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Students aim to start LGBT+ sorority

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Just a week ago an LGBT sorority on the university campus was only an idea.

Now, under the direction of Sam Monsen, an art education major, the idea is taking form.

Monsen was talking to a few friends about an LGBT inclusive sorority and found they had an interest.

“There is a gender and sexuality alliance club here, but it’s not very active,” Monsen said. “We just thought it would be nice to have an all inclusive safe space and hangout.”

The sorority Monsen is hoping to start is Gamma Rho Lambda. The national sorority is a multicultural sorority for women, trans-women, trans-men and non-binary students of any race, culture, or sexual orientation.

Monsen first discovered Gamma Rho Lambda from a Huffington Post article and decided to look into the organization more.

Monsen reached out to the national chapter and is currently in talks with the Vice President of Expansion who has sent some recruitment materials to be used on campus.

Currently there are three people involved, including Monsen, with an interest in starting the chapter.

One interested party is freshman psychology major Candace Porter.

“There needs to be a lot more representation for LGBTQ and all the other acronyms, just because it is so heteronormative in the midwest,” Porter said. “They need to know that they are loved and there is a place for them.”

The group is not yet officially affiliated with the national organization, as it is still in phase one of the process, making them an interest group.

To move on to phase two  there needs to be 15 interested members and a written petition to join.

Once that process is done they will be a colony, an unofficial chapter, before moving to stage three as a recognized chapter of the national sorority.

Monsen has also reached out to Student Development on campus to see what is needed from the university standpoint.

The only people not admitted into Gamma Rho Lambda are cis-gender males, Monsen said because they have a fraternity of their own.

“If any male is interested in starting the gay male version of the national fraternity out there and wanted to get together with us we could help each other,” Monsen said.

Monsen said the university is not a bad place for members of the LGBT community, at least not from personal experiences.

“Personally I haven’t ever felt threatened,” Monsen said. “I know Southern Indiana isn’t the best area for it and Evansville isn’t the biggest town so I wouldn’t say it’s as safe here as say San Francisco, but it’s just nice to have somewhere to go or someone to talk to and that definitely can’t hurt.”

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University of Southern Indiana's student publication
Students aim to start LGBT+ sorority