New Multicultural Group Seeking To Be Recognized As A Sorority

By: Elizabeth Fernandez / Asst. News Director

There’s a new multicultural group seeking to expand itself into the Greek and Sorority life on campus. 

The group has set out to express more than just service and academic excellence; the group wants to leave a legacy advocating social justice and equity while eradicating bigotry and intolerance. 

F.L.A.M.E, Fellow Ladies Accepting Multiculturalism Everywhere, prides itself on welcoming members of all identities. 

“We hope to promote this total acceptance of humans and not just partial acceptance,” said F.L.A.M.E President Maya Francis. “We want to promote unity and celebrate diversity.”

The current F.L.A.M.E. president was recruited via social media and was immediately intrigued by the sorority based on their symbol: a butterfly.

“I believe that butterflies are like my spirit animal and my messengers”, she said, “ And I was reading through their values and I was instantly hooked. It basically gave me an opportunity to express my authenticity and uniqueness and not be considered just another number. They celebrate my individuality.”

In more recent times, the acceptance of self-identifying individuals has been a topic of conversation at a national level within the headquarters of these organizations. Legislature about this topic has been voted on and it is up to the prospective member’s desires to join and current members of any given sorority or fraternity to accept a new recruit into an organization.

While all the current organizations on campus uphold these values, it comes down the level of acceptance upheld by each sorority and fraternity. Fraternity and Sorority Life Associate Director, Christianne Medrano, states that some sororities are obviously more progressive in their acceptance in that regard. 

“And remember that even though there’s a shared perspective amongst all of the sororities, that this is a conversation to be had, it doesn’t necessarily mean that everybody’s at the same level of communication,” said Medrano. 

Medrano says while she can’t speak for the hundreds of fraternities and sororities that currently exist, many are beginning those conversations.

“But it doesn’t necessarily mean that everybody’s at the same level of communication,“ said Medrano, referring to how some Greek organizations may focus on other values that don’t necessarily focus on self-identification. 

The group is currently recognized by FIU and Fraternity and Sorority Life, but as an interest group rather than an actual sorority.  F.L.A.M.E. is in the works of being adopted by Theta Nu Xi, a national multicultural sorority before they are given the sorority title. This would be the only historically multicultural sorority brought to FIU, should the colony prove their sustainability to their national organization.

Being a multicultural sorority, Theta Nu Xi is known to accept different cultures, races, and assigned gender. On a national scope, single-gender organizations like the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts of America must still maintain the traditional societal norms of male or female recruits. Although members of organizations as such can choose to not self-identify as one gender or another, they must still uphold the societal norms expected of a man or woman in order to be a part of that organization. 

Due to the virus outbreak and campus operations being seized until further notice, completing the requirements for the prospective sorority to expand into Greek Life could become extremely challenging.

But Francis is worried about bigger things–finding students who not only want to join the sorority but continue its legacy. The president graduates next year, and with the University under remote learning until further notice, recruiting new members will be difficult. 

“If you identify with our cause and you are compelled to join our goal of establishing this legacy of promoting diversity and acceptance–I think we are different in that respect,” said the F.L.A.M.E president. 

In the meantime, the group is focused on getting their name out there. Establishing and promoting their social media presence and building new membracy.  

“Through fundraisers, we’re going to generate more support. So hopefully they can not only donate to our cause but also be intrigued to discover more about our organization,” said Francis. 

One of the group’s most recent accomplishments was raising over $200 in two weeks for the student food pantry. Another one of their notable accomplishments was taking home second place in this year’s Greek Week, beating out other established organizations on campus. 

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