Lehigh’s Cultural Greek Council is preparing to expand with the addition of Sigma Psi Zeta, a traditionally multicultural and Asian-interest sorority.
The CGC was formally established in 2009 and consists of five chapters — Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority Inc., Lambda Sigma Upsilon Latino Fraternity Inc., Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority Inc. and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc.
Djenne Dickens, ’18, the president of the CGC, said adding a new type of sorority gives the council a wider range of people with whom to interact and offers different perspectives, benefiting the entire Lehigh community.
According to the Sigma Psi Zeta website, the organization was established in 1994 at the State University of New York at Albany. Sigma Psi Zeta’s national philanthropy “combat(s) violence against women in its varied forms” — it includes, but is not limited to, rape, incest, domestic violence and sexual assault.
Dickens said when a Greek organization would like to start a chapter at Lehigh, it must give a presentation. Members of the respective council and other relevant individuals chosen by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority affairs then vote on whether they believe the organization would be a good addition to campus.
“I think welcoming a new organization into our council will help us expand,” Dickens said. “With new members, the council grows, and the more chapters are added to our community, the bigger presence we have on campus.”
Arianna Pineiro, ’20, the president of Lambda Theta Alpha, said her sorority and the entire council will be positively influenced by the presence of another sorority.
“Having Sigma Psi Zeta on campus would be good for (the CGC) as a whole because, as it is an Asian- American woman interest sorority, more women on Lehigh’s campus (will) have another option that would fit them, just as well as Lambda Theta Alpha or Mu Sigma Upsilon would to someone else,” Pineiro said. “It would just be a further option for them to consider.”
Pineiro said she would like to see Greek expansion continue on Lehigh’s campus so every interested student can find the perfect fit, whether that is in a CGC, Panhellenic or Interfraternity Council organization.
Eliza Dent, ’19, the president of Mu Sigma Upsilon, said adding Sigma Psi Zeta to Lehigh’s campus will not only expand the CGC, but also will place an emphasis on diversity, further promote cultural Greek organizations on Lehigh’s campus and push existing chapters to become more active in the cultural Greek community.
TJ Stubbs, ’18, the president of Kappa Alpha Psi, said bringing Sigma Psi Zeta to Lehigh is only the first step in promoting cultural awareness and involvement with the CGC.
“We are a pretty tight-knit group,” Stubbs said. “We all have a sense of community toward one another that I can say really contributes to the pride in each other’s causes.”
Dickens said she wants all Greek organizations to be considered part of one community. Her goal as president is to promote Greek unity.
“If someone sees greek letters, they’re not going to know the difference between an interfraternity organization and a cultural Greek organization,” Dickens said. “We want to make sure we’re portraying the Greek community as a whole in a more positive light.”