By Xiomara “LunarIx” Santana, Staff Writer

Are you aware that Delta Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. is an Asian-interest sorority, but not exclusive to Asian women? This inclusion means that DPhiL welcomes individuals from all cross-cultures to join the Everlasting Sisterhood. The diversity DPhiL holds is a characteristic that has strengthened and expanded the sorority. This month, we asked sisters who are non-Asian and multiracial to explain why they chose Delta Phi Lambda as their sorority.

As a non-Asian individual, why did you choose Delta Phi Lambda as your sorority?

  • “I chose DPhiL because there were already members in Alpha Chapter that looked like me [Vietnamese and Kenyan, Filipina and Black (Just like me!)] so I was attracted to that, at first.” Jaleesa “Aspire” Reed, Alpha Chapter (Filipina and African American)
  • “Though Delta Phi Lambda sorority is an Asian-Interest sorority, I never felt that it was Asian exclusive. The wonderful women in my chapter inspire each other to be their best and succeed regardless of their race, creed, or nationality. While spreading Asian awareness, our group also aims to support other minority organizations within our community, which is a great inspiration to me.” Heather “Kasumi” Duke, Eta Chapter (Irish, German and Czechoslovakian)
  • “I explored sororities that corresponded to my culture first, but just didn’t feel that connection and comfort-ability. As I was hanging out with sisters from other schools, I started realizing this is where my social life was. I accepted it and built the courage to attend recruitment.” -Courtney “Seraphina” Escorza, Gamma Chapter (Latina/Hispanic)

How do you feel as a non-Asian sister in DPhiL?

  • “I rarely feel ‘non-Asian,’ but I was raised primarily by my mother (who is Filipina) so the cultural ties feel the same. One thing that made me stay, when I first came out to recruitment events, was the feeling of being ‘home away from home.’ It just felt like a good fit, and I’ve stayed ever since!” Reed
  • “As a non-Asian sister, I love getting to know each of my sisters and learning about their cultures and home lives. Having lived in Japan for a few years, I love and respect the uniqueness of different Asian cultures. One of the best parts is getting to try good food with great friends.” -Duke
  • “At first, I thought I stuck out when I was attending recruitment, but it was all in my head. The difference in race only comes up if someone else refers to our whole group as Asians.” -Escorza

What are the struggles you have come across?

  • “Mostly questions like, ‘Why did you join DFL?’ Do you want some grape soda/chicken wings/etc.? You know your people are protesting in the streets?’ But those are always from outside orgs (usually the APIA frats). Outside of that, I don’t experience any struggles, or at least no one addresses them to my face.” -Reed
  • “Definitely when you bring people together, there will always be challenges to overcome. The wonderful thing is seeing how the organization pulls together and finds common ground to successfully accomplish its goals.” Duke
  • “I get easily grouped by others when we’re out, if they refer to us all as Asians.”Escorza

What’s something you have learned by being a part of Delta Phi Lambda and would like to share?

  • “It’s easy to spot someone based on their physical appearance and decide that they don’t belong. What we actually don’t explore is the fragility of ethnic/cultural identification. Sure, someone may be easily identifiable (externally) as Asian, but within that, sisters can be Korean and Chinese, Japanese and Mexican, Vietnamese and Thai, and the list goes on. There are also sisters who were adopted and raised by ‘non-Asian’ families. Where do we place them? When we advocate for Asian awareness, we advocate for multiple perspectives, which sisters bring to the table. And if we are really concerned with breaking down stereotypes of the model minority or destroying the monolithic portrayal of Asian American identities, then we can start by celebrating what each sister brings to our cause, Asian or not.” -Reed
  • “I have learned that though life may be full of challenging moments, you will always have a sister there to keep cheering you on every step of the way.” -Duke
  • “If people are true sisters, they won’t make you feel any different than you think you are. Simple facts about your identity shouldn’t stop you from sisterhood. If it does, then it wasn’t a true sisterhood to begin with.” –Escorza

Featured Image: Tiffany Chu