January 21, 2022

Sigma Gamma Rho redefines their role on Capital’s campus

The historically black sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho, is returning to Capital’s campus.

Sigma Gamma Rho was founded in 1922 at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. Since then they have grown to be an international organization with over 500 chapters worldwide. Sigma Gamma Rho is a part of the Divine Nine fraternities and sororities.

General Background

Black Greek Letter Organizations (BGLOs) started to be established in the early 20th century. BGLOs were created due to the racism many black students in America were facing at the time. The Chimes previously did an article about some of them here.

Black students were often ostracized and banned from joining social organizations. As a result, Black students began looking for ways to cope. The first BGLO, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. was initially started as a study and support group for the black male students at Cornell University who were facing racial prejudice.

Following in the footsteps of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., eight other intercollegiate fraternities and sororities were founded on the principles of service and the betterment of black students.

Capital’s Divine Nine chapters are a part of the city-wide central chapter that includes universities in central Ohio. Some universities include Ohio Dominican University, Denison, and Ohio Wesleyan. 

The Capital Connection

Fourth-year Sigma Gamma Rho member, Mya Menefield, recently offered insight on her decision to join the sorority. “My older sister actually joined Sigma Gamma Rho so that definitely pushed me into that direction. But in reality, it was more about that community that Sigma Gamma Rho brought me as well as the opportunities.”

Sigma Gamma Rho pictured at the December greek life event. Photos provided by Mya Menefield.

Menefield went on to explain the three pillars the sorority has: sisterhood, scholarship, and service. She emphasized the importance of service to the entire campus community, not just the black community.

“One thing that I think separates us from other sororities on campus is that we are lifelong and we have a very big alumnae connection,” added Menefield.

Menefield also added that she is excited to see how the sorority can get involved on Capital’s campus again.

Mya Menefield pictured during Sigma Gamma Rho’s service event. Photo submitted by Mya Menefield.

“Since we are a central wide chapter we are focused on more schools like ODU, Denison, Ohio Wesleyan, etc. But I’m really trying to bring it back to campus,” Menefield said. “We are helping out with exam treats and we also have informationals coming up very soon, sometime in January as well.”

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