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Why I Joined A Sorority

Ariana Allen
In my last post, I asked you to consider going Greek but what’s it really like to be a Member of a Greek Letter Organization? We decided to ask some Educated Latinas about their experience being in a sorority.

Loriel Davila | Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority Inc. 

Undergrad: University of California Santa Barbara
Major: Double major in Psychology and Spanish with a minor in Applied Psychology
Graduate School: San Francisco State University
Tell us about your org (founding date and chapter, principles, philanthropy, mission, etc). Why did you join this org?
I became very interested in joining this organization my sophomore year of undergrad. Moving to a location pretty far from home without any friends to count on during the big move was really difficult. Once I met the sisters and spent time with them I noticed how great their relationships were with each other and how they could always count on one another when stressed or passing through difficult times.
My junior year, for example, I went through a really difficult personal situation and even prior to becoming a sister, they all did whatever they could to help me in this time which truly showed how strong their sisterhood was. This was the moment that I knew I definitely wanted to become a part of this sisterhood so I could continue to be this helping hand to other sisters in the future.
How did being Greek impact your college life?
Being Greek definitely impacted my life for the better. I was a pretty shy person coming into college and also for the majority of college. Being a sister definitely made me come out of my comfort zone and feel much more comfortable with public presentations and just being Infront and around of very different people than I’m normally used to.
What skills did you learn that you have applied to post grad life? How did you learn these skills?
In regards to post graduate life becoming a sister of Lambda Theta Alpha definitely also made me more professional in interviews as well as my jobs. Especially now that I’m back in school it has definitely helped be less shy and more open to trying new things I know I would have never been able to do it I hadn’t joined such an amazing organization. Overall I have become much more professional which not only helped me in undergrad but also all my post graduate endeavors.

Karina Rojas| Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc.

Undergrad: I am currently finishing my last year as an undergrad at San Francisco State University (SFSU).
Major: Business Management and a minor in Criminal Justice. I’m on the journey to becoming an attorney, focusing on Criminal Law which I then plan to run my own law firm.
Tell us about your org (founding date and chapter, principles, philanthropy, mission, etc). Why did you join this org?
Sigma Lambda Gamma to me has been quite the journey. From the very beginning of my freshman year, I remember coming into college thinking about joining a sorority, but not really wanting what I would see on the television. I know, stereotypical. But as I was walking down “Greek Row”, where all the sororities and fraternities were handing out fliers to us first years, I couldn’t get the image out of my head of the typical ‘sorority girl’. At that moment, I didn’t want anything to do with it, I just wanted to focus on school and my new life as a San Franciscan. Shortly after that, I ended up meeting some ladies whom I would have the pleasure of calling my Hermanas.
When I was approached about joining something that “hadn’t been established yet”, I was confused but curious as well. I began my research and what I found is what gave me the motivation to bring this organization onto our campus. There were many other sororities on campus, other Latina-based/multicultural ones, but the one thing that stood out for me was the principles. Morals and Ethics, Cultural Awareness, two of the 5 principles, two principles I’ve never seen any other sorority have. I am proud of who I am and what I am, what I’ve been taught and this was something I found to be important if I was going to join a Sisterhood.
How did being Greek impact your college life?
Two years in and I’ve learned so much about myself and about the strength we women truly have. I’ve gained life long friendships with not only Sisters from my own chapter, or region, but nationwide. I see my Hermanas succeeding as doctors, lawyers, educators, as women of distinction. Balancing the world on their shoulders and still holding their head high. That’s what I am, that’s what I do, and that’s what I will show other women that Si Se Puede. In a world where sororities are looked at in a negative manner, I strive to change that image by being who I am and showing my successes as Karina Rojas, a Sister of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc. I’m not a sorority girl, I’m a Gamma.

Iris Zamudio | Lambda Theta Nu Sorority

Undergrad: UCLA

Major: Chican@ Studies

Occupation: Medical Research Coordinator. 

