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Diversifying Greek life: Multicultural Greek Council strives to spread across campus

Inclusivity is what the sororities and fraternities of the MGC are all about

Members of Omega Phi Chi at the Multicultural Open House on Aug. 29, 2013. 

Members of Omega Phi Chi at the Multicultural Open House on Aug. 29, 2013. 

Students in ASU's Multicultural Greek Council believe teaching cultural awareness is superior to kegs and parties.

Over 5,000 undergraduate students are a part of ASU's Greek life for multiple reasons. With five different Greek councils monitoring 75 sororities and fraternities on campus, one council is emphasizing cultural acceptance and awareness.

MGC is home to 13 sororities and fraternities that embrace different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Here, a student can find a chapter that fits their heritage background or cultural values with similar ideals and principles.

Adrian Ramos, MGC president and member of Tau Psi Omega, has a passion for diversity represented in Greek life. He said having diversity in an organization like his fraternity is something he views as an opportunity for growth.

"It allows us to join a larger community that better reflects the global community — one built of unique individuals from different backgrounds and cultures,” Ramos said. “This gives us a chance to learn about cultures and viewpoints other than just our own."

The acceptance of the different religions that MGC members are associated with is another factor that pushes the council's message of acceptance across campus. From Catholics to Muslims, the chapters have students who represent all kinds of religions.

Not only is Naimah Hasan the secretary and dean of recruitment for Omega Phi Chi but is also a proud Muslim student. She said joining a house that practices tolerance of one's religion, as well as pushes for the community to be accepting too, makes her appreciate what her chapter and the MGC applies to Greek life.

"I personally prefer the obvious diversity, which is to be able to look at organizations that accept others regardless of their race, religion or geographical background," Hasan said. "There is much room for various personalities and worldviews one can only hope to gain. It is a gateway of acceptance that I feel others should implement."

Society perceives Greek life as one giant house party filled with kegs and drinking games. This image makes it hard for students, who are not attracted to the party 24/7 lifestyle, to find a chapter they feel accepted in.

Omega Phi Chi's President Keyondrea Scott didn't want to be in a chapter where she didn't feel welcomed as well as pretending to be someone she's not just to get into a "top-tier" sorority.

"I don't feel like I have to conform to a certain mold to fit in, and I am accepted for who I am because I offer diversity just from being who I am," Scott said. "I don't have to try to fit in with my sisters. I can still be myself and together we can create a sense of home as one."

The sororities and fraternities in MGC thrive to be socially accepting of other cultures as well as value their own beliefs. It gives them the chance to show students how they are spreading the word of cultural awareness through their chapter.

"I would like to think that we do help with the overall opportunities available to students of different cultures," Ramos said. "Overall life experiences are also very unique adding to the diversity within the organization. I think we help to provide a place that people can feel comfortable in."

By wearing their Greek letters and teaching the importance of tolerance of races, backgrounds, religions and other cultural ideals, members of the MGC are showing the community that people associate with cultural diversity should be accepted without hatred or prejudice.

"We should not be discouraged or hide from what is. We should be proud of who we are and share it with the world," Hasan said. "(Greek life) a great way to gain confidence and oneness with the self."

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