Eastern Kentucky University is expanding its diversity with the addition of its first Latina sorority, Pi Lambda Chi Sorority, Incorporated. Pi Lambda Chi was founded on March 5, 1994 at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
This colony of the Pi Lambda Chi sorority was founded on EKU’s campus on July 29, 2018 by 10 people: Victoria “Raven” Garcia, Athena Barrera, Laura Coutino, Edith Del Moral, Trinity Gonzales, Makaila Koos, Michelle Meza, Lauren Pankratz, Andrea Patino and Haley Ramos.
The colony presented themselves to campus on Sept. 8, at 7 p.m. in the Whitlock auditorium. Right now, they are a colony and not a chapter. The colony means that they are founded and still have a presence on campus, but to become the official Iota chapter, the members still have a few benchmarks to meet. According to Victoria “Raven” Garcia, a senior family and consumer science education major and the president of the Iota colony, these benchmarks should hopefully take about a year to a year and a half to meet. Then, the Iota colony can become the official Iota chapter at EKU.
Garcia said they chose the third weekend of school to present themselves to the campus because the first week back of school would have been too hectic with everyone trying to get back into the swing of things. The second weekend was labor day weekend, so by default, the third week back to school was the best choice for them.
Being founded in July and not presenting themselves until September meant keeping the secret for a while for the ten founding ladies. Trinity Gonzales, a junior psychology major and Pi Lambda Chi member said she felt relieved after her new member presentation.
“I was so happy to be able to wear my letters and not feel like I was hiding this big secret,” Garcia said.
The sorority's motto is “preserving Latina culture.” Garcia said that to her, this motto means “following my culture and giving back to a culture that gave so much to me. I grew up not really knowing who I was or what I identified as because I didn’t really grow up in an area that was very diverse in itself. I feel like it’s really important to me to be able to pass it on to other women like myself and help people that were in the same situation that I was in.”
As of right now, Pi Lambda Chi is in the process of trying to figure out what council they can be under. The sorority wants to bring the National Multicultural Greek Council to EKU’s campus, giving them a home to belong to as well as Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity. As of now, the sorority wants to petition to go under The National Pan-Hellenic Council at EKU until they can figure out how to bring NMGC to campus.
The sorority is currently having a week full of events. On Sunday, March 3rd they hosted a movie night in the McCreary basement where they played the movie Selena. On Monday they hosted an event called “through the eyes of a Latina” in the McCreary basement at 8 pm. The event will included a panel of Pi Lambda Chi sisters, discussing the micro-aggressions of being a Latina and a minority.
Tuesday is Pi Lambda Chi’s founders day, celebrating 25 years. In the afternoon they will be passing out empowerment cards and flowers outside of Case dining hall. They will also be doing a TLC with PLC event about self-care from 6:15 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in library room 204G.
On Wednesday the sorority will be volunteering with Colonels Cupboard from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday is Salsa day at 6 p.m. in Library 128 where they will be teaching Salsa moves.
The members of the Sorority are really excited to celebrate their first Founders day as well as their week. Raven Garcia, the president of the Iota Colony of Pi Lambda Chi Sorority, Inc. saidsays, “Now that it’s our time we’re really excited.”
Garcia hopes the sorority can enhance diversity at EKU. She said she hopes the sorority can help educate the campus and bring support and guidance to Eastern’s Latino students.
Gonzales said this is important, and timely.
“Educating people on a whole other culture that they might not have taken the time to really learn about other than the negative stuff that the news presents and given our current political state, it is a culture that gets a lot of backlash. And so, being able to show people the positive about it is really important.”