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April 01, 1992 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 1, 1992- Page 7
Latina sorority growing, aims to bring cultural pride to members

by Alan Susser
Daily Staff Reporter
"Culture is pride - pride is suc-
cess" is the motto for Sigma Lambda
Gamma, a new Latina sorority that
addresses the cultural and academic
needs of Latina women.
Since the creation of the sorority
in October, the six founders have at-
tempted to increase membership and
create a framework upon which to
build.
"We're trying to build a struc-
tural foundation right now," said
Vice President and LSA senior
Felicia Franco.

The founding sisters agreed or-
ganizing and building a new sorority
takes time and effort, but said it has
been a worthy time investment. "It's
exciting to see it go from infancy to
something that is now giving support
to women," Franco said.
The idea for the sorority was
born in October, Franco said.
LSA senior and President Angela
Ascencio added, "On a very basic
level, we felt that we needed a sup-
port system that would satisfy our
academic, cultural and social needs."
Franco said the group's aim is to
educate students and the public

about Latin culture - an area unfa-
miliar to many. Franco said she feels'
this task is important because
'We are sincerely
making an effort to
promote sisterhood.'
- Felicia Franco
LSA senior
Latinos are expected to constitute
the largest minority group in the
nation in 10 years.
Ascencio said the group also
aims to develop the character of its

members. "We're trying to make
them stronger as women, students,
and Latinas," Ascencio said.
Other group members said there
has always been an informal network
of Latina students, but several
previous attempts to form a Latina
sorority failed. "What we're doing is
formalizing an informal network,"
said LSA junior Wanda Ramos.
The sorority has already partici-
pated in several functions. Members
volunteered as student leaders for
Martin Luther King Day. The group
sponsored two dances featuring var-
ious types of Latin music. A Salsa

dance workshop planned by the
sorority attracted over 60 people.
The women in the group said
they pride themselves on both their
close friendships as well as their dif-
ferent backgrounds. "We are sin-
cerely making an effort to promote
sisterhood," Franco said. "And as
Latinas we are very diverse."
Current members said their fami-
lies hail from Cuba, Mexico,
Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Puerto
Rico. "But the sorority is open to
anybody who has an interest in Latin
culture and in supporting Latinas,"
Franco added.

For new students, the sorority
provides both academic and cultural
support, Franco said. "They will see
that it is possible to maintain your
cultural identity and succeed at the
same time," Franco said.
Sorority members said they are
looking toward the future. Next year,
the sorority is planning a Latina
leadership conference.
"Latina high school students will
get a chance to develop the skills
needed to succeed and it will expose
them to higher education, an option
many of them don't know exists,"
Franco said.

.

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The Michigan Daily

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