Cal Poly fraternities and sororities gathered in the University Union to promote their philanthropies Thursday.

Alexandria Scott

Philanthropy was the word of the day this past Thursday, as Interfraternity Council (IFC), Panhellenic (PHA) and United Sorority and Fraternity Council (USFC) fraternities and sororities gathered in the University Union to raise awareness for charities.

The organizations showcased each of their respective philanthropies to show being greek is more than any stigmas.

USFC philanthropy vice president and political science senior Adriana Vasquez said greeks agree there is a negative stigma toward fraternities and sororities, and while those negative aspects do exist, there are also positive components.

“With anything, there is good and bad,” she said. “We want to inform the community that we do service, and it’s not because we have to, but because we want to.”
Every Cal Poly fraternity and sorority does philanthropic work with a specific humanitarian foundation. The event showed Cal Poly’s campus the charitable work greek life does, but it was also a way for the greeks to unify, support one another and share the spirit of volunteering.
And that “love to give back” resulted in some big bucks during the past few years.
Chi Omega sorority raised $22,000 last year through fundraising and gave all proceeds to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Tri-Counties, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses in San Luis Obispo County. So far this year, Chi Omega has accumulated another $22,000 and is trying to exceed the amount, according to agribusiness sophomore Megan Carmazzi.
“I wish people could see there is much more to greek life then what’s reported,” she said. “We are all very passionate about philanthropy.”
The types of organizations paired with individual fraternities or sororities are eclectic, and some greek philanthropic hands reach across borders.
Latin-interest sorority Lambda Theta Alpha, with the aid of the Corazon de Vida Foundation, developed a program called “Backpacks 4 Kidz,” which sends backpacks filled with school supplies, basic toiletries and toys to children at Casa Hogar Ebenezer Orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico.
Psychology junior Jasmine Rubalcava said she appreciates how other organizations helped Lambda Theta Alpha establish “Backpacks 4 Kidz.”
“We all united for this philanthropy and it feels really good to help others in need,” she said. “We try not to think about ourselves and incorporate others even if they aren’t near us.”
Other greek philanthropy groups shed light on problems for minorities.
USFC fraternity Lambda Phi Epsilon works with the Asian American Donation Program to raise awareness about the needs for minorities to be marrow donors. The fraternity’s interest was sparked when a brother from another chapter was diagnosed with leukemia, computer science senior Peter Tran said.
Ethnicity plays a big role in finding donors, and right now there are predominantly caucasians in the registry, he said. Members of Lambda Phi Epsilon volunteer by teaching minorities the importance of registering to help other minorities in need find a proper match, Tran said.
“Just being on campus is a privilege already, so why not give back to the campus and community,” Tran said.

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