Revived Multicultural Greek Council seeks to increase unity of Greek councils

MGC President Phillip Nguyen: “We want them to know that (even if) you’re not rich or white, you still have access to being a part of Greek Life.”

The Multicultural Greek Council is back to bring more color to the Greek community at MU.

When Multicultural Center coordinator Stephanie Hernandez Rivera arrived at MU in 2014, several people and organizations told her they needed MGC to give them stability and structure. The council had previously existed for over half a century, but not for a few years prior to her arrival. She, along with Jennifer Ware, former president of the Asian-interest sorority Alpha Phi Gamma, has been working on the council’s restoration since the spring of 2015.

Multicultural-based Greek organizations began meeting monthly as a multicultural Greek alliance to discuss a vision of what would become the MGC.

“Knowing that there were culturally based organizations functioning out of the office, I thought it was important to infuse them within the Greek system,” Hernandez Rivera said.

MGC President Phillip Nguyen, who helped found the MU chapter of Kappa Pi Beta, an Asian-interest fraternity, also worked to bring about the council. He said Hernandez Rivera provided him and his peers with the support and resources they needed.

“She really opened up a lot of doors for us,” Nguyen said. “I think that’s why we’ve been able to get as far as we’ve come.”

MCG is a union of Greek chapters similar to other Greek councils on campus. Its official members are the multicultural chapters Kappa Pi Beta, Alpha Phi Gamma and Delta Xi Nu.

Panhellenic Association chapter Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi and Interfraternity Council chapter Lambda Theta Phi are associate members of MGC. Hernandez Rivera, who serves as the council’s adviser, said in an email that the council hopes to bring Latina sorority Lambda Theta Alpha to campus soon.

Nguyen said that in the next few months, the council hopes to lay the foundation for MGC to become comparable to the other Greek councils within the next few years.

The Office of Greek Life announced the appointment of the MGC executive board on Jan. 29.

Besides Nguyen, the board consists of Vice President Cherry Zhang, Secretary Vaishali Elango, Financial Manager Jacqueline Thai and Judicial Officer Raisa Buenaventura.

The council aims to increase institutionalized support and to ensure that MU’s culturally based Greek organizations are all able to succeed and thrive.

Buenaventura said the council hopes to bolster its presence on campus and in the Greek community.

“(We want) to form a strong foundation for MGC by strengthening relationships between the Greek organizations as well as non-Greek-affiliated organizations,” she said.

MGC also seeks to be a resource for students who are interested in Greek Life but hesitant to join.

“We want to give those people an opportunity while exposing them to multicultural issues or awareness,” Nguyen said. “We want them to know that (even if) you’re not rich or white, you still have access to being a part of Greek Life.”

Hernandez Rivera said the council hopes to create a more inclusive environment for current and future members of the Greek community.

“Having a multicultural Greek council will create spaces and visibility for those outside of the dominant Greek member narrative,” she said in an email.

Nguyen said the council members are excited to leave their mark on campus.

“When they come back in a few years, they’ll be able to say, ‘I was a part of creating that difference,’” Nguyen said. “I (helped form) this tradition that we still do today.’”

Edited by Waverly Colville |

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