greek life at Cal Poly.

After joining Alpha Epsilon Pi, one of the affiliated fraternities within the IFC, I realized that greek life provided me exactly what I was hoping to gain — the skills and experiences I’d need in order to maximize my potential while being a student at Cal Poly. I noticed many of my peers within the Panhellenic Council and the United Sorority and Fraternity Council (USFC) felt the same way about their organizations. The passion and enthusiasm behind this community enthralled me, and inspired me to find leadership positions within my own chapter.

However, despite the incredible experiences I had, I discovered that many of my non-greek friends and fellow students didn’t see the same values in greek life as I did, and couldn’t seem to comprehend the significant positive impact that it made in my life. It troubled me to realize that to some, fraternity and sorority life wasn’t the greatly beneficial and vibrant community I had come to know and cherish. The disconnect between these two opinions inspired me to get more involved and help bridge the gap between greeks and non-greeks.

In my position as IFC president, I have made it a goal to “buck” some of the negative stigma that our greek community has by opening up about the rewarding experiences my membership has provided me. When I reflect on my last four years at Cal Poly, I can’t begin to imagine where I would be without my brothers and this community of greek-wide support. Not only has my fraternity given me a family at Cal Poly, but it has deepened my relationships with my biological brother and father, who are also members of Alpha Epsilon Pi.

It is my hope that you will consider joining greek life at Cal Poly this year and experience the same benefits from
your membership.

I wish you the best of luck with your experience here at Cal Poly. Ride high, Mustangs!

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