Sorority strives to celebrate diversity

FAMU’s newest and only multicultural sorority, Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Inc., aspires to become as well known as the campus’s established nine social fraternities and sororities.

Sigma Lambda Gamma was established April 9, 1990 at the University of Iowa. The FAMU chapter was organized nearly 18 months ago at FAMU.

“The FAMU chapter, Psi Beta, stresses uplifting women of all ethnicities,” said Tanisha Hanible, 21, a senior Spanish student from Orlando.

“We, the Gammas, are not a passing trend and never will be,” said Hanible, the president of the Psi Beta chapter.

“Students should not be confined to one type of sorority. A multicultural sorority like Sigma Lambda Gamma is well over due at FAMU,” continued Hanible.

According to Hanible, the sorority’s mission is to promote the empowerment of women in higher education as well as inform its members, the campus and the community about cultural diversity.

Seeking more diversity among its national organization, FAMU was selected to become part of the sorority, through the national chapters of Sigma Lambda Gamma.

“It is a privilege to be a part of this ground breaking chapter,” said Grace Quaintance, 21, an architecture student of Hispanic descent from Miami.

Tiffany Blake, 22, a senior from Miami, said the sorority’s goal is to unite students at FAMU.

“We have a lot to offer to FAMU,” said Blake the Spanish student of Panamanian descent.

“We want to connect with sisters of all races, and to open everyone’s eyes to new cultures no matter what the ethnicity,” said Blake.

While community service is part of the Gamma’s mission, the sorority strongly emphasizes high academic standards.

The Psi Beta chapter recently received a national academic excellence award at its biannual national convention held in July in Orlando. The average GPA among its members is 3.35.

Tiffany Smith, a senior psychology student said hosting cultural events and forums is also integral to the sorority.

“We do normal community service such as, going (and) visiting the retirement homes, mentoring, and working in the community, but we do not stop there, we have events and forums that are related to the different cultures that are at Florida A&M University,” she said.

The Gammas are seeking women of all ethnic backgrounds to join the sorority, and become part of a diverse cultural experience.

Blake said in its brief 15-year history, Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Inc. has grown to nearly 80 chapters.

Closely tied to the Gammas is its brother organization, Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity.

Sigma Lamda Beta is currently functioning as a colony and is seeking chapter status on the campus of Florida A&M University by the end of spring.

Contact Ashley Gibson at