Wandering a bit aimlessly at a Latino freshmen-welcoming event at UT Austin, I was looking for an organization to join, some free food or both. It was my second year at the 40 acres and I had yet to find my niche.
I was approached by a sister of Kappa Delta Chi, a predominately Latina organization dedicated to community service for the Hispanic population.
At that time, I did not know Latino Greek organizations even existed. So all my preconceived notions of sororities were based on white sorority girls I had been exposed to throughout my freshman year classes. I thought you needed to be terribly wealthy, a snob, a relative of someone who knew someone who was friends with someone else and white.
While now I know that you definitely do not have to be white to join a mostly white sorority, I can’t say they ever attracted me personally.
Anyways, when I finally became a Kappa Delta Chi sister I noticed that Latino Greeks were their own entity entirely and have pretty heavy stereotypes attached to them.
For instance, Latino Greeks struggle to find their place in the Greek community as a whole because our numbers do not match those of the white and black communities. Latino Greeks are often perceived as “just another” minority group participating in gang-like behavior. The organizations I have encountered have tremendous pride and demonstrate it through strolling, saluting, flashing their different hand signs, donning their organization colors from head to toe and they tend to stick together. These are a lot of actions that many outside the Greek community do not understand and have a tendency to label as gang-related.
I also noticed, however, the quick manner in which Latino Greeks mobilize. Together, they organize events for the benefit of the community through workshops, performances and rallies. They are some of the most prominent leaders I have encountered on the UT campus and their professionalism is often unparalleled. The way in which they communicate with others and fill leadership positions in student government, leadership councils or even start new Latino organizations is commendable.
Sure, we usually have to compete for recruitment but it works out because even if we do throw up our signs, chant real loud and own our colors, there is a beauty in it all.
We stand behind our values. We stand for our morals and respect one another in a way that is difficult to describe.
Take away our mascots, our chapter numbers, our founding dates and bring us together and we will stand next to each other proudly with our letters… letters of the same Greek alphabet.
Almost two years ago, I was definitely in search of a club to join. I wanted to find a group I could learn from, an organization that I would benefit from and some students I could actually relate to and I found all that in Kappa Delta Chi.