Saturday, April 28, 2012

Starting a Sisterhood

By Dominique Scarinci

          It was spring of 2011 when Gaby Delgado was holding a conversation with a couple friends about how there is nothing to do on campus, when they decided they would try and change this. Currently on St. Thomas Aquinas College's campus, there are three Greek organizations--Alpha Phi Omega, Omega Phi Beta, and Phi Lota Alpha. The journey to bring another Greek organization is one that the girls were willing to embark on.
          Lambda Pi Chi is a Latina sorority that benefits Latina women. Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad was established April 16th , 1988 at Cornell University. LPC currently has twenty-six chapters at twenty-five different schools in the United States. With enough determination, this group of five girls aimed to make its twenty-seventh chapter.
          Lambda Pi Chi sorority’s vision is to create a lifetime network of Hermanas who are dedicated to empowering themselves and providing for the community as well. As a newcomer to understanding Lambda Phi Chi and their goals, it is clear that this sorority is goal-oriented while providing help for “la comunidad,” as they would say, the community. This sorority has many different goals for their young women leaders. High goals such as to unify women through the promotion of the Latina Community, promote community service, strive for achievements with people of all races, enlighten communities on Latino culture, and to promote professional advancement in undergraduate and graduate chapters. 
          Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad concentrates on women and the importance of giving women a voice. Their concentration is Latina women in which they partake in Latino communities but do not reject applicants based on ethnicity. Although LPC is a Latino sorority, there are many Hermanas who are not of Latino descent. The Hermanas learn to dedicate a lifetime of passion to the sorority. Many of them will always wear red, gold, black, and white to represent LPC. A unique tradition that LPC has is after a woman pledges, she receives a gold necklace with the sororities Greek letters and the year they crossed. LPC creates a community of Hermanas who stay connected through many years.
          Lambda Pi Chi has two main projects that they focus on in the community. One is L.E.A.A.P. (Latinas Educating on AIDs Awareness and Prevention). The other is H.A.C.E.R. (Hermanas for Advancement of Career and Educational Resources).
          The L.E.A.A.P. project has been established since 2000, where Hermanas have coordinated to help educate society on AIDS and AIDS prevention. They set up tables, booths, and panels to educate the Latino communities as well as other on AIDS. The H.A.C.E.R. project focuses on assisting minority or low income women to further their education and career goals. They provide resources that these women would have no way of using in order to succeed.
          On December 28, 2001 the New York City Council acknowledged LPC Inc. for its continued service and dedication to Latinos and the community of New York City as a whole. It is projects like these that interest the girls to bring LPC to STAC’s campus.
          The first step in expansion was for Gaby to email the vice president of expansion at LPC, in which she received good news. Gaby is lucky to have her aunt who is a Hermana and introduced the girls to Melanie Castro, who is willing to help get the girls through the process. Both Melanie and Jennifer, V.P. of expansion, did a conference call with Anne Moore, Director of Student Activities at STAC. When Melanie was done with her call, she relayed a message to Gaby that was not good.
          The girls were waiting together for Melanie’s call and put her on speaker so everyone could hear. Melanie said that Anne told them that STAC was currently not accepting additional Greek life. This put a frown on the girls' faces as their hopes of bringing expansion to campus dwindled. The girls refused to give up and Melanie stood by them in their determination.
          The girls set up a meeting with Anne Moore to talk about their reason for expanding LPC. They recruited other girls as well; the group went from five girls to seven. Each girl wrote one to one and half pages on why Lambda Pi Chi was right for them and the STAC community. The girls also passed out surveys on Greek life around campus in the café, laundry room, and halls.
          The day came for the meeting with Anne. “It was intense, I’ve never been scared of being let down like that,” Gaby recalls. At the end of the meeting, Anne said that she had to meet with Dr. Manning, Dean of Academic Affairs. She stated that he would have the final say and even though we presented a good case to her, it was not set in stone that it could go our way.
          It is now fall of 2011; the girls leave for winter break and are still waiting for Anne’s results. Gaby sent out a mass text to everyone when she heard the good news that Lambda Pi Chi was approved by Dr. Manning. All the girls were relieved and could not wait to continue with the process.
          As the spring semester came, each girl kept spreading the word and getting more people interested in LPC. Just recently on April 25th, Melanie and the girls got together in the campus lounge to talk over some things. The group has grown from seven to twelve girls; this is before an interest meeting has been held. Lambda Pi Chi is set to start forward with the interested girls in the fall semester of 2012.

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Dominique Scarinci is a sophomore at St. Thomas Aquinas College from Yonkers, New York. She is a Communication Arts major with a Public Relations minor. She also is interested in Lambda Pi Chi Sorority for the fall semester of 2012.                   

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