Feb 102003
Authors: Monique Lewis

History was relived last night as 24 attendees listened to stories of the establishments of seven African-American fraternities and sororities in the Student Recreation Center lounge.

The sixth Taste of Black History event also included a choice of entrees, including spaghetti, cabbage, macaroni n’ cheese, pork chops, corn bread, etc.-also known as soul food.

“It makes me think (the fraternities and sororities are) more about just being cute and (having) cliques,” said Samierah Moran, freshman psychology and English major.

Moran said she is interested in possibly joining a sorority. She went to the event to learn more about Greeks and to have a change from dorm food.

The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. was the first Greek letter organization established by African-American college women. The women are known for their intelligence, sophistication, high scholastic standards and community service, according to an Alpha Kappa Alpha pamphlet. CSU’s Xi Eta chapter is involved in several campus programs concerning health, economics, the black family, art, culture and education.

“It’s good for people to get information on our upcoming events and get to know that there are black Greeks on campus, and (for them) get to know us,” said Alissa Lyles, president of Alpha Kappa Alpha.

Lyles said she wished more people had come to the event. This year was a low turnout compared to previous years, she said.

“I wish more students showed up,” said Laura Martin, president of Black Student Alliance. “It was good. You can tell there is strong sisterhood and brotherhood, and they’re really here to do something positive. Younger students should try to pledge, give it a chance and see what’s going on.”

The audience also had a chance to find out some things about several organizations that they may not have known before.

The Phi Beta Sigma fraternity and the Zeta Phi Beta sorority informed the audience that they are the only Greeks constitutionally bound to each other, and the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity told the story of how the familiar red cane, carried around campus by its members, became its signature.

Kappa men have carried the cane since 1911, and later on began to use it for tapping in performances. Later it was decorated with the fraternity colors and shortened to twirl in the air, the members said.

“It’s been a fraternity icon ever since that, (and has been used) in fraternity step shows and performances,” said Baxter Porter, the chapter’s historian.

Porter said he hoped that students left the event with better knowledge of the fraternity and that they would find some prospective members.

“I think people realize the rich history of African Americans as far as events we’ve done,” said Natilia Peters, vice president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. “There was a time we couldn’t join white sororities and now we have our own. In Colorado, the Greeks are not as prominent between blacks. We do this to give more information about Greek Life.”

Yoseph Assefa, a junior business management major, went support Baxter, his roommate.

“I wanted to come out and support by being here,” he said. “I’ve come every year. It has attracted more people. I get educated on their founders, messages and principles.”

Despite the lower turnout this year, Shabasa Sayers, a Phi Beta Sigma member, said the Greeks will try to advertise their name more to attract larger numbers.

“Black students don’t really stick together like they used to,” he said. “(Attendance) seems like it’s getting smaller every year. As a collective unit we’ll try to get our names out there more. Lots of people don’t see the community service we do, just the step shows.”

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