Sunday, October 03, 2010

Fraternity brings alum to promote Greek Life - SDSU #WhySigEp

Fraternity brings alum to promote Greek Life
Juice Editor

The Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, one of six men’s fraternities on campus.
Collegian Photo by Aaron Stoneberger
The Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, one of six men’s fraternities on campus, used a comedy event to promote Greek life. The comedian, Steve Hofstetter, is an alumni of the Sig Ep chapter at Columbia University.
Comedian Steve Hoffstetter had the crowd roaring with laughter Sept. 28 in the Volstorff Ballroom.
Collegian Photo by Aaron Stoneberger
Comedian Steve Hoffstetter had the crowd roaring with laughter Sept. 28 in the Volstorff Ballroom.
Steve Hoffstetter's act has been called "The Daily Show if it were on HBO."  The comedian was on campus Sept. 28 and was sponsored by Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity for a free show to promote Greek life on campus. Hoffstetter, a Sigma Phi Epsilon alumnus, performed at a reduced cost for SDSU.

 "We had the event to get word out about Greek life and Sigma Phi Epsilon. This comedian is an alumni who is here to provide a service to campus," said Jamie Beckman, a senior music and pre-medicine major and the Sigma Phi Epsilon member who organized the event. 

Many times, Greek chapters have a negative stigma attached to them. The chapters at SDSU are trying to reverse this stereotype.

"We're tutoring down at the middle school, working with Habitat for Humanity and have a specific philanthropy we raise money for every year," Beckman said.

SDSU's Greek community has been promoting Greek life in an attempt to boost enrollment and involvement.

"If you find the right fraternity and decide to join, it's the best decision of your life," Hoftstetter said. "But I wouldn't say ‘Go Greek, you won't regret it'. You have to find the right group of guys and meet the right people."

The campus Greek Life Advisor, Addie Wolcott, has been with the Greek life program for just over a year. She said there is room for growth within the program when looking towards the future.

"I definitely see Greek Life growing. I see chapters growing and getting stronger, but it would be great if we could bring more chapters," Wolcott said.  "I think SDSU could definitely support more chapters."

Between three and four percent of SDSU's total student population is involved with Greek life, Wolcott said, but the Greek community is always looking to increase these numbers. 

Greek life has many positive aspects to it including networking and friendship, Hoffstetter said.

"If you're thinking about joining a chapter, you have to try to think beyond the next few years. It's more than just who you want to party with the next few years, it's who you want to come to your wedding," Hoffstetter said.

Hoffstetter can relate to attempting to increase enrollment in Greek life. His fraternity home chapter, at Columbia University, had approximately eight percent of students involved when he joined the fraternity but those numbers rose to nearly 13 percent by the time of his graduation. 

Hoffstetter said he encourages people to look beyond the stigmas and make decisions for themselves.

"The vocal minority does a lot of damage to the Greek system," Hoffstetter said.
As members look towards the future of Greek life, they may be excited by its potential.

"I'm 31 and this [Greek life] is still important to me. Clearly, it touched me." Hoffstetter said. 

For student interested in Greek life, stop by the Office of Student Activities, room 140 in The Student Union. Visit www.picksteve.com for a free download of the comedian's album.

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