Hermanidad de Sigma Iota Alpha is the first Latina sorority at UCA and the second Latina sorority in the state.
SIA was first established at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and last year, a group of girls at UCA established the RSO “Sisters in Action” to help bring the sorority to campus.
Sophomore Soledad Flores is one of the four founders of the sorority and said the process was long and challenging, but that it has been completely worth it and that it could not have been done without the help of UCA Greek Life.
“Although each of us come from different backgrounds and have our unique personalities, we were able to put our differences aside to bring this organization to UCA,” Flores said.
Flores said the SIA was created to expand the Latino culture among its members and the community, to promote sisterhood and friendship, to serve as role models and to empower women.
“In high school I didn’t associate with many Latinos. It wasn’t until I came to college that I found more Latinos with similar backgrounds and goals as myself,” Flores said “Through SIA I have met other hardworking, motivating, involved and strong women to help and encourage me.”
Senior Karla Ventura is also one of the founders of SIA and said she joined because she wanted to be around people who shared her values and she wanted to empower women.
“I joined with the purpose to give back to my community and grow personally, academically and professionally while enjoying the sisterhood,” Ventura said.
Ventura said that although they are a Latina based sorority, anyone can join. She also said that the sorority hopes to bring encouragement and motivation to the Latina community and to help them with today’s political immigration situation.
“[We want] them to not feel alone and to help them adapt into the new college life at UCA,” Ventura said. “We want to be their home away from home.”
Ventura said the sorority means that they are all sisters, and that they are one and inseparable and that they are united by the bonds of friendship and sisterhood.
“Being a part of this sisterhood has given me that love, support and courage … to continue pursuing my dreams,” Ventura said.
Flores said the sorority hopes to participate in events held by other Greek organizations.
She said she’s excited to show Greek Life SIA’s own style of strolling.
They will have elections and recruitment in Fall 2017 and will promote their informational and social events.
She said they would also like to promote their sorority by visiting local high schools to encourage young Latina girls to pursue college.
According to the original press release, SIA was founded in 1990 at several different colleges in New York and has expanded across the U.S.
UCA welcomed its first Latino fraternity, Phi Iota Alpha, in December 2016.
Photo by Caroline Bivens