OUR STORY

The story of how greek organizations grew into what they are today, is unique to each
college campus.
We treasure the evolution of greek life here at San Diego State, the tens of thousands of men and women that blazed trails before us, and the countless others that will come after us.

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EARLY ORIGINS

ROWING CLUBS: SAN DIEGO STATE'S FIRST SORORITIES

1897- 1910's

ROWING CLUBS: SAN DIEGO STATE'S FIRST SORORITIES

Rowing clubs were the social organizations of the Normal School, setting the foundations for societies in the future.

Rowing clubs created social events for the Normal School and were exclusively female in membership. The clubs organized teas and dances alongside rowing competitions.

Dogwatch Crew was the first, founded in 1899, and followed closely by

Pristis, Albatross, Petrel, Tritons, and the "Jug Club." founded in 1914.

Many rowing clubs would eventually transform into fraternities for women,

as rowing clubs died out. 

GOING GREEK

AS COLLEGES MERGE, FRATERNITY AND SORORITY LIFE GROWS

1920's

AS COLLEGES MERGE, FRATERNITY AND SORORITY LIFE GROWS

In 1921, The San Diego Normal School joined with the San Diego Jr. College to form the San Diego State Teachers College.

The student body grew in size and diversity, prompting the creation of new student organizations. During this time, the first male fraternities, Epsilon Eta, and Eta Omega Delta or "The Hods," were founded*. The first greek-letter society for women on campus, Delta Chi Phi, started in 1923.

In 1924, The Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) was founded to promote scholarship and campus collaboration. The council published grade point averages of the then 9 sororities and 2 fraternities on campus, and hosted the annual Inter-Fraternity Ball.

Two years later, the Inter-Sorority Council (ISC) was formed to provide more specific attention to sorority "rushing and bidding." The ISC quickly developed a tradition of community/campus service and took on large philanthropic events.

*Later known as Kappa Sigma Fraternity

GOING NATIONAL

THE LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS OF SAN DIEGO STATE FIND NATIONAL ROOTS 

1930-1940's

College attendance dwindled through the Great Depression and the second World War, and fraternities/sororities were not immune.

However, with the end of the war in 1945, San Diego State's attendance boomed again, and with it, sororities and fraternities.

Up until this point, all sororities and fraternities on campus were local, with no governing bodies off campus. Then, in late 1947, Theta Chi chartered a chapter on campus and it sparked a trend for local fraternities and sororities to "go national."

Many local chapters transformed themselves into national sororities like Delta Chi Phi becoming Alpha Xi Delta in 1949. The Inter-Sorority Council (ISC) also found their nationally-affiliated identity, and became the Panhellenic Association, under the

National Panhellenic Conference (NPC).

By 1951, 9 local fraternities and 10 local sororities were absorbed by national chapters.

PUTTING DOWN ROOTS

GREEK ORGANIZATIONS GET SETTLED ON THE MONTEZUMA MESA

1950-Early 1960's

As greek organizations created national ties, chapters started to acquire local land in the College Area. 

Delta Sigma Phi was the first to buy a house, now on Hardy Avenue, and Kappa Delta was the first sorority to buy a house, on Montezuma Road, in 1952.

Also in 1951, the first historically black fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi, chartered on campus. The Kappas joined IFC the following year, in 1952, and opened the door for more culturally-based fraternities to charter in the future.

A CHANGING COMMUNITY

THE GREEK COMMUNITY DIVERSIFIES AS NEW ORGANIZATIONS ARE FOUNDED

Late 1960-1970's

Amongst popular trends of breaking with tradition, some greek chapters closed, only to be re-opened years later.

These decades also brought several additions to San Diego State College. Several African-American fraternities and sororities were chartered, and in 1971, The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) was founded to provide unity and governance to these chapters.

Greek students continued to impact the university as leaders and and activists, and grew with SDSU as it added new land, new departments, and welcomed incoming classes larger, and more diverse than ever before.

1980's

With the end of the Vietnam War, college attendance, and with it greek membership, was at an all-time high.

Most of the chapters closed in the previous decades reopened, and the College Area became decorated with Greek Houses. The Greek Community continued its tradition of spreading Aztec Pride, with the annual Homecoming Parade and festivities,

campus involvement, and Greek Week.

TURBULENT TIMES

ADDITIONS, SUBTRACTIONS, AND TURNOVER IN THE GREEK COMMUNITY

1990-2010's

The new millennium bore witness to the arrival and closure of several

Greek chapters. 

The majority of culturally-based fraternities and sororities on campus today, were founded in the 1990's. In 1997, The United Sorority and Fraternity Council (USFC) was founded to give additional support and governance to these fraternities and sororities.

Meanwhile, issues like sexual assault, hazing, and alcohol/drug use were being addressed, in many cases, for the first time. 

Corporations, government agencies, human resource departments and universities, nationwide, took the learning curve on together, and greek organizations were no exception. 

TODAY

Our Greek Community is one of vibrant campus leaders, passionate students, budding professionals, and proud San Diego State Aztecs. 

Every chapter here at SDSU cherishes the traditions handed down to us:

meaningful sister/brotherhood, self sacrifice, scholastic excellence, comaraderie, and value-based introspection.

At the same time, chapters acknowledge their role in evolving fraternity and sorority life; rejecting hazing and sexual assault in our community, while also

exploring new avenues for member development,

like professionalism, social activism, and health and wellness.

SDSU would not be SDSU without greek life, and all of us would not be who we are without our letters. Go State! Go Greek!

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