Fraternity and Sorority Life at Cal State Fullerton isn’t just a party, it’s also a hub for philanthropy

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During his freshman year at Cal State Fullerton, Scott Griffin originally didn’t think he was going to rush for a fraternity because of “the stigmas and stereotypes on how fraternities only party.”

After finding out Delta Chi’s philanthropy supports the Jimmy V Foundation, Griffin immediately changed his tune. The foundation helps a cause that’s close to heart for Griffin, who lost his grandfather to cancer.

The Jimmy V Foundation, which focuses on cancer research, was founded by the 1983 NCAA Tournament champion and North Carolina State basketball coach, Jimmy Valvano, who lost his battle to cancer after a long, hard fight.

In finding ways to raise funds for the Jimmy V Foundation, the Delta Chi fraternity holds philanthropy projects like Puppies and Pies where people can pay $5 to play with puppies and hit a Delta Chi brother with a pie.

Sororities and fraternities at CSUF hold social events to raise funds for their chapter’s philanthropy. There are more than 25 fraternities and sororities and four Greek councils from CSUF, each focusing on its own philanthropy, said the assistant director to CSUF Fraternity and Sorority Life, Toubee Yang.

The philanthropy efforts within the sorority and fraternity life could be nationwide or local, depending on the chapter.

Sophomore Delaney Mcheffeyi, who is in her second semester as philanthropy chair of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority, said ADPi’s philanthropy efforts focus on raising money for the Ronald McDonald House Charity, a partnership of ADPi chapters nationwide.

The Ronald McDonald House in turn raises funds for families with ill or injured children who need to travel for treatment, and offers housing to families with a sick child who is in need of immediate care while not living close to a facility that offers it.

Last semester, ADPi had two philanthropy projects, Crush Grams and Kicking it With ADPi, to raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House Charity. Crush Grams is a Valentine’s Day philanthropy project where valentine grams are sold attached to bottles of Strawberry Crush for students to send to a crush of their choice.

Kicking it With ADPi is a round-robin kickball tournament between sororities and fraternities, hosted at the Student Recreation Center field on campus. During the kickball tournament, they collect soda pop tops and donate them to the Ronald McDonald House to recycle, for funding.

With those two projects, ADPi raised $2,000 for the Ronald McDonald House last semester. For the upcoming semester, Mcheffeyi plans on having two philanthropy projects: Pizza Pies with the Pis and Bugs and Kisses.

For Pizza Pies with the Pis, ADPi sisters will be selling tickets to try different pizzas and vote for the best one. Bugs and Kisses will be held at Titan Walk in October, where they will be selling spider and Hershey Kisses leis.

“I’m very interested in being involved with my community and they have given me the opportunity to do that,” Mcheffeyi said.

The greek community collaborates and supports each other’s philanthropy projects. Sigma Nu’s nationwide philanthropy supports the Helping Hand Initiative, but different chapters focus on different causes. CSUF’s Sigma Nu chapter focuses on St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital because it is near Fullerton.

Sigma Nu’s philanthropy projects are Bubble Ball and Snuperbowl, which raises funds for St. Jude’s. Bubble Ball is their own version of the World Cup where they play soccer in giant rubber bubbles in teams of five to seven with different sororities and fraternities. Snuperbowl is where they compete with sororities in a friendly competition of flag football.

Sigma Nu fraternity member Andrew La said that CSUF fraternities and sororities collaborate to raise funds for Camp Titan during Greek Week in a series of competitions. Camp Titan raises funds for underprivileged children who can’t afford to go to summer camp.

During Greek Week, there are field games, sports, and lip sync dance competitions. At the end of the week, different awards and banners including best spirit, funding and lip sync, are awarded to different fraternities and sororities. Funding for Camp Titan is made through the head tax participation of every fraternity and sorority, as well as GoFundMe pages set up by the greek organizations.

There was no Greek Week this spring, but sororities and fraternities participated at the tailgate, a one-day get-together hosted at the baseball fields. The people who attended the tailgate were charged $10 per person, which was donated to Camp Titan, according to Director of Public Relations of the Interfraternity Council, John Good.

Sorority and fraternity members also get involved with Camp Titan by serving as counselors. La served as a Camp Titan counselor for two years. He was part of the spirit staff, in which he had a lot of interactions with the children. La would participate in arts and crafts, campfires and making slime with the children.

Yang said the core values of fraternities and sororities are service, brotherhood, sisterhood and philanthropy. CSUF’s fraternities and sororities have taken special pride in the latter.

“You don’t really see it from the outside perspective, how important all these donations are for Camp Titan,” La said. “Once you’re where you realize, ‘wow, this was not only made possible by the faculty staff here, but also by the students.’”

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