Sigma Psi Zeta focuses on philanthropic causes

Geneseo’s chapter of Sigma Psi Zeta is a national, multicultural Asian interest sorority and the sisters will celebrate the organization’s 10th anniversary this year.

Founded in 1994 at the University of Albany, Sigma Psi Zeta is a cultural, social, educational and community service-oriented Greek organization. Currently it stands as the third-largest Asian interest sorority in the United States.

Geneseo’s chapter of Sigma Psi Zeta currently has 10 sisters.

“We’ve remained small because there’s not a lot of people that knew about us on campus,” said senior Nora McGlynn, Sigma Psi Zeta’s secretary, public relations manager and web mistress. “We’re with [Inter-Greek Council] but we’re not necessarily totally affiliated with them.”

McGlynn said that because the group is so small, each member has a lot of jobs to handle. “We’ll do what we have to do to get our name, and we’ll all just stick together,” she said.

“We were founded as an Asian sorority, but we accept everyone,” she said. “Geneseo is the most multicultural chapter [of Sigma Psi Zeta]. Whenever we have our regional events it’s always interesting to see our chapter compared to all the other chapters.”

Nationally, Sigma Psi Zeta’s philanthropic focus is to combat domestic violence, and its national adopted shelter is the New York Asian Women’s Center. Sigma Psi Zeta also participates in Amy’s Walk, a two-mile walk around campus that supports Chances & Changes, a nonprofit organization that serves victims of domestic violence in Livingston County.

“I was surprised at how many other Greeks have helped out Chances & Changes. The Greeks here are a big part of what makes Chances & Changes run,” McGlynn said. A difference that sets multicultural Greek organizations apart from other Greek groups is some of their rituals.

“One of the things that’s prevalent in multicultural Greeks is we step or stroll in a line,” McGlynn said. “It’s called a stroll because it’s in a line, and it has its roots in African fraternities started in the 1800s.”

“It’s a way to show our pride, and a sign of respect to other groups,” she said. The sisters also designed T-shirts this year with the logo “Ask me about my letters” on the back.

“My hope is that people who see us will associate what we do with not just us, but what we’re doing through Sigma,” McGlynn said. “My hope is that people see what kind of change we’re making and what we’re about.”