Indiana State University welcomed Gamma Phi Omega to campus this past spring semester.
The idea to bring Gamma Phi Omega to campus was introduced fellow student Yadira Ramirez and 2020 graduate Sandy Monge. Yadira and Sandy were very invested in bringing a Latina sorority to campus. They both at first were searching to bring a Latina sorority onto ISU’s campus independently. Although they were unsuccessful for the first few years, their dream became a reality when they joined forces.
Ramirez and Monge met at an HLA meeting. From that meeting, they were able to get more people interested in the idea of a Latina Sorority. This is how founding member, Olivia Ayon got involved.
“I joined/decided to help bring this sorority to campus because I felt like there was a need for Latina/Hispanic representation on campus. I tried to join a Panhellenic sorority, but I didn’t feel like the women really looked like me or had the same values/culture as me, so I felt excluded or ‘different’,” said Ayon.
The sorority is student-led by Olivia Ayon. Olivia is also the current president of Gamma Phi Omega along with being in charge of marketing. One of the faculty advisors is Katie Uttich, who is the assistant director of Residential Life. Corry Smith and Kristen Kardas are the people in charge of Fraternity and Sorority Life, and are also advisors of this new sorority.
The initiation process for Gamma Phi Omega is referred to as an “intake process”. With COVID-19 in effect, all intake processes have been moved online for the safety of both current members and potential members. In normal circumstances, the intake process would take place in person and it would take a course of 6-8 weeks. There are currently five members of Gamma Phi Omega.
There are expectations that there will be a lot of new members joining this semester. Ayon said, “I felt like joining a Latina sorority would bring me closer to women who understood my background and my values. In this sorority, I feel super included and like the women of color in my organization have a voice on the table and are represented.”
Gamma Phi Omega’s overall mission is to unite sisters in the principles of achieving academic excellence, serving the communities, preserving the sacred bond of sisterhood among women, and uplifting and advancing a cultural awareness among those who are in our communities. ISU’s Gamma Phi Omega is in the planning steps to do outdoor service work, in addition to the fundraising they did for Black Lives Matter.
The overall motto for all Gamma Phi Omega sisters is “Unity and Sisterhood, Now and Forever, One and Inseparable.” Gamma Phi Omega was founded April 17th, 1991.