CUS Greek Community
Club & Greek

Monmouth University Welcomes Chi Upsilon Sigma to the Greek Community

The seven founding sisters of the Gamma Beta chapter of Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority, Incorporated were initiated on Wednesday, Nov. 15, officially marking the sorority’s arrival to Monmouth’s campus.

Chi Upsilon Sigma (CUS) was originally founded in 1980 by seven Latina women at Rutgers University New Brunswick. Brenda Pescoran, the Alumna Advisor of the Gamma Beta chapter, said that while CUS is a Latin sorority, its membership is not exclusive to Latin women. “We have the word Latin in our name to show respect for the seven Latina Founding Mothers who made it all possible to be where we are at now,” she said. Pescoran also served as the New Member Educator for the seven Monmouth women who went through the Educational Process in order to be initiated. She said that CUS has members from various ethnic backgrounds, which is something that the organization is extremely proud of.

There has been student interest in bringing CUS to the university for a few years, according to Michele Kaplan, Assistant Director of Student Activities for Fraternity and Sorority Life. “We are always assessing our community and how we can meet the needs of our students,” Kaplan said.

Pescoran confirmed that the initial interest in CUS came in 2012. She said that Monmouth had certain requirements to meet in order to be recognized on campus, which delayed the process. “We knew we had dedicated women who never gave up on their vision of bringing CUS to campus, who believed they could, and who wanted to bring diversity to campus,” she said.

Cristal Polanco, a senior at Monmouth and sister of CUS, believed that it was worth the wait. “The reason why we decided to embark on the long journey of bringing CUS to campus was because before finding the organization we felt out of place,” she said. “CUS became a home to us and we wanted to share this with other interested women.” Polanco said that the purpose of the organization is to educate, elevate, and empower all women. The values of CUS are leadership, sisterhood, service, and character.

Marleny Mejia, a junior who serves as president of the Gamma Beta chapter, began to fall in love with CUS when she realized that the values and purpose of the organization correlated with those instilled in her by her own mother. She said, “I knew this would be a difficult journey, but without challenge there is no growth.”

At Monmouth, CUS will join the other four Multicultural & Professional Greek Council (MPGC) organizations within the Greek community. Allan Flores, a junior and brother of Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Incorporated, was excited to have CUS join the MPGC community as he has always wanted to see it grow. “I believe that CUS will bring some attention to what the multicultural organizations on campus are about and what they stand for. For the most part, the [MPGC] organizations that have been on campus already have been left in the dark in the community,” he said. Flores said that healthy competition brings the best out of people, and that is another reason why CUS’s addition to the MPGC community is a positive change.

Crystalie Caraballo, a junior and sister of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Incorporated, said that her organization is excited to see the Greek Latina community at Monmouth get bigger. “Each one of us has worked extensively to have our organization here and we will all continue to support one another,” she said. “We hope all of our organizations can continue to grow together and our council will continue to thrive.” Caraballo said that as a member of a Latin sorority at Monmouth, she understands the difficulty in recruiting and retaining possible members and carrying on with traditions. Her organization congratulates CUS and looks forward to working with them.

Ashley Payne, a sophomore and sister of Zeta Tau Alpha, was excited to hear that there was going to be a new sorority on campus. “I believe that CUS will bring more attention to the diversity in culture and student population at Monmouth and show how Monmouth University and its Greek community encourages and celebrates diversity for all cultures,” she said.

Giorgio Courtis, a senior and former president of Tau Delta Phi, also believes that the addition of CUS will be beneficial to the Greek community. “I know that the MPGC organizations root for each other heavily and have a very small and tight knit community, so the addition of another MPGC organization will boost the confidence and cohesiveness of the multicultural brotherhood and sisterhood here at Monmouth, which I am all for,” he said.

Polanco said that ultimately, her and the sisters of CUS’s goal was to help women at Monmouth find a home away from home in their sorority. “Our hope is that one day Monmouth will have a variety of multicultural organizations for students to choose from because everyone deserves to find a home and comfort at school,” she said. “You come to school for an education, but the bonds created last forever.”

PHOTO TAKEN by Evan McMurtrie