By Sharmely Lopez
Given that Colorado College is in the process of becoming a more inclusive, anti-racist institution, one might think the campus would have a multicultural sorority by now.
After all, even UCCS, who didn’t have their first Greek organization until 2002, proudly hosts three multicultural organizations today for both men and women.
Unfortunately, for CC, this is not the case.
A week ago, in a journalism class, I set out to uncover the mystery behind why there was no multicultural sorority on campus. I had heard rumors that women of color tried in previous years to create one, but that their efforts were shut down in the process. As I looked into it, though, I found that the CC administration supports the creation of a multicultural chapter on campus. We can even expect the first one to arrive next semester.
But why has it taken so long for women of color to finally have this space?
The question is complicated, and there’s no single answer. Part of the reason has to do with the amount of paperwork needed to start any Greek organization in the first place.
“What took us the entirety of first semester was telling CC why we wanted to start this and reaching out and getting CC’s approval,” said Joselinne Medrano ’20, a future founder of the multicultural chapter to come. “Like declarations of intent and all of these things that we needed to do to prove to the administration … why we wanted to do this.”
For Jessica Ramos ’20, another future cabinet member of the multicultural sorority, the Block Plan was her biggest hurdle.
A group of senior girls gathered last year to found the multicultural chapter, formally known as Delta Xi Nu, but according to Ramos and Medrano, the girls realized too late that this was going to be an intense commitment.
“I honestly think on a semester plan, it would’ve been manageable,” Ramos said. “But because of the Block Plan, I don’t think people thought they would be able to commit that much time to it.”
Ramos also realized having an all-senior cabinet would have been a struggle.
“How are we going to effectively transition and teach the next incoming cabinet if we were all going to leave?” she asked. “We weren’t going to be here to support anymore.”
Remy Wells ‘20 has her own ideas.
As the president of Panhellenic, the inter-sorority council, she keeps the different sororities accountable and works toward a more cohesive Greek Life. For her, the lack of diversity in the current Greek organizations has more to do with an assumption that sororities are “all these really rich white girls.”
On top of this stigma, she acknowledges that money is another barrier to joining Greek Life in general, since it is expensive to participate. Regardless, Wells is “very pro having a multicultural sorority,” and believes having one on campus would be beneficial to everyone.
That’s no surprise to me.
Having a multicultural sorority on this campus would be a big step in the right direction. On this campus, Medrano believes it would be extremely powerful to stand for something collectively, together.
That’s why I’ve joined the efforts to bring a Delta Xi Nu chapter to campus, and I won’t be alone.
At a predominantly white institution, founding a multicultural sorority would make a statement: women of color belong at CC. And while it is great that current sororities on campus pride themselves on working toward becoming more diverse and inclusive, it is still important for women of color to have a space solely dedicated for them.