Latino Greek life could be coming to campus

Christopher+Miofsky+sits+with+interested+students+from+left%3A+Stephanie+Manzanarez%2C+Genesis+Rodriguez%2C+and+Maria+Gomez+at+the+first+Latino+Greek+Life+interest+meeting+on+Oct.+17+in+the+LARC+as+they+discuss+the+plans+for+the+new+organization.++Photo+by+Ciara+Griffin.

Christopher Miofsky sits with interested students from left: Stephanie Manzanarez, Genesis Rodriguez, and Maria Gomez at the first Latino Greek Life interest meeting on Oct. 17 in the LARC as they discuss the plans for the new organization.
Photo by Ciara Griffin.

 CIARA GRIFFIN Reporter

Hispanic students said at a meeting this week that a Latino Greek organization would help to highlight culture and diversity and make Hispanic students feel more comfortable.

Assistant Director of Student Involvement Greek Life Christopher Miofsky hosted the first interest meeting for Latino Greeks on Oct. 17. Miofsky said these organizations will allow members to learn valuable leadership skills and promote social justice within the communities and cultures they serve.

Miofsky said he wants this to be a student-led organization, and interested students will become the founders of the first multicultural Greek organization on Lindenwood’s campus.

At the first meeting, three Hispanic women attended: Genesis Rodriguez, Maria Gomez and Stephanie Manzanarez, as well as a potential adviser, Romero Ghiretti. No Hispanic men attended.

Rodriguez said she thinks a Greek sorority would be a great opportunity to break stereotypes and inform people about her culture.

“I think it would be really nice, especially here in the United States, to have people educated about the Latino culture,” Rodriguez said.

The National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations was founded “to unite and empower Latino organizations and their communities through advocacy, cultural awareness and organizational development while fostering positive inter-fraternal relationships and collaborating on issues of mutual interest,” according to its website.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”Genesis Rodriguez” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“I think [a Latina sorority] would be really nice… to have people educated about the Latino culture”[/perfectpullquote]

As of fall 2016, Lindenwood’s Hispanic student population is made up of 162 students, according to Lindenwood admission records.

“I don’t feel totally accepted on campus,” Rodriguez said. “Because some people have a preconceived idea of who I am based on my culture and the stereotypes created about my culture.”

 

Hispanic students began to voice interest in a cultural sorority last year. In the spring of 2017, students began to form the platform for a Latina sorority, but that fell through because the interested girls graduated, Miofsky said. But interest in a sorority has now revived through new Latina students, with the full support of Miofsky. 

“I want the campus and community to know about these options,” Miofsky said.

Popular Latino Greek organizations are Lambda Theta Alpha, Lambda Sigma Upsilon and Chi Upsilon Sigma, but Miofsky has not released the specific chapter that will be proposed to Lindenwood yet. Once the chapter is picked, it will be recognized as the first historically founded Latino Greek organization at Lindenwood University.