“At the end of the day, we are a Latina-based sorority, but we are never Latina exclusive, so we’re welcome to everybody,” said sophomore business major Andrea Prego, who joined the sorority in the fall.
Lambda Pi Chi is one of two Latina-affiliated sororities at UNC, and addresses the needs of many Latina students who may struggle to find people like them amidst a majority white student population.
“I didn’t really have a space on campus that I really fit into I guess, and I had a really rough freshman year because I didn't really make a lot of friends because I didn’t find anyone who identified with how I identified, but upon meeting the hermanas I found a lot of their values aligned with mine and I was compelled to join the sorority,” Angelica Quintero said, a sophomore computer science and psychology double major .
Bautista and Prego had similar experiences as Quintero. After struggling to find people that they could speak Spanish with and relate to on a deeper cultural level, this void was filled when they joined the sorority.
“Coming to a predominately white institution is very difficult as a person of color, and I never really knew that until I came here and kind of experienced it, and so I found my bubble of people who weren’t going to shelter me in, but were going to let me know and help me raise awareness for the things I was uncomfortable with and the things I didn't like and not only help me overcome them, but speak out about them,” Prego said.
Currently comprised of 16 hermanas, the sorority’s main mission is to empower women personally and professionally, as well as promote public service and cultural awareness.
The Lambda Pi Chi’s promote this mission within La Hermandad (the Sisterhood), La Cultura Latina (the Latino Culture) and La Comunidad (the Community).
Held nearly a month ago, they organized and held the third annual Sirviendo A Los Que Nos Sirven (Serving Those Who Serve Us), a dinner to show their appreciation for Latinx CDS employees.
The sorority's other two national philanthropies include Project L.E.A.A.P., Latinas Educating on AIDS Awareness and Prevention, and Proyecto H.A.C.E.R., which helps minority and/or low-income women further their educational and career goals.
The Lambda Pi Chi’s plan to host both a panel on Latinas in STEM and a panel on people of color in business early next year.
“I think the thing I like most is being in a space of like-minded women who are striving to not only to better themselves, but also the community," Bautista said. "That’s what we are all really about."