Multicultural Greek Council brings diversity and inclusion to App State Greek life

Emily Broyles, Reporter

With Hispanic Heritage Month beginning, the sisters of Corazones Unidos Siempre Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority Inc. look to a successful inclusivity and diversity project within the Greek community: the Multicultural Greek Council. 

“Being in Greek life on this campus, you see mostly all the organizations being predominantly white,” said Kimberly Paramo, interim president of MGC and junior biology and Spanish double major. “For some people, they don’t necessarily fit in or connect to that kind of thing.”

Paramo explained that CUS was associated with the National Pan-Hellenic Council when the Beta Chi chapter of CUS was founded at App State in 2015. Paramo said, while her chapter was embraced by NPHC, she felt it didn’t quite define CUS.

“Just in our sorority, we’re already different from others,” Paramo said. “So, from there, it’s finding like-minded organizations that have that.”

Being a newer organization on campus, Paramo said CUS didn’t have much say in creating their own council. It wasn’t until another Greek organization, Lambda Sigma Upsilon, a Latino-oriented fraternity, expressed an interest in creating the Sacbe chapter at App State that MGC became possible, Paramo said. 

Hillary Teoyotl, senior political science and Spanish double major, said she hopes this cultural partnering will serve beyond Greek life.

“For me, the council is to be a resource for Latinx students, to be able to see us and reach out if they need help,” Teoyotl said. “Oftentimes, because of who you are as your identity, you’re like, ‘Wow, they can’t help me because they can’t relate.’”

Teoyotl, chapter vice president of CUS, said the six-members council is finalizing a constitution to uphold MGC in the future.

“I know it’s going to get bigger,” Teotyl said. “(We’re) making sure that everything we do is going to benefit whoever comes after us.”

Teoyotl and Paramo said they hope the council serves the community and creates a space for Latinx students and ultimately, everyone on App State’s campus.

Anahí Peña-Neri, junior political science major and MGC member, said she looks toward the bigger conversation and picture the council has to offer. 

“I also want to use this council as a voice for not only our organizations, but for people who might identify with however we identify, because people like us may not have a voice on this campus,” Peña-Neri said. “I want people to see that we are trying to do what’s best for people who are similar to us.”

Antonio Austin, coordinator of fraternity and sorority life, guided CUS and LSU through the creation of the council. Austin said because he was affiliated with NPHC during his undergraduate years, he understands the strides CUS and LSU are making.

“Any type of culturally-based organization on campus, they are very pivotal, especially within communities of color or communities that have been historically marginalized,” Austin said. “When you’re at a (predominantly white institution), everyone wants to have that safe space, a place where they can be themselves.”

Austin said he looks forward to the social and educational events MGC will host and knows they will provide a safe space for minority students, first-generation students and others.

“They are very motivated, they are very excited, and they are very tenacious when it comes to their experience and making sure that they establish this council,” Austin said. “They are small in number but very strong in their might.”