Multicultural Greek Council holds showcase at GVSU

By Samantha Elliott-Mosley | 10/19/16 11:03pm

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GVL / Courtesy - John Arangure Multicultural Greek Council

by John Arangure / Grand Valley Lanthorn

Sororities and fraternities often face negative frames when portrayed in films and television shows as party animals or culturally unaware, but Greek life at Grand Valley State University aims to break that stereotype.

GVSU is home to 32 sorority and fraternity organizations with goals of fostering diversity, academic success, philanthropy, friendship and leadership. On Friday, Oct. 21, students will have the opportunity to learn about six of those 32 Greek groups at the annual Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) showcase.

The MGC is a governing body for Greek letter organizations with special interests in multicultural issues like promoting education, community service and leadership. Thought the year, the MGC co-sponsors events to promote cultural awareness and intersectionality.

Currently the groups that make up the MGC include: Delta Phi Lambda, Delta Tau Lambda, Phi lota Alpha, Sigma Lambda Beta, Sigma Lambda Gamma and Sigma Lambda Upsilon.

The event will give each MGC group an opportunity to present information about their organizations, and in some cases, the presentation may include performances featuring "stepping or strolling."

Emily Harima, president of Delta Phi Lambda, said the event is a chance to show a more culturally based aspect of Greek life that might not always be seen at GVSU.

“We want to showcase our differences,” Harima said, “and we want others to be able to get to know us and ask questions.”

Additionally, Harima talked about the benefits she has found in being part of a MGC sorority like learning about other cultures through collaboration with other MGC and non-MGC Greek organizations.

Although this showcase will serve partially as a recruitment event, MGC President Juan “JP” Arangure said he is looking forward to it as a learning opportunity and a chance to be more visible to the GVSU student body.

“You always hear 'go Greek,'” Arangure said. “But you don’t always hear about the other options like multicultural Greeks. When I came to school at GVSU, I saw this organization (Sigma Labda Beta) where members were educated Latino men, good role models to have. I wanted to be a part of that.”

Though many MGC groups are individually culturally based, membership is open to all GVSU students.

“If someone is looking for a change, or to make an impact in a community, these are all organizations that are trying to make a difference,” Arangure said. “We’re making a difference by building leaders in the community.”

The event will take place in the Kirkhof Center Grand River Room from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and presentations will be followed by pizza and discussion with MGC groups.

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