Historically black sororities reestablished on campus

Jacci Johnson, primary advisor for the Zeta Gamma chapter, explains the importance of lifting up fellow Black women in Delta Sigma Theta. Photo courtesy of Jacci Johnson

By Samantha Smith

Delta Sigma Theta and Alpha Kappa Alpha are both reestablished sororities at Youngstown State University. Both sororities are a part of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, which maintains sorority operation standards. Both historically Black sororities are seeing renewed participation and interest from YSU’s student body.

Carrie Anderson, associate director of Student Activities, stated the requirements necessary to be an established or reestablished sorority.

“We’re very specific on any student organization, whether it’s the Biology Club or Squirrel Watching Club or a Greek organization, is that they have to be able to have five members to be able to be active on our campus,” she said. “So, that incorporated with our Greek policy, which we do have specific ones that kind of outline what process[es] they have to do.”

She went on to say the sororities had a head start on reestablishment because they already have a charter at YSU.

“What I mean by charter is that nationally, across the country, at each campus that they’re on, they have a specific charter or chapter that identifies them,” Anderson said. “For example, for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, we have the Delta Delta chapter here at Youngstown State or with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., we have the Zeta Gamma chapter that’s established with Youngstown State.”

Each sorority at YSU, and other colleges, has a purpose. Jacci Johnson, the primary adviser for the Zeta Gamma chapter, explains its general purpose.

“The mission statement for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. is that it is the organization of college-educated women, committed to the constructive development of its members and the public service, the primary focus in the Black community,” Johnson said.

For Alpha Kappa Alpha, its mission statement is “to cultivate and encourage high scholastic and ethical standards, to promote unity and friendship among college women, to study and help alleviate problems concerning girls and women in order to improve their social stature, to maintain a progressive interest in college life and to be of service to all mankind.”

Johnson went on to stress an important factor about the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

“Membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority is a lifetime commitment,” she said. “One of the main philosophical and kind of functional differences between Black Greek letter organizations and non-Black letter organizations is that it doesn’t end when you graduate … it is not supposed to stop when you’re a member of Delta specifically, but Black organizations in general.”

For more information on the two sororities, their Facebook pages are Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and Zeta Gamma Chapter and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Delta Delta Chapter.