Multicultural sorority Theta Nu Xi looks to bring inclusiveness to Greek life

Marjorie Kirk

The social induction of Theta Nu Xi sorority was met with a diverse welcome at Greek Park Monday night.

The sorority, whose national organization is 19 years old, advertises itself as the first multicultural sorority on UK’s campus, composed of 15 women of varied ethnicities including African-American, Afro-Caribbean, Latino, Japanese, Welsh, Palestinian and Caucasian.

Though all of Greek life at UK is integrated, chemistry freshman Heba Hanbali said this sorority offers her freedoms she didn’t think the rest of the sororities offered, especially her ability to practice her religion.

“As a Muslim and as someone who wears the Hijab I just feel like I don’t fit into the other sororities because they’re all more uniform, whereas we’re more free, and that’s totally fine,” Hanbali said. “It doesn’t matter what race, what background, what culture, what lifestyle you are, you have a place to belong. You have people who are genuinely going to have your back.”

The 15 women who make up the UK chapter walked out to music including Beyoncé’s new single, “Formation,” wearing butterfly masks — the mascot of their organization — and then performed a step routine for about 100 other students and members of the UK community.

They greeted the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, United Greek Coalition and National Pan-Hellenic Council, the last of whose members responded with their own organizations chants.

“I’m really happy that UK is bringing more diversity onto campus. We wanted everyone to feel like they have a place to belong,” computer engineering freshman Ruth Dankwah said. “Some of my line-sisters felt that Pan-Hellenic wasn’t the right place for them or the National Pan-Hellenic so we just brought them together and created a multicultural sorority.”

Members of the sorority from other chapters were introduced with short individualized chants. The women of the UK chapter introduced themselves by exchanging their real names for adopted titles such as Forte, Certitude and Hysteria.

The event concluded with a unified chant of about the values the sorority stood on, including academic excellence, leadership, sisterhood and multiculturalism, the last being a value many of the sisters said lacked representation in Greek life and on campus.

“The difference between a multicultural sorority and a regular sorority is that multiculturalism is something that we focus on,” integrated strategic communications senior Chanel Friday said. “So we want to make sure that all groups are included, all groups are represented, that we’re doing different things with different groups of people and everyone is being included.”

Friday said she hopes this new sorority will bring the change in UK’s racial and cultural representation that has been the topic of conversation of late.

“I do think there is a diversity problem, but I don’t think that’s the university’s fault necessarily,” Friday said. “I think people choose where they are led to go to, but I think things like this and the things that the administration is doing is just going to increase the awareness that we are an all inclusive, diverse university.”