Chemistry fraternity at FAMU makes history

Members of the Delta Omicron Chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma 
Photo Credit: Dr. Nelly Mateeva

The Delta Omicron chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma becomes the first Chemistry Fraternity on Florida A&M University’s campus, which makes FAMU the second historically black college university to have a chapter in the organization.

The science, technology, engineering, and mathematical programs are a big part of what FAMU has to offer to their students, but the chemistry field is a major that is constantly overlooked. Narquinta Richardson, a FAMU alumna and initiate of the Gamma Beta chapter of Florida State University, decided it was time to bring chemistry students together and build a connection. Richardson explains, “I want to show that African Americans are in the sciences, especially chemistry or chemistry related sciences.”

In fall of 2014, her vision came to life and bringing Alpha Chi Sigma to FAMU became a reality, Richardson began to network with other professors and recruited students who were interested in the fraternity.

Kaniece Latimer, a transfer student from Orlando, FL, enrolled in FAMU as a chemistry student and was contacted by Richardson in spring of 2015 about joining the organization. Latimer admits “I knew nothing about the university life or what I wanted out of it, but I knew I wanted to be involved in the STEM community on campus”, she saw this as a perfect opportunity to get to know more about her peers and the chemistry field.

Latimer was one of the eight students Richardson reached out to about creating a chapter at FAMU and the main reason she joined the organization is because it would be a comfort zone as she expresses “I, along with my pledge class, wanted to be a part of something that we knew could help our department as well as help us to get through our trying days as chemistry majors. Only STEM majors know what STEM majors go through and Alpha Chi Sigma was that safe haven for us.”

The president of Alpha Chi Sigma, Jada Timley, a fourth-year biochemistry major, thinks that the organization is beneficial to the all of the STEM majors, she explains how her freshman year members of the organization informed her of how they wanted to be a family for chemistry students, to be able to seek and give advice to one another and open up about their personal struggles in the field, “ I built a bond with the members and saw the potential and how the organization can help freshmen chemistry students and STEM majors that are taking chemistry classes.”