Alpha Psi Lambda hosted a Game Night and Potluck at 5 p.m. Friday in the Culture Center to welcome students interested in learning more about the co-ed Greek organization.
Adam Sandoval, a co-founder of Alpha Psi Lambda, said it has been interesting seeing how the organization has grown since being formed in 2016 and originally starting with only 12 members.
“It’s really cool, seeing it grow and then seeing more people interested as well as seeing our family grow,” Sandoval said.
Isabella Garza, vice president of Alpha Psi Lambda, said she joined the Greek organization last year when she was a transfer student after hearing about it at Pantherpalooza.
“At first, I did not necessarily think I was going to go Greek,” Garza said. “I did not necessarily see the point of it, but after hearing about it, it seemed interesting and different than the other Greek (organizations) I have seen.”
Garza said one of the reasons she joined is because where she grew up she did not have a surrounding Latino community.
APSI provides an opportunity for her to learn about her culture, and she said it has brought a lot of different benefits with it as well.
“It has pushed me in my academics and has worked to push me in my leadership goals and leadership skills,” Garza said.
APSI serves the university campus by volunteering where help is needed, like during the Service Days in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.
Sandoval said they help the community as well by giving to the Standing Stone Community Service, which is a donation center, and helping the Boys and Girls Club of America as much as they can, despite the lack of a local chapter in Charleston.
“(We service) Boys and Girls of America; however, we do not have one that is around here, so we do fundraisers to give money to them,” Sandoval said.
Garza said there is also a big network community in different regions of the United States of America with the APSI organization, such as APSI branches in California or Florida.
“So, it goes from coast to coast, and I like that because let’s say I end up in California one day,” Garza said. “Then I have someone to reach out for if I need help like a lawyer. It gives you a good foundation of where to go.”
Since APSI is a Latino co-ed greek organization, Garza said it gives them responsibilities that they do not always realize the importance of.
APSI is still new, so she said they are still in the process of learning how to represent Latino culture in the best way they can.
“Anyone who isn’t part of a Latino Culture or interested in the culture should be open minded with things that might be different than what they are used to,” Garza said. “Try to be accepting with open arms rather than saying, ‘What are they doing?’ Just be open-minded.”
APSI will be having upcoming events during the Latino Heritage Month. Tuesday there will be an informational meeting about the organization at 6:30 p.m. in the Shelbyville Room of the Union.
Valentina Vargas can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]