Latinx Sororities and Fraternities You Should Keep on Your Radar

Latinx sororities and fraternities BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of belatina.com

As Latinx college students plan to return to school in person this fall or prepare to begin their college experience for the very first time, one thing is undeniably important: a support system. 

Students need to feel supported; they need a sense of community, and they need to feel like they belong, especially when they are far from home and quite possibly living apart from their family for the first time. 

Enter Greek life — culturally-based sororities and fraternities on college campuses across the country are dedicated to providing that much-needed sense of belonging for students learning what it means to be an adult. And for Latinx students, that sense of belonging is needed more than ever. 

While before the Covid-19 pandemic the Latinx student body at colleges and universities was growing, recent reports from the National Student Clearinghouse show that enrollment is down for Spring 2021. 

Yes, undergraduate enrollment is down overall, dipping 5.9 percent from last year, but in terms of Latinx enrollment, there was a decrease of 1.9 percent in spring 2021 compared to an increase of 2.1 percent in spring 2020. And that decline is even bigger for community colleges, which typically have larger Latinx student populations – those colleges saw a 13.7 percent decrease in enrollment this past spring, reports CNBC

We see the Latinx population at colleges coast to coast declining, largely impacted by the pandemic. This means that for those Latinx students who are on campus, finding their community might be more challenging, but it is more important than ever. 

Why Greek Life?

Many students will be the first generation of college graduates in their families. Many students are leaving home for the first time, and many are leaving a tight-knit family behind. 

Latinx students are also dealing with many challenges, including discrimination, lack of relatable role models, imposter syndrome, and pressure to succeed as first-generation students. And if you ask Benjamin Pérez, also known as Pérez the Advisor on Instagram, the founder, and host of “Find You Purpose” and the “Latinx Greek Life” Podcast, embracing culturally based sororities and fraternities just might be the answer. He knows first-hand how valuable Greek life can be for a minority student. 

“When a student finds a community on campus that they feel safe and comfortable with, then that community or group can feel like a home away from home. Some of the difficulty for Latinx students is to put themselves out there to be able to find spaces where they can be themselves, which can be beneficial for them in terms of college persistence and even in their mental health,” Perez told BeLatina. Here is where Greek life and other student organizations can be so important. 

“Let’s remember that these institutions were not built for Latinx students, and now many campuses are dedicating retention programs that support Latinx students. Many times, these programs or offices don’t have enough staff to support the quantity of Latinx students. This is where student organizations can be very helpful,” Benjamin explained. 

Choosing a Culturally Based Sorority or Fraternity

Culturally-based communities can provide a sense of belonging and a chosen family on campus, where you can be surrounded by people who share your heritage and cultural priorities as well as your experiences and family values. 

Thanks to organizations such as The National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations, Inc. (NALFO), there are several Latinx sororities and fraternities to keep on your radar. While NALFO’s 16 sororities and fraternities are unique in various ways, they share a common goal of unity, family values, and empowering Latino and under-served communities.

Benjamin Perez suggests a few tips to help Latinx students select a Greek community on campus: “For those Latinx students wanting to join a Greek-lettered organization, I ask them why Greek Life? What is it about this specific organization that you feel compelled to join? The decision of joining a Latino/x fraternity or a Latina/x sorority shouldn’t be taken lightly. This experience will change your life, and you will join a brotherhood or a sisterhood that will be there for you during and after college. It becomes family, and you stick with family in the good times and not so good times.” 

He suggests all students considering joining a fraternity or sorority do their research — get to know each Greek organization, what they are all about, their mission, and their goals, and then decide if it is the right place for you. 

Many organizations on campuses across the country are all committed to service, culture, community, and fostering an environment where students are given the tools they need to make a difference. 

Here are some of the incredible NALFO sororities and fraternities for Latinx students looking for sisterhood or brotherhood to guide them through their college experience and beyond.

 

Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Linkedin.com

Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc.

According to the fraternity’s website La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Incorporated primarily seeks to take a leadership role in meeting the needs of the Latino community through academic achievement, cultural awareness, community service and promotion of the Latino culture and people.” The organization is committed to excellence in service and education, and it is determined to provide support and empowerment to the brightest leaders.

Sigma Lambda Upsilon : Senoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc. Latinx Sororities and Fraternities BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of greeklife.uga.edu

Sigma Lambda Upsilon / Senoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc. 

This sorority is all about everlasting sisterhood and providing Latinas with a sense of pride in who they are and where they come from. Sigma Lambda Upsilon prides itself on having “diverse collegiate and professional women dedicated to uplifting traditionally marginalized groups, specifically Latinx people and women.” 

This sorority is dedicated to personal growth and support, and professional development for Latinas — a mission that can be seen through the impressive women enrolled in their organization and the impact they have had on society in the more than 30 years since its inception. 

Sigma Lambda Upsilon is careful to note that while their sorority is “Latina-based, Sigma Lambda Upsilon is not Latina-exclusive. We take pride in serving as a non-discriminatory organization of women from all cultures, creeds, disabilities, political beliefs, and sexual preferences.”

Lambda Theta Nu BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of greekdivineandmore.com

Lambda Theta Nu

This sorority of diverse women from various backgrounds promotes academic excellence alongside a deep desire to serve their communities. Lambda Theta Nu members are bound by a deep drive to serve others, particularly those in need and the Latino community while cultivating the next generation of leaders and encouraging professional advancement for Latinas. 

Lambda Alpha Upsilon Latinx Sororities and Fraternities BELatina Latinx
Lambda Alpha Upsilon

Lambda Alpha Upsilon

Promoting brotherhood and building a generation of future leaders and professionals are the goals of this organization, all while fostering a supportive environment and providing service to the community. Lambda Alpha Upsilon prides itself on providing personal and professional support to undergraduate brothers and Latino alumni to grow as individuals and as professionals contributing positively to society. 

To do this, Lambda Alpha Upsilon sponsors events to help those in need, promotes cultural awareness, and works to enrich the overall collegiate environment while also helping their brotherhood on a personal level.

Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc. BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of lambdapichi.com

Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc.

This sorority’s vision is “a lifetime network of Hermanas dedicated to empowering themselves and their communities.” The organization’s ultimate goal is to foster an environment where sisters can act upon their ideals and family values and empower those women through a supportive network dedicated to their personal and professional advancement.

Some of the Lambda Pi Chi Sorority goals include fostering unity, promoting Latino culture and community, encouraging service, supporting Latinas and all people of color, providing mentorship and professional guidance, and enlightening our respective communities about Latino cultural, social, and political issues. The Founders of Lambda Pi Chi Sorority encompassed all these goals when determining the ideals of our Hermandad — they chose La Comunidad, La Cultura Latina, and La Hermandad.

Gamma Zeta Alpha BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of gammas.org

Gamma Zeta Alpha

This organization was founded in response to the many difficulties facing Latinos in higher education, with the goals of developing leadership, instilling academic scholarship, and creating an environment of support that integrated Latino heritage. From the very beginning, the principles of Gamma Zeta Alpha have always been Academic Excellence, through which they could encourage and support Latino males in higher education; Community Service, with which they could give back to the communities that shaped their lives; and the Maintenance of Latino Culture through Brotherhood, by which they saw their heritage shaping their views and personal values.