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New sororities expand McDaniel’s Greek life offerings

Seniors Jennifer Bland (left), Elyssa Sykes Bidwell (center), and Brittany Salome Anger (right) of Alpha Theta Gamma Multicultural Sorority, Inc. show off their line jackets, each personalized with secret sorority meaning.
October 01, 2013

Senior Jennifer Bland and others found the perfect fit when two new sororities were established on campus.

The expanded Greek offerings, to include Alpha Theta Gamma Multicultural Sorority, Inc. and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., help more women “from similar backgrounds have a shared experience,” said Christine Workman, director of Student Engagement.  While all Greek organizations are open to everyone, the difference these two sororities bring to campus is a specific focus in multiculturalism, said Workman.

Bland, president of Alpha Theta Gamma Multicultural Sorority, Inc., said her sorority’s philanthropic mission is the “betterment of the immediate community.” Founded on the four pillars of philanthropy, academics, diversity, and leadership, McDaniel’s Beta Chapter is the first offshoot of the Alpha Chapter at University of Maryland.

“The multicultural aspect” of Alpha Theta Gamma Multicultural Sorority, Inc., appealed to senior Elyssa Sykes Bidwell of Wappingers Falls, N.Y., who joined last spring.

Bidwell’s experience reflects what Workman anticipated would happen when student interest drove more variety in Greek organizations to the campus.

“It’ll provide more opportunities that didn’t exist before,” said Workman. About 17 percent or 300 students belong to the 10 fraternities and sororities on campus. Members of those Greek organizations contribute more than 1,000 hours of community service a month, said Workman.

Sisterhood is a large part of what got sophomore Natarsha Towner of Brooklyn, N.Y., interested in Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., a historically African-American sorority within the “Divine Nine,” a group of nine historically African American Greek organizations governed by the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

New sororities expand McDaniel’s Greek life offerings
Jewel Engram ‘16, Dovetta Blair ’13, Shanice Hackley ‘14, Natarsha Towner ‘16 and Kristina Karim-Makle ’13 became full members in May 2013 of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

Towner, president of her sorority and resident assistant in Blanche Ward Hall, says she connected with the organization’s Four Founding Principles – Sisterhood, Scholarship, Service, and Finer Womanhood.

“For me, ‘Finer Womanhood’ is just knowing who I am and knowing how to express that,” said the Biology and Psychology major.

She looks forward to helping the community, whether through volunteering to escort visitors around campus during Family Weekend or running a clothing drive with the Carroll County chapter of Pi Omicron Zeta, the graduate chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

The addition of these sororities to McDaniel will likely open the doors for more groups to begin the colonization process on campus, Workman explained.

“We are currently exploring options for Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. to come to campus this fall,” Workman said, about the brother fraternity of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., which is also a member of the Divine Nine.

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