I am sure that many of you have read blogs about Greek life from some of our current all-star bloggers like Paul or even some of the superstar blogger alumni like Bryan, Melis, or Sam. What you haven”t heard about are the organizations that compromise the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. ( NPHC also referred to as “The Divine 9”) and the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations ( NALFO ). NPHC is a national umbrella organization for the nine historically black fraternities and sororities. Similarly, NALFO is the umbrella organization for 23 historically Latino Greek organizations.
Throughout MIT”s history, Greek life has been an important part of the social and extracurricular fabric of the MIT community. In fact, the first sorority ever founded at MIT was the historically black organization, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA) in 1977. The second sorority ever founded at the Institute in 1980 was the distinguished Xi Tau chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Keep in mind though, Greek life at MIT is as diverse as its student body and includes NPHC (Divine 9) organizations as well as historically Latino fraternities and sororities ( NALFO ). At MIT, like many New England institutions, NPHC & NALFO
college chapters are intercollegiate meaning; the members in a chapter include students not only from MIT but often other schools within the greater Boston area providing immeasurable opportunities for meeting students all over New England.
In keeping with MIT”s Latin motto, Mens et Manus, “mind & hand’, our historically Black and Latino Greek organizations keep in step through pioneering community outreach projects. Members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity participate in the March of Dimes every year raising thousands of dollars for premature infant research endeavoring to save lives. The AKAs & Deltas participate in Boston”s annual Walk for Hunger to combat the hunger pervasive in many of Massachusetts” communities and families. The women of Sigma Lambda Upsilon Sorority, a newer organization to campus, promote adult literacy efforts.
In an effort to introduce you to a slice of our Greek community, each organization offered a snapshot of their own, unique chapters below. For those who will be attending the whirlwind extravaganza that is CPW in April, all of these organizations, as well as many others, will be present to meet with you!
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
On the ice-cold Tuesday of December 4th, 1906, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated was founded on the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY by seven dynamic individuals whom we affectionately refer to as the fraternity”s Jewels. It was the FIRST institution of its kind for collegians, a precursor to the other intercollegiate, historically black Greek-letter organizations. The Rho Nu Chapter of Alpha was founded on Tuesday, September 26th, 1989 and encompasses the campuses of MIT, Harvard University, and Tufts University. We, as a fraternity, pride ourselves on upholding the ideals of our brotherhood, which are Manly Deeds, Scholarship, and Love for all Mankind. The Rho Nu Chapter stands firmly on these principles and is always in active pursuit of innovative ways to serve our community.
During a time when society offered minorities “narrowly circumscribed opportunity’, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated was founded in order to promote a culture of leadership and excellence among African-American men, to aid them in the service and uplifting of their communities. Alpha men have made invaluable contributions to our society, and have helped to shape our nation”s history. The likes of Thurgood Marshall, W.E.B. DuBois, Martin Luther King, Jr., Duke Ellington, and Cornel West number among our ranks. The Rho Nu Chapter upholds this legacy of excellence, housing within our lineage not just doctors, lawyers, politicians, CEOs, entertainers, but agents of change. We celebrate the diversity of the students who join our organization, and every brother from each school contributes something unique and valuable.
If you are interested in learning more about the Brotherhood dedicated to the uplift of our communities and the better making of men, please do some research about our organization. Ask questions. Seek answers. We, the brothers of the Rho Nu Chapter, pride ourselves on being approachable and are always more than willing to speak about our Fraternity; be proactive by reaching out to the Brotherhood. Men of Alpha are the first of all; we are the servants of all; and we shall transcend all. Good luck in your studies and look out for our next program.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated was organized on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC during the 1907-1908 academic year, making it the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African-American college-trained women.
The small group of women who organized the Sorority was conscious of a privileged position as college-trained women of color, just one generation removed from slavery. They were resolute that their college experiences should be as meaningful and productive as possible. <ahref=”http://www.aka1908.org”>Alpha Kappa Alpha was founded to apply that determination.
The Lambda Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated was chartered on October 8, 1977 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The inspiration for the Chapter was Mary Hope, a dean at MIT, who felt that an effective group was needed through which Black women on predominantly White campuses could communicate and help each other. Lambda Upsilon’s membership consists of women from MIT, Harvard University, and Wellesley College.
Through the years, Lambda Upsilon has been committed to sisterhood and Service to All Mankind. It has participated in community service in the Cambridge and Boston communities. It has also hosted service projects on each of the five Sorority”s platforms involving entrepreneurship, economics, the Black family, technology, and health. Some of our events have included “Improving, Strengthening, and Troubleshooting Friendships and Relationships in Black America’, a “Financial Fitness’ workshop, and “AKAerobics’.
