Multicultural sorority established on CSUEB Hayward campus

Reem Habte,

On Nov. 3, 2017, Zeta Sigma Chi became the newest sorority on Cal State East Bay’s campus and joined 31 existing Greek organizations.

But this sorority chapter is different from most of the others; they were created specifically to be a multicultural group that accurately reflects the ethnic diversity found on campus.

“The goal was to first become an established multicultural sorority in East Bay, now our job is to bring representation and respect to all cultures in keeping that dream alive,” said Imani Askari, vice president and founder of the sorority.

There are two other Greek organizations on campus who share the same multicultural goal: the Beta Gamma Nu fraternity and the Lambda Sigma Gamma sorority. Zeta Sigma Chi has 79 ethnicities, 34 nationalities and 12 religions, according to their website.

It took one year for the Zeta Sigma Chi women to become recognized as an official Greek organization on campus. They call themselves “radiant ladies” and encourage people around campus to refer to them in the same way.

“Being a new sorority expansion is sometimes difficult but, as we continue to grow and build connections, it is starting to look promising,” Askari said. “The difficulty of the process was very tedious and long but it was worth it to bring true diversity to East Bay Greek Life.”

Every quarter, Greek Life organizations on Cal State East Bay’s campus host a “Welcome Week” event to commemorate their organizations with festivities that represent their backgrounds. This spring quarter was Zeta Sigma Chi’s first “Welcome Week” and they showed everyone their mascot, a unicorn, which caused some confusion among their peers. Zeta Sigma Chi is the only Greek organization in East Bay that has a symbolic creature as their mascot.

“The question of ‘Why a unicorn?’ is always asked and it is because a unicorn is one-of-a-kind and the strength of a unicorn is embedded in the core of every radiant lady,” said Brittany Richardson, president of the founding sorority, who handles the logistics of the organization.
The new sorority hosted “Senegalese Night” during winter quarter. Vice President Askari, Treasurer Yesenia Vazquez Lopez and Breanna Pierce, the director of new membership, helped Askari coordinate the event. Models dressed in Senegalese clothing while traditional Senegalese music played.

“Coming to that event, even though I’m Nigerian, it helps shed a light towards African culture that is apart from the Black culture in America,” said Osayande Uwaifo, a Cal State East Bay student who attended the event.
Sigma Chi is working to build relationships with fellow Greek organizations on campus. Members participated in a “Dancing with Greeks” event hosted by the Lambda Theta Phi Latin fraternity. They also attended a Cinco De Mayo event hosted by Gamma Zeta Alpha.
There are currently two Greek Life foundations at Cal State East Bay: the mostly white Panhellenic Council and the mostly Black National Pan-Hellenic Council. Cesar Delgadillo, head of all Greek Life councils, is considering creating a multicultural Greek council to help diversify Greek leadership on campus.

“It would be a great idea because we are a school known for diversity, so to include and establish a diversified Greek Council would be a wonderful thing,” said Josue Manuel Lopez, president of the Beta Gamma Nu fraternity, whose message of diversity is built into their foundation.
“Our foundation would be heard with a council that brings a cultural aspect to Greek life and, that would be beneficial in representation not only to our sorority but for our school as well,” Richardson said.