Mercer dives into diversity with first multicultural Greek organizations

Mercer's first multicultural Greek chapters

Mercer University is shaking things up and adding to its diversity on campus.

Mercer's Greek Village already has 18 chapters in place, and two more are hoping to join that mix -- fraternity Delta Epsilon Psi and sorority Sigma Sigma Rho.

The thing that makes these organizations special is that they are Mercer's first-ever multicultural Greek organizations.

Kanishka Patel is Sigma Sigma Rho's founder, and says she felt like Mercer was ready for a change.

"I wanted to start something new because I see how Mercer is changing so much in the past few years," Patel says.

Since 2012, the number of Mercer students who describe themselves as Asian has increased 39 percent from 176 students to 245.

Out of the total student population, 25 percent is Greek.

Patel says she tried rushing to sororities this past year, but there was something missing -- her culture.

"So if you want to join, in that aspect of Greek life, showing your culture, showing your heritage, or if you want the option to get closer, because for me, that was a big thing -- getting closer to who I was," Patel says.

Both Delta Epsilon Psi and Sigma Sigma Rho are Southeast Asian Greek organizations.

Mercer says the organizations will provide incoming students with more options and expand the university's diversity. 

"I think Mercer's a really good example of how diversity can work in a southern type of institution. I think a lot of our students appreciate and value diversity and that's seen in how they interact with each other," says Scotty Rainwater, the assistant director of Campus Life at Mercer.

Rainwater says this could be the start of new growth at Mercer and the Greek community.

Patel says you don't have to be southeast Asian to join. You just need to share in their interests, values, and beliefs. 

Initiation starts in April, and their first rush will be next fall. 

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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