Through annual events, the Chapter fulfills the purpose of the Sorority, which 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.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
For over 25 years, the Xi Tau Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated has proudly served Cambridge and surrounding communities. Committed to Sisterhood, Scholarship, and Service, the sophisticated women of Xi Tau are actively engaged in public service initiatives, social action programming, and political reform.
Xi Tau Deltas are innovative and creative women, who never rest upon tradition, but continue, in the manner of our noble sorority’s distinguished history, impacting the lives of African Americans.
The women of Xi Tau hail from the eight schools of our charter: Babson College, Bentley College, Brandeis University, Harvard University, Lesley University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tufts University, and Wellesley College.
Women of Accomplishment, Xi Tau Deltas continue to achieve academic excellence, make strides in our chosen career fields, and remain sisters to each other. Among our ranks are dozens of Harvard Business School graduates, several doctors, lawyers & judges, professors, women of the cloth, accomplished authors, community leaders, two Rhode Scholars, and too many prestigious scholarship recipients to name.
Please click on the links to visit our national and chapter websites!
If you have any questions about our chapter, contact us at [email protected]
Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc.
On December 1st, 1987 at Binghamton University, Founding Mothers Cynthia Santiago-Guzman, Adriana Zamora, Carmen Ibeth Garcia-Quiñones and Carol Elizabeth Torres created an organization that would not only serve as a voice for women in an academic setting, but would also provide sincere sisterhood and unconditional support while actively promoting academic achievement, service to the community, and cultural enrichment.
Our dedication and relentless commitment to Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Sorority, Inc. and to each other is why we consider our sisterhood lasting Hasta La Muerte!
In the spring of 2001, the Chi Undergraduate Chapter was established by Hermanas Diagneris Garcia “Ejemplar’ and Blanca Padilla “Veloz.’ These two women felt a strong need to bring an organization to the Boston Area that would not only foster sisterhood but above all, leadership and service to the community in and out of the campus setting. After much research, they sought out the Hermanas of Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Sorority, Inc., where they found these values embodied.
Chi Chapter is currently a city-wide chapter.
Contact the Chi Chapter at [email protected]
A HUGE thank you to Ally Piche who wrote the intro and compiled information from the fraternities and sororities featured in this post. You’re the best Ally!!!!
Good question Anon. I’ll have to get a Chocolate City blog post up soon.
first, i guess.
Thanks for the post Mr. McArthur,
I was not initially a fan of Greek life; I always thought it was a limitation to one’s college experience.
My views have since changed after much education, research, and hands on experience, but I wasn’t even aware of these groups of Greek life at MIT–focusing on minorities and African Americans.
Chocolate City–although not an “actual” frat–has always been on my mind as a possible brotherhood, but after reading your blog I am definitely also looking into Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
And also the fact that it’s not only limited to MT, but also Harvard, Tufts students, and so on is what speaks out most to me.
Greek life at MIT is very active, seems like a great experience, and hopefully I can partake in it.
Very informative. Awesome. Love it.
I was wondering–what’s the deal with chocolate city?
Well from what I’ve seen and heard, Chocolate City (CC) is basically a residence for male minorities, the majority of them being African American. It’s really like a Frat, but unannounced. I don’t know too much about that or why that is the situation. Hopefully Mr. McArthur can help there.
What I like about the residence is that it is CC is cultural house part of New House so there are tons of people around beside your general CC bros to interact with. Also, the dorms are singles, and quite spacious depending on your living habits.
CC is also well known for throwing pretty nice parties, and social events with students from Wellesly, Harvard, BU, BC, etc…
Other activities include Comedy Collage (semi-annual comedy show), Ill Vibes (poetry & spoken word showcase), 4-Year Planning Seminar (major-specific advising for first-year MIT undergrads), CC Parties (semi-annual), MIT Faculty Reception (semi-annual), and so on.
Personally, I liked being there for the short time I visited. It was nice, the bros were extremely cool and supportive. And I’ve basically befriended everyone at CC, also thanks to Facebook
I hope this helps a bit.
Is it possible for white kids to join historically black frats and sororities, or is that not allowed and/or generally frowned upon?
It’s definitely not frowned upon. As long as you believe in the mission of the organization, no one will fault you for being a “light-skinned brother or sister” And keep in mind that just because these organizations are “historically black” doesn’t equate to meaning they’re entirely black. It’s just how they started and relates what they value.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you anonymous for that cogent and informed response.