Student Looks to Open Latino Fraternity at Iowa State University

Diverse Issues in Higher Education, November 17, 2005 | Go to article overview

Student Looks to Open Latino Fraternity at Iowa State University


AMES, IOWA

Is there enough interest at Iowa State University to support a multicultural fraternity aimed at Latino students? That's the question facing Juan Guardia, a graduate student who held a recent meeting about opening a chapter of Phi Iota Alpha, the oldest Latino fraternity in the United States.

The fraternity has gotten approval to become a part of the ISU Greek Community by the University Committee on Fraternities and Sororities and the Multicultural Greek Council.

However, no prospective members attended Guardia's meeting. That doesn't appear to have stopped his enthusiasm.

"It's great to give Latino students options," says Guardia, who studies educational leadership and policy studies. "Each organization is unique in its own specific facet."

So far, Guardia says three men have contacted him to join the fraternity. He hopes more will be interested.

Although the fraternity is open to any male undergraduate, graduate or alumnus, it has been a historically Latino organization. But division of race is not the basis of the fraternity, Guardia says.

"It is a way to embrace the tradition and culture," he says. "It is great to be around members of our community as well as members of other communities. …

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