Senior Staff Writer
“I got a certain energy where I felt so welcome, very cozy, very me, and I knew that that’s the energy that I want to surround myself with — I hadn’t found that anywhere else at UCSB,” Mary Anne, a third-year sociology major from Sigma Lambda Gamma, a cultural sorority, explained under a canopy in front of the library.
During the first week of fall quarter, hundreds of students participated in UC Santa Barbara’s (UCSB) rush week, also known as recruitment week. UCSB-affiliated fraternities and sororities organized a series of activities for students interested in joining.
UCSB is home to many Greek organizations, including nine Panhellenic sororities, nine cultural-based sororities and fraternities, and 12 professional fraternities. Each council hosts its own recruitment process and emphasizes different qualities in its members, but all support growing community and network among its students.
For many first-timers, rushing this past week was a blur of overwhelming activity. Yet, Tania, a first year pre-sociology major at Alpha Delta Pi, said, “My overwhelmed emotions were overridden by excitement.” Sorority candidates, like Tania, went through multiple rounds of recruitment at different sorority houses and social receptions.
Returning members also enjoyed meeting new people on campus. “It was inspiring to see younger people who are enthusiastic about what they are learning,” Jessica, a third-year computer science major from the engineering fraternity Theta Tau said. Many people who worked behind the scenes, planning events and tabling, also appreciated seeing their hard work pay off.
Although the recruitment process is very hectic, Greek life is a great way to meet people and make friends. “In the short week of rushing,” Tania says, “I’ve met multiple girls — some turned out to be in my classes or have simply made the effort to wave at me when we see each other on campus.”
Joining a sorority or fraternity can connect you with people who share similar interests and values, regardless of your year at the university. “It felt really exhilarating to meet people who thought and felt like I did,” Alfred, a fourth-year film and media studies major from Delta Kappa Alpha, explained. Others commented on how nice it was to be surrounded by people who are pursuing the same major or path and always having people to look up to.
Another perk to joining a Greek sorority or fraternity is gaining access to resources and help for future endeavors. Many sororities and fraternities — not just the professional ones — offer interview preparation and resume critiquing, along with helping members to build public speaking and professional relationship skills. Jimena, a fourth-year sociology major in Sigma Lambda Gamma, explained, “Knowing that being involved would help me [grow] as a person and be more comfortable [in my own skin] inspired me to join.” Many members of professional sororities and fraternities also pointed out the importance of networking, which they could gain from their organization.
Additionally, students join sororities or fraternities when these groups reflect their own values and goals. Jimena said, “I felt like these are very empowered women that I want to be around, or I wanna be like, or I can learn a lot from.”
From Greek life, many students are hoping to gain some valuable experiences. “We work on garnering these strong relationships and just growing,” Alfred voiced. Whether in need of professional help, life advice, or making lasting friendships, UCSB’s thriving Greek life offers students a bridge to connecting with others.
Raina, a fourth-year statistics and data science major also from Delta Kappa Alpha summarized, “I’ll remember these guys forever; they’re part of my college experience.”