Local fraternity is ‘professional’

Virginia Berg

Virginia Berg

Sigma Alpha Omega (SAO) is not your typical women’s fraternity. For starters, they are a professional fraternity rather than a social fraternity.

So what distinguishes SAO as a professional fraternity, and not a social fraternity? According to SAO member Angela Kopriva, an athletic training and pre-physical therapy major, there are a couple of things. There is “no alcohol at any of our events,” and their “goal is to make professional leaders out of members … by strengthening their leadership skills.”

Being a professional fraternity also means not being considered part of the SDSU Greek system. Currently, only social fraternities, male and female, can be considered part of the greek system. That policy may change in the future, Kopriva said.

Another thing that makes SAO different from other fraternities is its agricultural focus. As a national requirement of the fraternity, 75 percent of its members must have majors in an agricultural field, Kopriva said.

SAO’s affiliation with 45 other chapters on the national level has also opened other opportunities to them. For example, a member from SDSU is currently serving on the national SAO board, Kopriva said.

Another distinguishing feature of this fraternity is that its members do not all live together, said Kopriva. But some members of SAO do live with other members in an unofficial residence.

SAO helps with Little I and other Ag-related activities on and around campus. According to Kopriva, they will also be participating in the upcoming Mall Walk for the Children’s Miracle Network.

The fraternity has either a speaker or leadership development activity at each meeting, Kopriva said. They also have at least two professional speakers per semester. Meetings are held in Northern Plains Biostress Laboratory 100 on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m.

This year is the fraternity’s 10th anniversary. Since its start, SAO has been well accepted on campus. The fraternity has grown from 10 or 12 members the first year, to one of SDSU’s largest women’s fraternities, with 39 members currently, said Kopriva.

SAO’s rush week goes from Jan. 31 to Feb. 4. Monday they will hold an informational meeting, Tuesday they’ll have a pot luck dinner, Wednesday will be movie night, and Thursday will be ice skating, Kopriva said. Everyone is invited to the rush week events.