Audio Posts

SJU Senior Discusses Being in a Black Sorority and the Importance of the Implementation of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Greek Life

Audio Transcript: I am a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. I served as the vice president and programs chair. I’ve been a part of this sorority since the Fall of 2019. Um, and Alpha Kappa Alpha is a historically black sorority. It’s the first black sorority chartered in January 15th 1908 in Howard University. Being a part of a historically black sorority, I think diversity equity inclusion is pretty integral, and it means a lot because the sorority was founded because other sororities and other sorts of Greek life organizations couldn’t — did not allow, um, you know, my, my people in them and on the campus of Howard University, which is a historically black college, you know, they created a space where black collegiate women could come together, um, and have a sisterhood that’s based in, you know, strong academic scholarship as well as service to all mankind, which is um, one of our slogans. So it means diversity equity inclusion means, you know, having spaces where you can be who you are and who you are celebrated, um, and because I’m a part of a historically black organization, uh, that it’s a little different. I think our scope on diversity equity inclusion because we have that sort of, um, frame about us, but in other, other organizations like the social orgs on campus, they aren’t — they’re historically white and they’re historically exclusive. And so working against that grain and really sort of breaking down those boundaries so that people of color, people of different abilities, people of different backgrounds can feel like this is the organization that they want to be a part of. Um in terms of–in terms of recruitment, and I worked with a couple of sororities on like how they can work on that and how they can, even though they are mostly white, how can they still appeal to people who may not look like them or be in the same socioeconomic status and things like that. So I think recruitment and building up their organization’s culture so that people of difference, can want to be a part of those organizations and feel comfortable. I think is something that is going to be a continuous uphill battle, um, for Greek life. But even if there isn’t, or even if there aren’t people of different backgrounds and in different organizations doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work toward learning about them. Work toward social justice work toward for community, activism because each group has some sort of philanthropy, um and those, so whatever the philanthropy is, whether it’s heart — women’s heart health, that’s Alpha Phi, and I have talked with their philanthropy chair about how that’s such an intersectional issue because black women are the most impacted by cardiac diseases and that’s something that would be good to know as an organization whose focused on that part of service and things like that. So I start with recruitment and philanthropy is a good place to go to start with diversity, work to understand the issues, and gain that scope.

SJU Senior Discusses D.E.I in Her Historically Black Sorority and in Greek Life

Audio Transcript: When it comes to being in a sorority, my sorority Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated was founded on the principle of, you know, wanting to create an environment where college-educated women can have a space, to focus on the black community, but also work to be empowered. So when it comes to D E. I, we do a lot of things based off of not only diversity, so looking at the recruitment of different members, inclusion, so making sure that we’re providing a safe space for black women to have a space to be themselves, and their full authentic selves as well as, you know, the equity aspect of it. We do a lot of public service, um, and really are dedicated to giving back to the community. Um, so when it comes to the sorority, um, our first public act was in 1913, um, and that was we were participating in the women’s suffrage march, and that meant a lot for us as a sorority because the woman’s suffrage march, it was really only focused on white feminism. They weren’t focusing on the intersectionality between race and gender and how people can have these two intersecting identities that can prohibit them from succeeding in society. So that was a really big deal for us to be a part of, you know, the founders of this sorority to be a part of the women’s suffrage march, and people think that it was something easy, it was a proud moment, but no, like they had to be escorted by police and people who were being hurled at and spit on and literally being tossed around while even participating in this March. I think that, like right now a lot of like sororities and fraternities at Saint Joe’s are putting a D.E.I chair in, in their executive board which is great, but sometimes they put it in it for show, um, there may be someone who’s in a D.E.I role who doesn’t know much about D.E.I, but also isn’t willing to reach out to get that help. You know, there are D.E.I resources on campus and that D.E.I person could, you know, be plugging people to all the programs and things in the Center for Inclusion and Diversity, um the Be Civil trainings, and there’s so many different aspects for um student organizations to want to get involved in conversations on diversity and inclusion, and also to make a credit out of that. You know, people have different requirements, mandating them on a larger level, but definitely help people, you know, bring D.E.I to the forefront of their organization. Sororities and fraternities, especially on campus have to do better. If people aren’t seeing themselves in the sorority, they’re not gonna want to join. So they’re wondering why they’re not getting, you know, people of color or more diverse people in their sororities, but there’s no one that looks like them in that sorority, so they’re not seeing themselves in that in that space. So creating space for different identities is how these social sororities and fraternities need to move moving forward.

SJU Junior Discusses Why D.E.I Is Important to Her and How Sororities Could Do Better With its Integration into Their Organizations

Audio Transcript: I would say that diversity, equity, and inclusion means to me that you’re including everybody, regardless of their intersectional identities, whether that be religion, sex, gender, race, you know, sexual orientation, or identity. And honestly, just overall accepting people for their differences, whether that be cultural or as ethnicity wise, I think when it comes to, you know, diversity, equity, and inclusion, it’s really important just to have that opportunity to make sure that everyone is feeling included regardless of who they are, especially like an organization, like a sorority, where there tends to be a lot of similar backgrounds and not as much diversity, which I definitely think it’s really important to have more open conversations in front of like the chapter or big meetings instead of just, you know, kind of giving smaller presentations that may gloss over topics. I think it’s incredibly important to kind of give those educational presentations or PowerPoints or, you know, proper, you know, speaking word, you know, how to identify, you know how to use people’s pronouns properly. I think those are all really important. But I will say like when it comes to that, it’s like being able to listen to those people of intersectional identities. That means like actual like having actual conversations. I think definitely one thing like with an AOII, I think a lot of people need to recognize that, you know, even though we are considered more one of the more diverse sororities on campus, our chapter is primarily still full of a lot of white women who, you know, come from a lot of privilege and still have a really you know, I’m more centered on, you know, like identity, where a lot of us, you know, many of us do identify as, you know, being straight or white or cis. So I think that in general, a lot of people we need to have those conversations. And like with the women in our chapter who are comfortable or the people in our chapter who are comfortable about like some of those tougher topics, whether that be on race, again, immigration, it’s really important topics that may be sensitive. I think that it’s not it’s not enough to just have presentations in front of everyone. It’s like actually engaging in those difficult conversations for sure. The one the biggest thing I think in my head too is that like I’m a part of a cultural organization on campus. I’m a first-generation Greek and so I’m a part of Greek club. And like, I know that for me, like my like culture and identity is really important. But there’s a lot of other organizations on campus like I know there’s like Polish Club like and then there’s the Asian Student Association, the Black Student Union, a lot of different organizations that we would be able to I think it would be really beneficial for us to collab with. So whether that be like working on a movie night, but even not just that, like being able to have like open conversations with different groups of people on campus. They come from these different types of, you know, like, like, you know, different backgrounds would be really important. Not only that, I also just think it would make life look a lot more appealing to people that come from marginalized groups. If they see that like an organization is actually like putting themselves out there and wants to get to know, you know, who they are in their story and, you know, maybe see if they could be a good asset or fit. So, you know, even kind of bring into the chapter. But if we’re not really doing those things of like reaching out to these organizations, which I think, you know, here and there our specific chapter has tried doing, it’s just a matter of getting people actually engaged to want to go to those types of events. And I think that kind of stems back to that. Not everybody is really just aware of how important D.E.I is in general.