Tell us about your org (founding date and chapter, principles, philanthropy, mission, etc). Why did you join this org?

Lambda Theta Nu Sorority, Incorporated was established at California State University, Chico on March 11, 1986 by 18 empowered women. They founded this organization on the pillars of Academic Excellence, Community Service, and Sisterhood. Our purpose is to open the doors of opportunity for the Latinas in our community, and in doing so, foster leaders through educational and professional development. We pride ourselves in developing young students into the leaders and professionals of tomorrow.

As an organization, our philanthropy is Tijeras, a national program whose intent is to provide leadership development and higher education accessibility to the women in our communities. We achieve this goal through our scholarships, grants to nonprofit organizations dedicated to promoting access to education, and our college preparedness conference: Latina Youth Leadership Conference.

How did being Greek impact your college life?

Growing up as a first-generation Latina student, I lacked role models with similar ambitions and aspirations as myself. Though I was encouraged to succeed academically, I failed to see how said accomplishment would be possible for a woman of my socioeconomic background. My scarcity of role models changed once I met the women of Lambda Theta Nu Sorority, Incorporated.

As a freshman in college, in a prestigious university like UCLA, I found myself lost and alone in a sea of students who did not represent those with whom I had previously attended school. I desperately sought familiarity through language and culture, and that is what I found with Lambda Theta Nu. I found a family, a group of women whose experiences mirrored my own.  

Whether we shared similar backgrounds or interests these women and I all had overcome our personal obstacles to gain access to an institution of higher education from which we sought to earn a degree. The organization provided me with examples of how this feat was possible and showcased how through the bonds of sisterhood, these women had developed into campus leaders, scholars, and professionals. I knew I wanted that for myself and chose to join.

How did being Greek impact your college life?

Being a member of Lambda Theta Nu Sorority, Incorporated enriched my college experience by providing me with structure and networking opportunities. As an active member of my organization, I was encouraged to practice our pillars through the incorporation of community service events and academic standards. In having these requirements, I constantly found myself seeking the opportunity to become more involved in student-led organizations and local communities, all while ensuring my academic path to graduation was set.

The sisterhood component of my organization was what truly allowed me to establish a strong networking system. Regardless of the chapter or initiation year, I was able to form interpersonal relationships with many of the women that would later become my mentors, guides and support system.

What skills did you learn that you have applied to post grad life? How did you learn these skills?

There are innumerable skills I have learned from being a member of Lambda Theta Nu Sorority, Inc. Amongst them are professionalism, communication, and organization.

Professionalism, for example, was intertwined in our daily actions within the organization, whether it was through the use of Robert’s Rules of Order to effectively run our meetings or attending our annual National Leadership and Organizational Development Conference to equip us with the necessary knowledge to successfully run our chapters.

Communication skills were gained through mandatory workshops and events – though most chapters far exceeded organizational requirements, the resulting interactions I had on behalf of my organization helped me, and sisters like me, become eloquent and fearless public speakers.

Lastly, the ambition instilled upon us as members conditioned me to dream big. I learned how to properly plan and execute these visions with events like our quarterly retreats, chapter events, and our annual Latina Youth Leadership Conference.

The indispensable skills I have gained from Lambda Theta Nu have given me the confidence to pursue my current career position as a coordinator, where I oversee a multitude of projects, knowing I have the ability to effectively and professionally execute my duties. In addition to my current job position, these skills have allowed me to become the Public Relations Director of the National Association of Lambda Alumnae, Lambda Theta Nu’s own alumnae association.

Author: Ariana Allen

Ariana Allen, Founder of Educated Latina, graduated with her B.A. in Women’s Studies from Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles in 2008.

A New York native and proud Dominiriqueña (Dominican/Puerto Rican), she currently lives in Inglewood with her awesome husband, Michael. When she isn’t working on EDL, Ariana is either watching her favorite TV shows or reading mysteries. She is passionate about traveling, cruising in particular, and is a self- proclaimed Francophile.

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