Ortiz: Introducing you to the Multicultural Greek Council, 2022

Sterling Kossuth Ortiz, Senior Staffer

I want to take time ahead of the 2022-23 academic year to introduce the Multicultural Greek Council, the land without racial or ethnic exclusivity. This council has been my home for the last three years and has helped me grow from a wayward student into a leader. 

I will focus on the five chapters that currently have members on our council’s executive board. They are the Nu Chapter of Kappa Phi Lambda, the Alpha Beta Chapter of Sigma Psi Zeta, the Beta Omicron Chapter of La Unidad Latina Lambda Upsilon Lambda, the Beta Omicron Chapter of Kappa Delta Chi and the Alpha Alpha Chapter of Omega Delta Phi. These chapters are all part of our modern republic, started in 2020 after the constitutional revisions that changed leadership apportionment. 

Kappa Phi Lambda, or “Kappas” for short, came to Northwestern on Nov. 23, 2002 as the first Asian-interest sorority on our campus. It holds the values of sisterhood, service and cultural diversity near and dear to its members’ hearts. In addition to its stated values, I would add the value of consistency to its arsenal. For as long as I’ve known of the Nu Chapter, it recruits well every winter, reaching 120 members this year. Its active house stays involved and enthusiastic within interchapter and intercouncil matters. Kappa Phi Lambda holds the MGC presidency this calendar year and produced our fourth and fifth presidents of the modern republic.

Sigma Psi Zeta came to NU on May 10, 2008, as our campus’s first explicitly multicultural and Asian-interest sorority. It holds the 10 Rays of Sisterhood, accessible on their national website, as its pillars of strength. In 14 years on campus, SYZ has created a distinct niche within the Multicultural Greek Council, focusing on academics and activism with its Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote initiative. Sigma Psi Zeta currently holds the third vice presidency of the modern republic and is in line to take the presidential mantle next year.

La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda is a Latino-founded fraternity that came to campus on April 5, 2013. LUL values academics, brotherhood, culture and service, and has a relatively high grade point average requirement to become a brother. As an example of LUL’s importance at Northwestern, the current director of Fraternity and Sorority Life at NU and MGC’s former adviser is Keith Garcia, a proud LUL brother. The fraternity went on hiatus right before the pandemic and, in March 2021, rose from the ashes with a single member, who I know from firsthand experience toils day and night to keep the LUL flame alive.

Kappa Delta Chi, or “KDChi” for short, is the third Latina-founded sorority to enter NU and the last to hold an executive board position. Since its establishment on Nov. 28, 2015, KDChi has set the standard for a new chapter in the council. With the four sacraments of unity, honesty, integrity and leadership, Kappa Delta Chi has been the dominant Latina sorority during my time on campus for a good reason, as it is currently going through its second recruiting renaissance. This sorority also inaugurated the modern republic in 2020 by producing our first President, Elisa Vega (SESP ’22), who led the executive board and the entire council through the early stages of the pandemic.

And finally, my fraternity, Omega Delta Phi.

We are the first Latino-founded fraternity and the first multicultural fraternity to come to the University, as well as one of the three creators of the MGC in 2002. For 25 years, our brothers have upheld the sacraments of unity, honesty, integrity and leadership. On campus, I am proud of our drive over the last few years, setting up all our members to graduate while becoming an active house with double-digit members. Our brotherhood has never been stronger, which reflects in our council leadership, where our brothers served as the first vice president and the second and third presidents of the modern republic.

The chapters listed above are the five eligible for representation on the MGC executive board. All of them are quality chapters worthy of your attention and support. I would be remiss, however, to forget about a startup interest group at NU. 

Alpha Psi Lambda is a gender-inclusive, Latine-founded fraternity created at Ohio State University in 1985. Three years ago, some students interested in multicultural Greek life wanted to join a chapter with an explicitly gender-inclusive mission and desired to bring A-Psi onto campus. However, the pandemic cut down their plans twice and since then, NU’s MGC, A-Psi’s national board, and A-Psi’s regional board have tried to keep the fraternity afloat. I have seen the chapter’s persistence in person, and I appreciate its local alumni’s company this past spring. There’s limited time to become a founder of Alpha Psi Lambda at the University — but even if you wait, you can join as a member later. 

The MGC shows that multicultural Greek life at Northwestern can and will shine, no matter which chapter you may call home.

Sterling Ortiz is a SESP fifth-year. You can contact him at [email protected]. If you would like to respond publicly to this op-ed, send a Letter to the Editor to [email protected]. The views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of all staff members of The Daily Northwestern.