Binghamton University fraternities and sororities gathered Saturday night in Old University Union’s Mandela Room to showcase their organizations and recruit new members.
The Greek life exposition was a new extension of “Fraternity and Sorority Night,” an event that is held by MALIK fraternity and Lambda Theta Alpha Latin sorority each spring.
Traditionally, the event has been held only for the multicultural organizations because they are not part of the Panhellenic Council for sororities and the Interfraternity Conference (IFC). In previous years, social and professional organizations held their own exposition. According to MALIK member Zachary Mowatt, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, the exposition was created in order to include all of Greek life.
“We did it differently this semester because we wanted to incorporate all fraternity and sorority life,” Mowatt said. “We felt there was a separation between the multicultural [organizations] and other fraternities and sororities on campus, so we wanted to bring everyone together. We wanted to give all [organizations] the opportunity to table and show what they’re about.”
Of the 53 recognized fraternities and sororities on campus, over 20 of them are considered multicultural organizations. According to Jose Maldonado, a diversity fellow for the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at BU, although there is sometimes a negative stigma toward Greek life, the multicultural organizations do a lot of positive work for the community.
“Binghamton University strives to develop a diverse culture and community on campus,” Maldonado said. “Multicultural fraternities and sororities have been doing a lot of work with philanthropy, scholarship, brotherhood and sisterhood to rid of the negative stigma towards Greek life. We are doing really important work in terms of social justice and just pushing that opportunity for new students to come and get involved.”
According to L.C. Coghill, the director of fraternity and sorority life at BU, 44 fraternities and sororities signed up to table at the event and 16 signed up to perform. Performances ranged from dances and strolls to chants and musical performances.
“Every January we try to put on an event for any students who are interested in learning more about fraternities and sororities to see everything we have to offer,” Coghill said. “It’s almost like University Fest but just for fraternities and sororities.”
The newest organization tabling at the exposition was Delta Phi Omega, BU’s first South Asian interest sorority. According to Delta Phi Omega president Shruti Sharma, a junior majoring in accounting, although the group just came to campus last semester, the Greek life community has been inviting and welcoming to their organization.
“We initially decided that we wanted to start a South Asian interest sorority because we had two South Asian interest fraternities and there was no female representation,” Sharma said. “As soon as we got on campus and were revealed it was so awesome because so many [organizations] were showing us support and giving us shout-outs and were very welcoming, so just walking around with our letters on was a really exciting day for us.”
For students like Taire Herasme, a senior majoring in political science, Greek life was never something she was interested in, but an event similar to this exposition exposed her to the multicultural organizations on campus and helped her find her niche in Lambda Theta Alpha.
“I joined Lambda Theta Alpha because they are the first Latina sorority in the nation,” Herasme said. “When I first came to campus I wasn’t really interested in Greek life, but as I saw them perform and hold events, I saw that I could recognize myself with them and what they did. Ever since I joined I feel like I’m home.”