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Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority Inc.

There is a saying in Delta, “When I look at you, I see myself. If my eyes are unable to see you as my sister, it is because my own vision is blurred. And if that be so, then it is I who need you either because I do not understand who you are, my sister, or because I need you to help me understand who I am.” I am a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

While attending a historically black college or university provides many unique and diverse opportunities in the arena of student life, few are more rewarding than participating in “Greek life” on campus.

Greek life has been intertwined with the HBCU collegiate experience for over a century. Not only were six of the nine black Greek letter organizations founded on HBCU campuses, but the values and objectives of the HBCUs and the “Divine Nine” were aligned: community, scholarship and service.

The following list identifies the current Black Greek Letter Organizations (BGLOs) or the “Divine Nine”:

  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Founded 1906, Cornell University
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Founded 1908, Howard University
  • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Founded 1911, Indiana University
  • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Founded 1911, Howard University
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Founded 1913, Howard University
  • Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Founded 1914, Howard University
  • Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Founded 1920, Howard University
  • Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Founded 1922, Butler University
  • Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Founded 1963, Morgan State University

Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority Inc. (via Facebook)

Beyond the “Stomp the Yard” portrayal of shared colors, calls and steps, BGLOs provided a vehicle for students to truly change their campuses, communities, and society. And that is still true today. Members of these organizations are and have been change agents for social justice; they have revolutionized the arts, politics and government, and are the executives and owners of many companies among others.

Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity Inc.

When you join a BGLO, there is instantaneous acceptance. However, rightfully so, this acceptance is tempered by the desire to help make you a better human being. If the saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is true than surrounding yourself with strong, intelligent, ambitious, socially conscious, like-minded people can truly serve as a necessary catalyst.

Omega Psi Phi, Fraternity Inc.

Phi Beta Sigma, Fraternity Inc. (and a member of Omega)

Joining my sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., was transformative in every sense of the word. It taught me resilience, commitment, humility, pride, and helped shaped the woman I am today. It further instilled in me a sense of responsibility, not only to myself and my community, but now to my line sisters, chapter of initiation, and sorority.

Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity Inc.

Iota Phi Theta, Fraternity Inc.

Ultimately, through the good and the bad, you find a group of people that will become your family. They will be a different type of family, not one of blood, like relatives, nor one of your own choosing, like friends. This family is one forged by common goals, common interest, shared experience, and common commitment. And just like family, it is a lifelong bond.

Sigma Gamma Rho, Sorority Inc. (via Facebook)

Zeta Phi Beta, Sorority Inc. (via Flickr: @ChillinInDC)

For those interested in joining a BGLO, I would encourage you to choose carefully. Ensure that the organization and chapter are in line with your personality and interests. Once you have done that, work to be the most attractive candidate you can be. Are you involved on campus? Are your grades competitive? Do you know about the organization? Do you know about the chapter? Ask yourself whether you already embody the values of the organization. And lastly, if you don’t make it, don’t take it too personally. The organization extends beyond one particular chapter. If you’re truly interested, try again. I can ensure that the experience is a rewarding one.

Give H.O.P.E. Live H.O.P.E.

Dorianne Mason
Guest Blogger

About the Author

Dorianne is a 2006 graduate of Howard University and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Dorianne received her JD from the University of Indiana-Bloomington and is currently an attorney.

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