A look into Multicultural Greek and National Pan-Hellenic Chapters at Oklahoma State
By: Morgan Malget
Diversity and culture on college campuses is important to many students. One way that Oklahoma State attributes to diversity on campus is by housing multiple Multicultural chapters such as Alpha Pi Omega, Kappa Delta Chi, Omega Delta Phi, Sigma Lambda Alpha, and Sigma Lambda Beta. OSU is also home to many National Pan-Hellenic chapters such as Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. We interviewed various members of Multicultural and National Pan-Hellenic chapters on campus to get a better understanding of why diversity in Greek life is important to these students.
The first being Maria Nieto of Kappa Delta Chi. Maria is the president of KDChi, and she is a junior majoring in graphic design here at OSU. Kappa Delta Chi was established at Oklahoma State on July 10, 2015. It is a Latina-based sorority, but it is not Latina exclusive.
What made you decide to join Kappa Delta Chi?
"One of the main things that intrigued me was that it was a group of Latinas. It's very multicultural in its membership, but founding was with Latinas. I thought that was really cool and something I wanted to be a part of considering being a minority on campus it's nice to have a group to be a part of."
Does your chapter have representation from many different backgrounds?
"We like to say that we are Latina founded, but we are very multicultural and diverse in our membership. We have girls from all over the place and I think it's really great that they feel very welcomed and open to being a part of it."
Why do you think MGC and NPHC chapters are important on campus?
"I think its really important because it's another way to have a different Greek identity. I think it allows more students to feel included. It's a little bit overwhelming sometimes being at OSU, and I think that it's a really great way to get some people out of their shells. It gives people an opportunity to have representation on campus."
What are activities you guys do on campus and in the community?
"One of the main things for us is service. We're a service sorority so it's very important for us to go out into the community and help. We have service projects that our service coordinator puts together for us so every week there's an opportunity for us to do a service project. Each of our members has to do 30 hours of service per semester so it's very important to us."
We interviewed Luis Martinez of Omega Delta Phi. Luis is the Internal Vice President of ODPhi, and he is a senior studying environmental science. Omega Delta Phi was originally founded by Latinos, but they hold their "One culture, any race" philosophy very highly. ODPhi was founded on OSU's campus on March 29, 2014 by three men and has grown to over 50 members.
Why did you join Omega Delta Phi?
"It's kind of a funny story. So I'm a transfer, and I transferred as a sophomore. My first semester was pretty sad because you know I would go to class and just straight home. That was just all I had to do, and I actually had thoughts of transferring back. It was kind of scary, but I decided to go to a meeting for the Hispanic Student Association. ODPHi made an announcement and was having a kickball tournament or something, and I was like I guess I'll show up to this. I went and saw the dynamic of the guys and the brotherhood that they had, and they seemed very true and very genuine. One of my buddies was already in it and he said this quote, "Iron sharpens iron, as man sharpens man". So I decided I wanted to be a part of that."
Why is Omega Delta Phi special to you?
"I wouldn't say it's my niche, but it's familiar faces. I came to Stillwater and didn't know anybody and the majority of people were not Hispanic so that was a little surprising. When I found them and I started hearing my language and seeing my culture elsewhere, that made Stillwater my home. When I found this organization it made me feel comfortable, and they give me a sense of home away from home."
What are your chapters core values?
"Our main four pillars are unity, honesty, integrity and leadership. Giving back to the community is one of our main things, which is also one thing that caught my eye with all the community involvement that they had."
Can you tell me about ODPhi's "One culture, any race" philosophy?
"That's something that we hold very truly because we were Latino founded, but we have stretched and expanded. We have many Arabic brothers, Vietnamese brothers. . . We don't turn anyone down. If you have the same values as us and the same vision as us then you're more than welcome."
Next we talked to Anthony Grogan, the president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. He is a junior nutritional science major with a premed option at OSU. Alpha Phi Alpha was founded at Oklahoma State on April 25, 1958. It was the first African-American Greek organization at OSU.
Why did you want to join Alpha Phi Alpha?
"It is a historically black fraternity, and with OSU being at a predominately white institution it was important to me to surround myself with people like me so that I don't lose who I am. So I started researching all of the NPHC fraternities, and then I started researching the local chapters here. I pretty much decided that Alpha was what I wanted to do."
How do you think your chapter has grown since it's founding at OSU?
"We're actually responsible for establishing the African-American Student Association, which is the governing body for the black community here. Our impact here, we're very well known, we work with OMA closely, which is the Office of Multicultural Affairs, on an unofficial basis, but they just recognize us as a powerful entity for the community. We've really developed ourself into a cornerstone in the black community."
What are stepping and strolling?
"Strolling is a lot more fun than stepping. Stepping is more of a competitive thing. When you're stepping it's normally in a show. It's really one of the most fun parts of being a Greek. It's more of a social thing, but it's really hard. You've got to have rhythm, we practice for hours and hours to get everything down. We have over 10 strolls that we do, and we have different kinds of symbols and signs we do with our hands to signal to everybody what stroll we're about to do."
Can you tell me a little about your line jackets?
"Your line jacket is like your identity as a Greek. For Alpha, it has your name, your line number and your entire lines name. For Pan-Hellenic and IFC they call it a pledge class, and we call it a pledge line. So everyone on my line has the same line name, and I have my individual line name and then my line number. It also has our chapter and the year that we joined."