Diversity rush: Theta Nu Xi kicks off multicultural recruitment week

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The Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority Inc. is on a mission to promote racial and ethnic diversity on campus and provide a safe place to discuss touchy subjects.

The group functions on a campus where 78.4 percent of the students are white, and it puts on events such as the male body image forum and the interracial dating discussion.

“One of the major problems is that there is not a safe place to go to discuss these issues even though we are all facing them no matter what ethnicity or no matter what our background is,” said Ines Lazalde, vice president of Theta Nu Xi. “And one of the things we try to do through our forums is create that safe place where you can go and state your opinions despite what it may be.”

The sorority agrees that U students don’t have many opportunities to learn about different issues that affect other cultures. Often, students are unaware that things they say, like “That’s retarded” or “That’s gay,” could be offensive to those around them.

Theta Nu Xi President Allison Van Vooren said their group is different from the traditional greek chapters.

“We don’t have a house. We just try to have events for the campus instead of parties,” Van Vooren said.

Membership dues for Theta Nu Xi were $185 for Fall Semester while the other greek sororities were between $300 and $600.

“It’s a good way to learn how to utilize the university and also have support behind you while learning to do so,” Lazalde said. “It’s a good way to get involved and to take leadership positions and go beyond what you might know already.”

This week is the group’s Rush Week, when students can learn about the sorority and participate in activities.

“We put on events that go beyond just trying to recruit,” Lazalde said.

The biggest event of the week is “Portraits of Diversity,” on Nov. 9 in the Union Den, where speakers and performers will focus on multiculturalism.

“We planned the event first for campus as a whole but then incorporated it into our Rush Week,” Van Vooren said.

The group first started at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when Melissa Jo Murchinson-Blake, a bi-racial woman, did not want to join a traditional white or black sorority.

The U chapter of Theta Nu Xi was founded Feb. 24, 2001.

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