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Latina based sorority Arkansas Tech hosts the inaugural Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha event



Little Rock, Arkansas – At Arkansas Tech University (ATU), a brand-new sorority has been formed to do community service and uphold a welcoming environment where members can celebrate and represent the Latino culture on campus.

The original members of Sigma Iota Alpha at ATU are seven students from Arkansas Tech, and Sofia Guerrero of Hot Springs is one of those members.

Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha was founded by Guerrero and her fellow classmates Andrea Arenales of Little Rock, Jacqueline Hernandez of Bentonville, Yasmin Pacheco of Hot Springs, Perla Ramirez of Hot Springs, Noelia Santos of Hot Springs, and Jazzy Trejo of Rogers.

“For me, it was having that culture and bond with people similar to me,” said Ramirez.

New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Illinois, Michigan, Texas, and California have all established chartered chapters over the past thirty years.

“It’s going to enhance our experience because we will meet people who are willing to help us socially and academically,” said Pacheco. “We’re going to have that support system to lean on, which is really important, especially for first-generation students. Going into this, I didn’t expect to get so close with the girls. I don’t go more than half a day without texting at least one of them. Some of us were already friends before this started, but we’re closer than that now. We actually are sisters.”

In 1990, the Sigma Iota Alpha chapter was established. The first members included 13 women from four New York universities: State University of New York (SUNY) Albany, SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY New Paltz, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

“Having that sisterhood is one of the best things because we can go to each other”, said Santos. “There have been so many times when we have motivated each other. Sometimes you just need another person to tell you that you can do it. It’s been really beneficial.”

The recently established sorority claims that its goals are to ‘achieve academic achievement, foster sisterhood and leadership, raise understanding of Latino culture, and serve as role models.’
For the 2024–2025 academic year, the ATU members of Sigma Iota Alpha are now looking for community outreach projects. Some of the options include reading to children at nearby elementary schools and helping at nonprofits that support the local Hispanic community.

“I am a part of something bigger than myself,” said Hernandez. “I am SIA. I am part of that, and I represent that when I wear my letters.”

Members of Sigma Iota Alpha at ATU have also planned to serve on campus, participating in events like the yearly Green and Gold Give Back.

“Wearing these letters is a remembrance that we did this, we made it, we overcame, and we put in that work,” said Guerrero. “It wasn’t just for us, but for future generations that are coming to Arkansas Tech and want to find an organization that represents them, their goals, their virtues and what they want to develop in life. It’s a big wow moment for us.”

The sisters’ next major action item will be to create their colony culture in the fall of 2024, with plans to participate in recruitment of new members in the spring of 2025.




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