Both Gladys Castellon, ’17, and Scott Grant, ’16, have something in common: they are the only members of their Greek organizations.
Castellon is a member of Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority Inc. and Grant is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. In addition, both represent their organizations in the Multicultural Greek Council — Castellon as the vice president of the event planning committee and Grant as the president.
The Multicultural Greek Council is a collection of the five multicultural Greek organizations on campus: Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., Lambda Sigma Upsilon Latino Fraternity Inc., Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority Inc., Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority Inc. and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.
All together, the council has approximately 15 members.
Castellon joined Mu Sigma Upsilon as a first-year student last spring. At that point, the organization had two members, but both were seniors. The seniors soon graduated, leaving Castellon as the sole undergraduate member of Mu Sigma Upsilon at Lehigh.
Grant came to Lehigh as a first-year student knowing that he wanted to join Kappa Alpha Psi and found himself as the only remaining undergraduate member.
Grant said being the only member of his fraternity comes with an abundance of “ups and downs.”
He lists not having to wait for a majority vote and avoiding inter-fraternity drama as a part of the “ups.”
“I don’t have any drama with myself so I don’t have to deal with that,” he said.
As the only name within the organization, all good and bad publicity falls on that one person, especially with events and event planning, Grant said. This aspect is one of the main negatives.
For MGC organizations, there is no formal rush process. However, Grant said the council is focusing on individual membership this year.
Castellon said finding prospective members is only done through being active on campus.
“As Kappa Alpha Psi (members), we first just try to get to know people and introduce them to what Greek life is,” Grant said. If those people like what the organization has to offer, then they move forward with the process, he said.
This leads to the organizations only accepting new members few and far between.
“What I’ve really been focused on is creating a name for our organization so that when people think about Greek life, they think about Mu Sigma Upsilon and other organizations that are in our Multicultural Greek Council,” Castellon said.
These organizations must go through the accreditation process, just as the chapters of the Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Council do.
The process for the MGC organizations is similar, as they must present their fraternity or sorority in accordance to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs’ five metrics, minus facilities management. These include intellectual development, leadership development, community development and organizational development.
This presentation in its entirety falls on Castellon and Grant because they are only members of their organizations.
Castellon said the accreditation process is a little more work because she could not delegate some tasks to other members. However, she said she feels presenting herself is also a benefit of being the only member. It allows her to speak on her own personal journey within Mu Sigma Upsilon.
“I had to do all that myself when it came to the packet, the presentation, all those things,” Grant said. “That’s all on me.”
Castellon feels that the new multicultural sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho, will not be a hindrance on recruitment for her organization.
“At the end of the day, we want girls to join whatever organization fits them best so if girls are going to join Sigma Gamma Rho, they’re going to do it regardless of what other organizations are because they know what they want to do,” Castellon said.
She said the addition of Sigma Gamma Rho to the community will be beneficial for women at Lehigh, as it will give them more options when considering joining Greek life.
Castellon and Mu Sigma Upsilon held the Greek Seasons event this past academic year, a fashion show for Greek organizations. Castellon says she hopes to continue this event annually.
“Yes, it’s difficult (to be the only member), but it’s a welcomed challenge,” Grant said. “I love so much what my organization represents and I love to be the embodiment of what that is.”