For students intrigued by Asian-interest Greek life, USC is home to two Asian fraternities and three sororities that make up USC’s Asian Greek Council. All five participate in social and philanthropic events with each other and with Asian-interest and minority groups both on- and off-campus.
These fraternities and sororities seek to offer an alternative Greek experience, including formal social events, philanthropies and networking opportunities to the 23 percent of students who make up the Asian population at USC. Though their mixers and events tend to remain within the AGC, they host multiple campus-wide events and strive to be a visible and contributing part of USC Greek life.
With 150 total members, the AGC doesn’t boast the size of the Interfraternity Council at USC. Its heavy involvement with Asian-interest organizations throughout Southern California, however, allows its members to enjoy a diverse range of activities and provides a fully immersive Greek experience.
“[The AGC] is definitely not as big as IFC; there are only five houses so it’s a pretty tight-knit community,” said Aaron Liu, a sophomore majoring in chemistry and the AGC representative for Beta Omega Phi. “The benefit of AGC is that every week we meet organizations from different schools for exchanges and other events.”
The two fraternities, Beta Omega Phi and Gamma Epsilon Omega, have been at USC since 1988 and 1963, respectively. The members of Beta Omega Phi, or “Betas,” were previously the only minority organization on campus to have a house on The Row until the fraternity Sigma Alpha Mu replaced them last year. Though they’re no longer on The Row, they have continued as active members of AGC.
Though the sororities and fraternities that make up the AGC have active social components, members are also involved in cultural events throughout Southern California. For example, Beta and its sister sorority, Sigma Phi Omega, have placed in the top three for the past three years in the Southern California Asian Greek Council Talent Show for both song and dance performances.
“If you’re looking for a cultural aspect to Greek life, this is where you’re going to find it,” Liu said.
Gamma Epsilon Omega, the members of which founded the original Southern California Asian Greek Council in 1982, is the oldest Asian-interest fraternity in Southern California. Although they too have a sister sorority, Delta Phi Kappa, the members of the AGC emphasize that all five houses mingle regularly.
“It’s different in terms of the numbers — each girl knows each sister. We have a lot more interaction on a closer level,” said Amy Yee, a member of Delta Phi Kappa and president of the AGC. “We do a lot of social events, and we don’t stay just within USC. It’s great to get to know other sororities and fraternities throughout SoCal.”
This close community also offers networking and service opportunities, and members are encouraged to branch out and get involved on campus.
“Every year we do alumni tea, where we invite alumni to mingle with actives,” Yee said. “It’s really rewarding to see all these different members come together, and hear what alumni have to say.”
Alpha Delta Kappa, another sorority, is unique in that it is an “open” sorority — that is, it allows students from other universities throughout Southern California to join. This both bolsters membership and further integrates the sorority into Southern California’s Asian-American community.
For the other four houses, rush is a two-week process in which houses alternate their planned events to allow potential new members to really get a sense of where they belong at USC. Prospective members are encouraged to attend rush events at other fraternities and sororities, both IFC and AGC.
“As a senior, it’s really rewarding to see younger members find their place,” Yee said. “[Delta Phi Kappa] has been a really significant part of my experience, and I feel I’ve learned a lot about all aspects of my life.”