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Latina Sisters Seek Sorority

The potential candidates for Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority are working towards establishing a chapter of the sorority at UNI.

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The potential candidates for Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority are working towards establishing a chapter of the sorority at UNI.

MONIQUE SMITH, Staff Writer

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Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority Inc. strives for unity, love and respect to create a place where everyone feels welcome, and a group of UNI students are hoping to bring those ideas to campus.

“Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority Incorporated was established as the first Latina sorority in the nation,” said Alma Pesina, president of the Potential Candidates for Lambda Theta Alpha and a junior at UNI, majoring in TESOL Spanish education. “The purpose of the sorority is to empower the universal woman and to educate people about our culture.”

Lambda Theta Alpha is not yet an official chapter at UNI, but it is in the process of becoming one.

The potential candidates of the sorority need to complete a specific series of events assigned by their supervisor before becoming an official chapter, and some of these events include political awareness workshops, Greek tradition workshops and workshops surrounding the idea of the universal woman.

“In order for us to become an official chapter, we need to fill out an application, where we need to have 10 members that are interested in the process of becoming founding sisters,” Pesina said. “Our supervisors and directors will monitor how we execute the events and will then offer us an invitation to present to the Board of Directors. If the presentation goes well, then we will be given an invitation to expand and establish a chapter.”

As an academic sorority, Lambda Theta Alpha highly values education and so, while students don’t have to be Latina to join, they do have to meet a certain GPA requirement, according to Pesina.

Lambda Theta Alpha does not do bids, unlike many other sororities at UNI, so anyone is able to join so long as they have the determination to be a member.

“To be a candidate, you basically just need to express interest. Then you can come to our meetings and our events,” Pesina said.  “However, attendance isn’t required.”

The sorority places great emphasis on creating a sense of community and works hard to stand for the underrepresented students at UNI.

“We want to emphasize that it’s not just for women that are Latina — it’s for everyone,” said Sharline Berry, a junior at UNI, studying political communications and public relations. “We want a sense of community, where you have fellow members, hopefully fellow sisters, that respect your values and your morals.”

If Lambda Theta Alpha were to become an official chapter, the sorority would sponsor various charities as part of their mission.

“The Lambda Theta Alpha actual philanthropy is Saint Jude’s and we would go on Saint Jude’s walks to fundraise for that organization specifically,” Berry said. “But also, this year there was a Latino Heritage week…where we taught students on campus all the varieties of dances within the Latino culture.”

The sorority would also aim to raise political awareness of the Latino community.

“We can use the sorority as a platform to bring awareness to UNI about the issues that affect the Latino community if we get established as a chapter,” Berry said.

While Lambda Theta Alpha is not yet an official chapter, the upcoming sorority is already making a huge difference to the potential candidates.

“I’m new to UNI. I just transferred here, and I never thought I would join a sorority,” said Bianca Loya, secretary of the sorority and a junior at UNI, studying elementary education. “I went to one of the first meetings of Lambda Theta Alpha, and when I looked around the room, there were people that were different and didn’t really fit the sorority stereotype, which really put me at ease because I never considered myself to fit the sorority checkbox. As the meetings have progressed, I have really gotten to know the ladies on a deeper level.”

The sorority hopes to be up and running by next fall.  However, given the current state of the sorority, it is possible Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority Inc. will be an official chapter by next semester.

The sorority has two events coming up. The first is for a fundraiser to help out those affected by the hurricanes and earthquakes that have devastated North America.

The fundraiser will be held on Oct. 30, from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Wesley Foundation. Lambda Theta Alpha will also host an event for students to learn about the sorority on Oct. 30 in Rod Library room 287, starting at 8:15 p.m.

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