PLATTSBURGH - The sisters of Sigma Lambda Upsilon are a relatively new sorority in the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, having existed for only five years. However, being new hasn't held them back from becoming a well-respected sorority on campus.
Sigma Lambda Upsilon, better known as "Las Se oritas Latinas Unidas," was founded at SUNY Plattsburgh in the fall 2005 semester by six women - Melissa Garcia, Ivonne Gomez, Alysia Velez, Stephanie Ruiz, Tanya Henry and Carol Olate.
"Our chapter [Alpha Epsilon] was founded by six phenomenal women because at that time there wasn't any culturally-based recognized organizations on campus," said Olate. "We saw how much more we could bring to the campus, especially at that time where there was even less diversity in Plattsburgh."
Aside from diversity as being one of their main goals, Sigma Lambda Upsilon strives to teach others about multicultural enrichment, reaching their full potential in academic excellence, and expanding literacy, explained president Takia Caballero.
In honor of their anniversary, all the sisters, including 11 alumnae, will come to campus to celebrate the occasion alongside the two current undergrad sisters. The festivities will include bowling, a cultural presentation of the sisters, a welcoming reception and a formal tea for all women interested in Sigma Lambda Upsilon.
The sorority will host "Bowling for Books," an annual book drive open to the public at North Bowl Lanes, off State Route 9, to kick off their fifth year anniversary, Thursday, Nov. 18, alongside Sigma Tau Gamma from 9-11 p.m.
"We rent out [the bowling alley] the whole night and everyone who comes in donates a book and you get a pair of bowling shoes and play two games for $7," said Olate.
Aside from bowling, Sigma Lambda Upsilon will also hold a raffle that will allow for attendees to win prizes. A shuttle service in front of the Angell College Center will also be available for students who do not have transportation to the event.
Proceeds will benefit Better World Books and Journey Into Reading, both of which raise awareness for youth literacy. The book drive will be ongoing and donations will be accepted year-round. At the end of the year, books and donations will be sent to their respective foundations.
"With literacy you can empower so many people," said Caballero. "Literacy is centered on so many cultures and people; we are empowering children, men, and women."
In a campus and community where minorities are relatively small in numbers, Sigma Lambda Upsilon continues to teach about multiculturalism.
"We strive to educate others about the importance of diversity," added Caballero.
For more information about Sigma Lambda Upsilon or Bowling for Books contact Caballero at firstname.lastname@example.org.