Founded over 150 years ago, Greek life has flourished at the University of Wisconsin through various fraternities and sororities. With over 4,000 active members each year, sorority and fraternity involvement represents 13% of UW undergraduates.
Fraternity and sorority life at UW comprises four councils, one of which is the Multicultural Greek Council known as the MGC. Established nationwide, the MGC is dedicated to fostering an inclusive home for students from underrepresented communities and promoting multiculturalism on college campuses.
The MGC pursues the promotion of multiculturalism through advocating for equity and justice, developing relationships between member organizations and empowering members of its organizations, according to its website.
As stated in Article II Section 1 of the MGC constitution, “the mission of the Multicultural Greek Council shall be to foster a unified multicultural community, to promote scholarship, service, respect, camaraderie and cultural awareness, while creating an inclusive and supportive network for future growth and development.”
The Multicultural Greek Council at UW has inspired cultural awareness and inclusivity through its values, presence and overall impact on students, its members say.
The UW Multicultural Greek Council’s values are displayed through its 12 chapters, one of which is Delta Phi Lambda — a non-exclusive, Asian-interest sorority founded at UW in 2018. UW junior Susanna Zheng, a member of Delta Phi Lambda sorority, said the organization “created the sisterhood for women to find their home away from home.”
Dedicated to service, the sorority is partnered with American Bone Health to raise awareness for Asian women prone to developing osteoporosis. Through philanthropy and service, Delta Phi Lambda and the other eleven chapters in the MGC interact within the community to create a more inclusive space on campus.
Along with valuing inclusivity, the MGC holds its members to specific responsibilities inside and outside the organization. Each chapter must obtain a certain number of points throughout each semester to hold its good standing as a chapter.
Points are rewarded through hosting and attendance of public events, social media recognition and GPA. Bonus points are rewarded to chapters that acquire a higher GPA.
The Multicultural Greek Council does not only value academics but also social responsibility. Committed to educating its members, the MGC implemented requirements such as the Green Dot Training and Peer-to-Peer Education. The Green Dot Training and Peer-to-Peer requirement — sponsored by University Health Services — are programs that strive to ban all acts of sexual misconduct.
Throughout its years of leadership, the Multicultural Greek Council has left a significant impact on its students. Zheng said she has gained a lot of confidence and independence through her experience in a multicultural sorority. As we are all trying to find who we are on a campus of about 34,000 undergraduates, the MGC offers imperative life lessons and social skills to its members.
Zheng said she has found that the MGC allows people to find a place of belonging on campus, one where she said she does not “feel ashamed of [her] Chinese-American identity.”
As members like Zheng have found their home in a multicultural Greek life organization, all students at UW should be inspired by the trailblazing values the MGC displays.
The Multicultural Greek Council is a safe space where students feel accepted, and these organizations’ presence on campus shines a light of inclusivity in a world going through times of despair and social transformation.