Kenna and Shea: What is your favorite part about the greek system? Your sorority/fraternity?
Stephanie Killpack: You meet people so easily. I was intimidated from meeting upperclassmen, so I thought joining my sorority would be a good way to push past my comfort zone. I also grew up with brothers so I was excited to have some more women in my life.
Thomas Nocera: I was very social in high school and so I was drawn to being around a bunch of people. I also was drawn to the opportunity to live and be a part of fixing our frat house.
Chyna Oyola: I love having a family on campus and having fun socials to attend. I love having the opportunity not only to learn about agriculture, but also develop my professional skills through my sorority.
K&S: What is your organization’s stereotype within the greek system? What do you think about that?
Steph: I think we are known for being peppy and active. Part of that is true in that we’re very active, both within the sorority and outside. We’re very passionate about our interests.
Tom: Well the image we self-perpetuate is the nice guy with a dad-bod. Actually, it was my friend in high school’s dad who started that whole image within my fraternity. We had his face on a bunch of t-shirts; it was pretty funny.
K&S: Do you find yourself critical of the organization(s)? If so, what are you critical of?
Steph: There is a lot of pressure from our national organization that I think is a bit outdated. There are these regulations for us in order to “keep us classy” that I don’t think applies to the modern woman. There’s also this piece that drives unnecessary competition both between the fraternities and sororities as well as between women in general. Instead of competing to win, I’d like to see our distinctions between groups based on where you best fit in and what fuels each person to be happy.
Tom: Honestly, I see so many similarities. I wish we could wipe away the stereotypes. We’re all people. While I can’t imagine introducing my SA&FS friends to my fraternity friends and vice versa, there is a lot of opportunity for sustainable agriculture within the greek system.
Chyna: Every time I tell someone that I am a part of a sorority, I almost always get asked about “all the parties [I] go to” and/or a dramatic sigh like they’re disappointed in me. Many people have tried to dismantle stereotypes many times, but I think it’s bigger than just our campus that needs to work towards banishing the ideas people have of the Greek system. I think making it more accessible financially, having more meaningful philanthropies that focus on service learning rather than simply fundraising, and actively working towards diversity might make a difference.
K&S: What do you wish people knew about your participation in the greek system or the greek system in general?
Steph: The greek system at Davis is so low-key. We’re not all superficial. I think people could be less critical or judgmental. You know, we rebel against being stereotyped within SA&FS but there’s still a lot of stereotyping about what kind of person joins a sorority.
Tom: Ultimately, it was about the connections I made. I joined this frat with 3 friends from high school. And being a part of this frat got me a job my freshman year, which got me a job the next year, which is helping me get a job for after college.
Chyna: The Greek system gets a bad rap, but it is what you make of it and nothing more or less. I came into UC Davis as a SAFS major with 0 background in ag and a desire to push myself, develop myself, and find a place to fit in on campus. My sorority and my sisters have helped me so much and being able to pay that forward by helping other sisters and just other people in general through my organization is the best.
Interested in the Greek System at UC Davis? Talk to Steph, Tom, Chyna or various other SA&FS students involved including Vanessa Ramirez and Fiona Benjamin (Sigma Alpha), Isaac O'Leary (Alpha Epsilon Pi), and Laura Ongaro and Alexandra Fafard (Pi Beta Phi).