Multicultural sorority promotes empowerment, preserving tradition

The Zeta Phi Beta sorority is the only multicultural Greek organization on Geneseo’s campus. The Geneseo chapter was chartered in 1979. Members of the sorority hope to preserve its history for years to come. 

This sorority is part of the Divine Nine. The Divine Nine is historically made up of African American Greek life, for both sororities and fraternities. Since the Divine Nine’s establishment in the 1930s, women and men joined these Greek organizations because they were not allowed to be involved in other organizations on the basis of their skin color. 

While the Geneseo chapter has fewer members than other sororities, the women who are involved both try and do their best to keep in contact with alumni. This past April was 40 years since the sorority’s founding on campus. In the spirit of celebration, English major senior and president Mya Nazaire said that this weekend, alumni of the sorority will be returning to Geneseo for a reunion. 

“[Women] are coming from literally the 90s … We had a lot of their numbers, so me and my vice president contacted people,” Nazaire said. “We got their information, we worked with the alumni office and they helped us create an event with a chapter meeting and then a dinner sponsored by CAS.”

Nazaire shared that she and her vice president plan to take the alumni on a tour of the campus this coming weekend to make comparisons as to what has changed about the school and what has stayed the same. From there, she hopes a discussion follows to find the best ways to communicate and to stay connected between the current Geneseo members and the alumni. 

Nazaire explains that the importance of this event is to honor a time when people of color were not allowed to join Greek life. She feels that holding this event is important to keep alumni connected with the current students as well as with each other. 

Aside from the special reunion that both Nazaire and her vice president are excited for this weekend, she described the principles of the sorority—Zeta Phi Beta promotes both womanhood and a sense of community. 

“[The principles of the sorority are] service, scholarship, sisterhood and finer womanhood. So, it’s basically just to uplift the community, the Geneseo community, for our chapter specifically and just each other and women in general,” Nazaire said.