As part of an effort to bring representation for the 17 cultural greek chapters on campus at Oregon State University, the Center for Fraternity & Sorority Life is working with the Memorial Union to turn MU 109 into a place that will promote each cultural chapter. Each chapter will have their own Shields, or Crest, displayed around the room, with each one holding a different meaning unique to each chapter at.
The cultural chapters have been at OSU for a long time, but this addition to the MU will help highlight their history and achievements, with their Shields proudly displayed and their signifying importance to the community at large.
“Culturally-based organizations have been here at Oregon State for quite some time, starting with Kappa Alpha Psi founded here in 1978, which Lonnie B. Harris is a charter member,” said Johnny Peters, the Assistant Director for Fraternity and Sorority Life at OSU.
“We've had these groups come onto campus, and for the last 15 years, we've developed our other culturally-based groups, like our Native American Sorority and our South Asian fraternities and sororities. We thought we should highlight them, and their importance overall to the fraternal experience,” he said.
To the average student, the Shields won’t mean much. To the individual chapters, the Shields represent who and what they are. They help present a meaning for each chapter’s values, and for the members of those chapters, a more meaningful symbolization.
“The students that are part of it, they can see a sense of pride and see their organization up,” Said Peters. “If you're in the space, it can draw up some questions you may have, or want to know more about culturally-based groups. So it's mainly representation in the space, but also brings awareness to this community of students,” he said.
Bringing more representation for the cultural chapters can help communicate that Greek Life is a very diverse community, and that there’s a place for everyone who wants to join. The people involved in this event want to see more representation for the cultural chapters, and help grow the community.
“I'm just really excited to see just the students willing to really push to grow this community out,” said Peters. “It's good to see that Oregon State is starting to support our culturally-based fraternities and sororities,” he said.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) hosted their annual “Meet the NPHC Greeks” on Thursday, September 26, 2019. It was an opportunity for students to learn more about the historically culturally-based fraternities and sororities on campus, highlighting the shields of each of these organizations, which also include a little plaque of the history and why they were founded.
On Friday, October 4, 2019, the NPHC is hosting a cookout at the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center, located on campus. The event will occur at 4 p.m. and admission is free. There will be free food and card games for anyone to participate in.