Multicultural organization initiative halted

Board of Trustees cites previous issues with national fraternity as cause for concern

After a year and a half of planning, the Board of Trustees told the individuals spearheading the push for multicultural Greek life on campus to halt their efforts indefinitely. The Board previously articulated they were not going to make a formal decision about integrating a national fraternity and sorority chapter on campus. As of March 29, the Trustees informally decided that now is not the best time to bring a national Greek organization to campus due to the violation of alcohol use policies by Pi Kappa Alpha (Pikes), a national fraternity, in 2013.

If Sigma Lambda Gamma, a potential multicultural sorority, was added as a Greek life organization at Trinity, it would be the first multicultural sorority in the school’s history. Jimena Ibarra, junior English major and leading advocate for multicultural organizations on campus, emphasized the benefits that a multicultural organization would bring.

“I hope that we’re able to have spaces for students who feel they don’t have a specific safe space for them on campus,” Ibarra said. “I also think it will open the door for other multicultural organizations to come on campus. … Right now we’re looking for support from the Trinity community to show that this is something the Trinity community wants and needs.”

Lindsi Reyes, first-year anthropology and global Latinx studies double-major, and advocate for multicultural Greek life on campus, emphasized the difference between the Pikes and Sigma Lambda Gamma.

“I don’t know why you would compare the two, especially when their missions are completely different. Having that be our halt point was defeating because we had been going really strong for a long time,” Reyes said.

Reyes became involved with the multicultural organization initiative after rushing sororities and not seeing an organization where she felt she had a place.

“While all of the people were very nice, … when I was introduced to all the organizations, I didn’t feel like there was a sorority where people understood me, what I look like and where I come from,” Reyes said.

Nicole Covarrubias, junior political science major and advocate for the multicultural Greek life initiative, emphasized that this group is not giving up.

“Even though we were angry and sad, … we knew we didn’t want to give up on this project. From then on we knew we needed to hit the ground running and pick up a movement with this,” Covarrubias said. “We hope to show the Board of Trustees that this is something that is important to this entire community and not just a small group of girls.”

Juan Sepulveda, the president’s special advisor for inclusive excellence, has been working with the group of students and helping them continue to connect with the greater San Antonio community to build interest in a multicultural organization.

“You can still connect with people beyond campus. … If there are positive things you want to do and you’re taking the lead for making it happen, it’s going to help you build support around the campus for building community,” Sepulveda said.

According to Reyes, the intention behind bringing a multicultural sorority on campus is to create an organization where diversity, equity and inclusion is always at the forefront of their priorities.

“Our goal is to make a sorority where we feel where we identify with its history, goals and philanthropy so we can continue to make that space available to people at Trinity,” Reyes said.