A Place for Everyone in Theta Nu Xi and Psi Sigma Phi
Thursday, Feb. 08, 2018
The Student Life section of Utah State Today highlights work written by the talented student journalists at Utah State University. Each week, the editor selects a story that has been published in The Utah Statesman for inclusion in Utah State Today.
Theta Nu Xi (pronounced Z-i) is just one of the many multicultural organizations on USU’s campus and USU’s only diversity sorority.
Theta Nu Xi’s goal is to provide a place for women who think alike. The sorority’s values are the pillars of sisterhood, scholarship, leadership, service and multiculturalism.
Throughout the school year members of Theta Nu Xi focus on putting on events, volunteering throughout the community, supporting other organizations and increasing their memberships.
Karina Hernandez currently serves as president of Theta Nu Xi at Utah State and said the multicultural component is what sets their sorority apart from other sororities and fraternities on campus.
“We integrate our identities, our cultural heritage and our backgrounds with our sorority,” Hernandez said. “It plays a huge part in how we run our organization.”
As a multicultural organization, Theta Nu Xi isn’t just a place for women of color. It is heavily involved with social justice and equality for everyone.
A major piece of multiculturalism is the idea of intersectional identity, Hernandez said. Theta Nu Xi women believe that there are many different parts of their lives that help them navigate and move throughout the world.
“I think sometimes the ‘multicultural’ word can scare people if they don’t understand what we mean by multiculturalism,” Hernandez said. “Theta Nu Xi helps you bring those components together and helps you discover your best self with those different parts of your identity.”
One of the biggest events hosted by Theta Nu Xi and Psi Sigma Phi is called Step Show. Step Show is a place for all of the fraternities and sororities to come together and perform routines, competing against each other for the title of “Best Steppers.”
But the competition isn’t just for USU fraternity and sorority members. The competition is open to student organizations and clubs as well. This year, Psi Sigma Phi and Theta Nu Xi have extended their invitation to all of the fraternities and sororities at Idaho State University, University of Utah and Weber State University.
Dianna Palma currently serves as the Step Show chair for Theta Nu Xi. She enjoys being able to put the event together.
“I like being able to reach out to multiple organizations at this university and others, and getting to know them,” Palma said. “Not only do we get to know that organization for the given year, but we build relationships with organizations from all around in the long run.”
Each year has a different theme attached and Palma said it’s fascinating to see how each organization presents themselves.
This year’s theme is all about the circus, inspired by the movie “The Greatest Showman.”
“Aside from the evening being exciting in itself, I love seeing the creativity all of the organizations pull together each year,” Palma said.
The step show for this year will be held April 6 at 7 p.m. in the Taggart Student Center Ballroom.
Theta Nu Xi adopted a new philanthropy a year ago entitled “Girl Up.” The organization empowers women across the globe to gain an education while also helping them determine what they want to do with their futures.
“We provide educational resources, networking, and other resources to help women attain goals that they would otherwise be discouraged from pursuing because of social constructs and societal norms,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez encourages anyone interested in learning more about the organization of Theta Nu Xi to come and do so.
“We want people to know that we are here, we are present and we’re definitely doing a lot of work within ourselves and within our community,” Hernandez said. “We’re very friendly and love to connect with other organizations and groups of people.”
Psi Sigma Phi is the multicultural fraternity for men at Utah State. Both Theta Nu Xi and Psi Sigma Phi are non-traditional organizations which sets them apart, said Edmundo Sanchez, the President of Psi Sigma Phi.
“I believe that we strive to make a connection with people that are different in their own way,” Sanchez said. “We want to let them know that there is an organization out there that they can relate to in many different ways, and that they don’t need to be afraid to be themselves to fit in.”
Psi Sigma Phi works relatively closely with several different diversity groups on campus. Their members can often be found volunteering during different events put on by these diversity groups.
Psi Sigma Phi’s national philanthropy is the Kidney and Urology foundation, and they often donate their time and services to local communities in need.
Both Psi Sigma Phi and Theta Nu Xi take part in an intake process that focuses on time commitment and dedication, which is a different recruitment process than most fraternities and sororities.
Sanchez said this makes them unique because instead of taking bids or doing rituals at the end of Rush Week, they are assigned a Big that gives them advice and guides them through the recruitment process. They also perform salutes, stepping chants and marches.
“It’s our way to show and pay respect to other chapters within our organizations as well as other organizations,” Sanchez said.
For Sanchez, Psi Sigma Phi is more than just a family, it’s a livelihood.
“If you’re looking to join an organization that you will consider a family, then look further,”
Sanchez said. “We may be small, but that’s a good thing. It’s so crazy how close you can get to someone you don’t know in such a short time being together.”