Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority Incorporated strives to connect women from culturally diverse backgrounds into a sisterhood.
The sorority not only spreads awareness about different cultures, but also acts as a support system for the diverse women involved.
Mu Sigma Upsilon Inc. was founded on Nov. 21, 1981 at Rutgers University New Brunswick as the first multicultural sorority in the nation. According to its website, Mu Sigma Upsilon has over fifty chapter locations and a diverse group of more than 1,000 women from more than 80 cultural backgrounds.
T’Asia Rankin, a junior at Marshall University studying athletic training, said being the only multicultural sorority on campus can be a lot sometimes, especially being the only representative at the time.
“You have your traditional white sororities and fraternities on campus and you also have your traditional black sororities and fraternities, but not a lot of people are used to seeing us,” Rankin said. “There are so many different spectrums of where sororities fall and being in a place like West Virginia, it is not that diverse of a place, so people are not exposed to seeing so much diversity in one place, but we’re working on hopefully bringing that to Marshall.”
There are three goals the sisters strives to uphold through college to maintain their highest excellence.
“Our goals in the organization consist of academic excellence, unity amongst all women and being active members of the university and community,” Rankin said. “The most important of these is our schooling, being that we are in school it should be our main priority, but that does not shy away the necessity of the other goals in any way.”
Mu Sigma Upsilon serves as a home away from home for the sisters involved, creating a safe place for them to be themselves and to understand each other’s different experiences and ways of life.
Rankin said she likes to plan events that educate and celebrate different aspects of women that make them unique and beautiful.
“Previously, an event that is really popular that I try to keep doing as a sister is an event called ‘Behind the Veil,’ which is a hijab event where we partner up with the Muslim Student Association,” Rankin said. “We place hijab’s out on a table and welcome students to come over and answer any questions they wish to know about them, because a lot of people aren’t very exposed as to why women wear a hijab. It is a great opportunity for students to meet our Muslim students to get their perspective.”
First a support system and now an organization, the focus of unity and togetherness from places all over is what Rankin said she loves most about being in the sorority.
“I love our founding mothers so much and it is so cool to hear them speak and learn about how the organization was started and what it was like to have diverse women come together back in their time,” Rankin said. “It is such a difference from then to now, but with everything going on currently with politics and so on it is really strengthening and empowering to hear them speak encouragement into us.”
Rankin said she has found sisterhood to become important to her and that the diversity is definitely something she celebrates most about Mu Sigma Upsilon.
The presence on Marshall’s campus is small right now but not forgotten, and she is always looking for new sisters wanting to join.
“Where we’re so small we like to reach out to everybody,” Rankin said. “Sometimes I will call other sisters from other schools to see what they’re doing to peak interest from students to get ideas of what I can do to push the Marshall chapter along. I can look at a photo from an event and name almost every woman there because we are just that small, but again the number is not so much as important as the bond you share when you get involved with Mu Sigma Upsilon.”
Rankin said she is always doing smaller events such as selling cake pops in the Memorial Student Center and is always willing to share more information about the sorority for those interested.
Christian Davis can be contacted at [email protected]