Multicultural Greek Council profiles: Lambda Theta Nu


Courtesy of Lambda Theta Nu

Members of Lambda Theta Nu.

Jay Waagmeester

When and how was your organization founded at Iowa State?

The Alpha Epsilon chapter of Lambda Theta Nu was founded April 14, 2007. We have eight founding members who were undergraduates at the time. They reached out to our national headquarters for our sorority and asked to charter a chapter at Iowa State.

They were awarded it, so they were educated and began the chapter in 2007. 

Where does the organization meet on a regular basis if it does?

Since we are a Multicultural Greek Council organization, we do not have a traditional fraternity or sorority house. We do this to honor our ancestors that weren’t able to get them and to also honor the National Panhellenic Council, who weren’t allowed to have them.

We do it in solidarity with them as well as our ancestors that weren’t allowed. We usually meet in East hall or Carver or we will meet outside of campus at each other’s houses. 

What, if any, traditions does your organization hold? And how did they originate?

We stroll, which is similar to stepping, with our machetes. We use that as a symbol to break down machismo, which is toxic masculinity in the Latino community. It’s a tradition that we keep strong and really cherish.

We also have a lot of traditions intertwined with our community service and fundraising. We’ll traditionally team up with Sigma Lambda Beta, which is a male Latino fraternity on campus, to do highway cleanup or sell tacos or churros and chocolate. 

What acts of philanthropy does your organization partake in?

Our philanthropy that we focus on is called Tijeras. It is focused on raising the Latino literacy rate in English. What we’ll do is raise money for English and Spanish books for children to be able to learn.

We donate them to whatever resource is looking for that type of support.

We also work really closely with young Latina women and getting higher education. We hold the Latina Youth Leadership Conference. We bring them to Iowa State and show them around and talk about financial aid and scholarship. We also have keynote speakers, usually alumni, active members or professors.

What are the pillars of your organization? 

Our pillars are community service, sisterhood and academic excellence.

Why should students join?

Students should join Lambda Theta Nu because even though we are a Latina-based and inclusive sorority, we are not a Latina-exclusive sorority. We accept people from all different backgrounds.

It is different from a Collegiate Panhellenic Council or Inter-Fraternity Council organization in the fact that we don’t have as many members, so it’s easier to create a more organic relationship without so many people that you meet at once. Our multicultural Greek community at Iowa State is amazing.

They are all very accepting and welcoming, and it’s just really easy to feel at home once you start to get to know everybody. A lot of our members overlap with other clubs, like Latino Student Initiative and other organizations that are minority-based.

What does that process entail?

For Lambda Theta Nu, we hold recruitment events throughout the year, like game nights or come hang with us-type events. You apply through our online application; once you get approved by our board, your learning process will start.

After that, you’re pretty much in. It is low cost, and even if money is a problem, we often use payment plans or something to help work around that. We don’t want that to be a barrier.