By Oanhie “Shinsen” Pham, Editor-in-chief
On April 15, 2012, the first Asian-interest sorority was established at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte by 10 young women: Chee Ia Yang, May Vang, Ann Nguyen, Shua Vang, Nou Yang, Pamela Pedersen, Camarin Chargualaf, Lyna Cao, Elaine Phong and Rebekah Dikkers. Their chapter is only a few months old, but they already have many goals they would like to accomplish in their first year! Check out the interview we had with some of the sisters from UNCC.
Why did you choose to bring Delta Phi Lambda to your campus?
Lyna “Déjàvu” Cao: I felt, witnessed, and loved the RESPECT that Delta Phi Lambda emits from its organization. Delta Phi Lambda was what I wanted to be a part of because it made me want to put myself at a higher standard and aspire to be a better role model and leader to others. That was the initial impression I had since I have met sisters, Mama Karma and Papa Emera. Ever since then, I have fallen in love with the sorority and will fly till the day I die with Delta Phi Lambda.
Pamela “Emporium” Pedersen: I heard about the good reputation Delta Phi Lambda had and looking closer, I felt like this sorority is a sorority with inspiring sisters with whom I wanted to bond and also learn to aspire more. I felt like Delta Phi Lambda would be the perfect sorority to bring to UNCC as the first Asian-interest sorority.
Shua “Estreya” Vang: When I first came upon the Delta Phi Lambda website, I didn’t know what to expect and I wasn’t sure what I would see or even read about. What made me choose Delta Phi Lambda was the history of the seven lovely ladies, who expressed their struggles and hardships throughout their journey to make this dream come true happen. I had read through other sorority’s websites earlier that day, but I didn’t really feel like I could relate to them the way Delta Phi Lambda had to me. They showed me that struggles happen in life and you don’t always succeed the first time, but you must keep striving for your dreams no matter how hard the challenge will be — that is why I chose Delta Phi Lambda.
What are some goals your chapter wishes to accomplish during your first year on campus?
Pedersen: We definitely want to get our name out to our campus and hopefully get a lot of positive feedback. We also want to bring the Asian community on campus closer together and inspire students around campus through our value-based programs. Most importantly, we want to recruit new members who are well suited to our sorority and thereby expand our chapter.
What is your favorite memory while being an interest group?
Pedersen: My favorite memory was getting to know the girls more and more and simply just bond with them. A lot of us were freshmen so we didn’t know each other at the beginning of the year but throughout the year we bonded so much. They are all amazing memories.
Cao: My favorite memory of the Organization of Asian Students Inspiring Sisterhood (OASIS) was being recognized for our work even as an interest group. It shows that despite the fact we are not an official sorority, we are achieving great things! It was such a great motivation for OASIS to continue on our journey in finding Everlasting Sisterhood.
Vang: I have to say my favorite memory as an interest group was our ECAASU trip together. This was honestly our first “actual” trip we got to go on together as well as our last time being an interest group. The crazy adventures we spent together that weekend were amazing and the most memorable of all.
What is your fondest memory during your journey to everlasting sisterhood?
Vang: The fondest and one of the many memorable moments in our journey to everlasting sisterhood was the time we all had to say something meaningful to each one of our line sisters. I have to say, it was seriously nonstop crying for every one of us — even the sisters who were in that room listening to us. I had never cried so much in my life, but I think that was one of the moments that honestly helped bring us closer to each other than we already were before.
What do you look most forward to as a chapter of Delta Phi Lambda?
Cao: I look forward to SHOWING UNCC WHO WE ARE! I want to represent DFL with the utmost respect and standard that makes others have the same impression that DFL left on me when I first met DFL sisters. To me, that serves as a seed to really understand DFL’s sisterhood and inspire others by example.
What is Greek life like at UNCC?
Vang: It’s definitely growing. Since we’re a small school, our Greek life is not as big compared to others. I know many sororities and fraternities do contribute a lot to our school and I am definitely hoping to do the same in the many years to come. I feel like with all the sororities and fraternities no matter if they are NPHC, PHA, Interfraternal, or DGC — they are all family and work really well with one another. They seem very supportive and I’m excited for our future collabs together.
How is the neophyte life so far?
Vang: Neophyte life? I LOVE IT! It’s a great feeling to know that other sisters acknowledge and care for me the way that they do. I know this feeling will grow as the years go by and I’m excited to be able to bond with every sister more than we have already. Also, I have to say it’s not a bad thing to be a neophyte at the moment because I can wear my letters as much as I want and not feel bad doing it!
What exciting things can we expect from you lovely ladies next semester?
Pedersen: We will bring fresh ideas and change to our diversified Greek council and our campus as a whole. Expect us to be very involved in Greek life as well as the community around here. We will represent our letters to our campus by showing our virtues every day, every second…
Vang: I know many of the girls in our chapter want to bring a step/stroll team to our campus! I’m excited for it, even though my dancing skills are poor, but I’m willing to try something new — of course if I don’t do so well I’ll probably just sit back and watch.
What are some ways you can help improve the image of the Asian American as a chapter at UNCC?
Pedersen: We will educate people to see beyond stereotypes and learn to respect Asian Americans more. We have also showed interest in collaborating with the Asian community on our campus to petition to try to get a class about Asian Americans to UNCC. We will definitely try educating others more by living and showing our virtues to break stereotypes people have toward Asian Americans.
Cao: I want you to know that UNCC Delta Phi Lambda’s Chapter will be doing bigger and better things than what our campus had before and to expect nothing less than success and the love of our Everlasting Sisterhood through our works!