Fraternities, sororities open to having more diversity

Baylor fraternities and sororities have been working to increase inclusion in their communities so that people from all backgrounds feel welcome. Photo courtesy of Mia Robertson

By Ana Ruiz Brictson | Staff Writer

Baylor fraternities and sororities have been working to achieve as much diversity as possible within their organizations to help people from different cultures, races and ethnicities feel included.

Fraternity and sorority presidents and vice presidents opened up about their goals to create a more diverse culture and a more inclusive environment within their organizations.

Grant Williams, Houston junior and vice president of Delta Tau Delta, said there are many stereotypes regarding the failure of fraternities to be diverse. He said his fraternity has looked at the subject and understands that including other perspectives allows everyone to learn from one another and have a deeper sense of worldviews.

“I think that one of the greatest things is we’re constantly striving to improve and better our chapter in terms of diversity,” Williams said. “We’re always looking for ways to develop that constant and establish that culture.”

Williams estimated that over a third of the brothers in the fraternity come from different cultures.

Daniela Rivera, Guatemala sophomore and member of Alpha Phi, said diversity within her sorority has shown there are people from other cultures included in the organization.

“There’s not really a stereotype to define an A Phi girl,” Rivera said. “We’re all really different and super unique. That’s something I like because obviously, Alpha Phi looks for certain values, but they are more as a person — not the way you look or where you come from but the type of person you are.”

Rivera said it helped her to have a “big” who is half Puerto Rican and could help her get that sense of culture and feel more included.

Marcos Acosta, Waco senior and president of Omega Delta Phi, said his fraternity is the only Latino-based fraternity on campus. It has been at Baylor since 2003 and continually encourages Latinos to join and have the opportunity of meeting other people from their culture.

Although it is a Latino-based fraternity, Acosta said Omega Delta Phi has always been open to including people from other races, cultures and ethnicities. Mia Robertson, New Orleans senior and president of Sigma Gamma Rho, said the same thing goes for her sorority.

“Over the years, we’ve been opened to having members from all different backgrounds,” Robertson said.

Forche Bridges, Fresno senior and president of Zeta Phi Beta, said even though Zeta Phi Beta is a historically African American sorority, it is open to accepting people of different cultural backgrounds.

In Gamma Alpha Omega — a Latina-founded but not exclusive sorority — members take time to talk about their historical backgrounds.

“We celebrate everyone’s cultures, even though they might not be Latin American,” Sophia Garza, Brownsville senior and treasurer and new member educator of Gamma Alpha Omega, said. “But currently, we do really have an emphasis on practicing each other’s cultures.”

Within the Greek Life vision at Baylor, there are five pillars – telling the story of Greek Life, celebrating diversity, advisor engagement, providing safe spaces to gather and continued training and advocacy – that have the purpose of creating change. This is currently part of Baylor’s mission to create transparency within these organizations.