Delta Beta Tau teaches Buddhist principles with a focus on outreach

Since starting at SDSU in 2015 as the first Buddhist fraternity in the nation, Delta Beta Tau has expanded greatly.

Photo courtesy of Delta Beta Tau

Since starting at SDSU in 2015 as the first Buddhist fraternity in the nation, Delta Beta Tau has expanded greatly.

by Gwenyth Hoebing, Staff Writer

It goes without saying that Greek life is a prominent and popular aspect of socialization at San Diego State. However, many might not know about SDSU’s Delta Beta Tau, the first fraternity founded on Buddhist principles in the nation.

Founded in 2015 with only 10 initial members, the fraternity has now initiated over 341 active members and has implemented a solid basis of weekly meetings, meditations, and community service. 

The fraternity doesn’t consider themselves to be Greek, having only a small basis on Greek Life. DBT’s main goal focuses on promoting community service and getting students to volunteer within the community in any way. Members often participate in trash clean-ups, toy making for pets, food and clothing drives, and homeless outreach within the San Diego area. 

There is a pledge program at the beginning of both the fall and spring semesters for anyone who is interested in becoming an active member.

Active members get the chance to go on monthly retreats and learn from a handful of guest speakers. The fraternity has had recent retreats to places including a Buddhist monastery and their founding temple, the Dharma Bum temple.

Every Wednesday DBT holds a meditation at the Hillel center, focusing on a different Buddhist principle every week, recently finishing a series on the four Brahma Viharas. These Wednesday meditations are open for all SDSU students to attend, and attendees are encouraged to bring a friend along!

Mira Zizic, a third year interior design major, and DBT pledge educator, shared how she found out about the fraternity and what she likes about the community.

“I found out about DBT when a friend invited me to Wednesday meditation,” Zizic said. “I enjoy that it is a safe community, free from judgment and everyone involved has a goal of becoming better people.”  

Delta Beta Tau holds meditation sessions every Wednesday at the Hillel center, centered around learning and encompassing principles.
Delta Beta Tau holds meditation sessions every Wednesday at the Hillel center, centered around learning and encompassing principles. (Photo courtesy of Delta Beta Tau)

Thriving through the pandemic, DBT has previously adapted to changing norms in the wake of COVID-19 by continuing their normal schedule via virtual platforms– keeping their community strong. Throughout quarantine, members learned how to make an impact within their communities individually, by writing letters and partaking in food distributions on their own.

Marie Bast, a senior studying elementary education and theatre, and president of DBT, shared more insight on the organization and its values.

“In DBT we call our community our Sangha. It’s basically our spiritual community, a group of people that can trust and rely on, and that we’re growing with,” Bast said, “This really is just a group of open minded college students looking to become better people. If you meet our sangha you’ll be really amazed by the beautiful minds we have and how open people are to sharing and exploring themselves– which is really unique about DBT.”

Bast explained that anyone and everyone is welcome to the fraternity. 

“The people in our organization aren’t necessarily Buddhist. You can be of another religion or no religion at all. We discuss Buddhist philosophy, but don’t expect people to become Buddhist.”

You can find more information on how to get involved with DBT by visiting their website or Instagram