Experience the University of Toledo

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Jose Viloria


Class of 2019


Caracas, Venezuala


Business Major

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“When I arrived here, there wasn’t a South American student organization — so I started one!”
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No barriers

When senior business major Jose Viloria came to The University of Toledo from Venezuela, he had never spoken English before. But learning a new language didn’t stop him from involvement in the campus community.

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400+ Student Organizations

Sometimes you find your fit — and sometimes you create it

Jose’s first efforts presented challenges — but he treated them as opportunities. “I went to an organization fair my freshman year and didn’t see anything there for South American students – so I started one myself!” he said. Describing how the organization, South American Student Association (SASA), grew to 40 members in only three years, Jose said, “I used to get upset when people didn’t know where Venezuela was,” said Jose. “But then I began to look at it as an opportunity to start a conversation — and that changed everything!”

Founding the SASA was just the beginning for Jose. He joined the business fraternity Pi Sigma Epsilon, and then the International Student Association (ISA), where he was soon nominated for president. As he rose to each new challenge, other leadership opportunities followed — and lasting friendships with them.

“In every organization I was in, there were always members of Sigma Phi Epsilon,” he noted. “I used to believe all the stereotypes about fraternities. But when I started getting to know individuals, I realized how wrong the stereotypes were. So, I finally decided to rush Sig Eps my junior year,” said Jose.

Jose commented on the supportive and inclusive spirit of his Sig Ep brothers. "I’ve organized salsa lessons for my brothers, and they’ve been huge supporters of ISA. The Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity motto is ‘virtue, diligence, and brotherly love.’ My brothers really live up to that!”

For Jose, dedication to campus involvement has helped him grow — and he urges other to do likewise. “I try to encourage more students to get out of their comfort zones,” he said. “I love being out of my comfort zone!”

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Last Updated: 6/30/19