The new fraternity, Sigma Alpha Iota, recently chartered as a chapter at CSU. SAI is a place for female students to come together and express their musical talents. Currently, SAI does not have a house and instead holds their meetings and events at the UCA.
Outgoing President, Hannah Ramirez, said she joined the organization because she wanted to make more female friends.
“I really wanted a sisterhood, and when I found out I could share my love for music with other women, I felt like it was the perfect place for me to be,” Ramirez said
The fraternity began in 2013, but the group was not chartered until late this semester.
“The chartering process for our national headquarters is very intense and arduous,” Ramirez said.
According to Ramirez, the chartering process requires a lot of paperwork and research on the school, specifically its music professors. Unlike some Greek organizations who have a national representative to assist with the chartering requirements, SAI had to do it alone.
Although it is a small fraternity with only 15 active members in the CSU chapter, it is based in leadership development and the connection of music. SAI outgoing Treasurer Bethany Roof said having a small groups sometimes works to their benefit.
“(Some members in the bigger organizations) have sisters they’ve never talked to,” Roof said. “I’m super close with every single one of my sisters,”
This organization is unique because it identifies as a women’s fraternity as opposed to a sorority. According to Ramirez, this is because the language used to describe Greek Life is limiting to women, and the term “women’s fraternity” equates their organization to the male organizations.
“Our founders felt that they wanted to be basically equal to the men, (and) that by establishing a sorority, it was undermining the fact that women were equal to men,” Ramirez said.
While SAI is a music fraternity, not all the members are music majors. However, as a music fraternity, the group will perform in recitals, create music and bond as a music-lovers, and what makes this group special is their musically-based philanthropy work.
“The Library of Congress sent us music, and we took the music, blew it up, removed the white space, increased the font size and it got re-published in the Library of Congress so that hard of sight musicians can have access to music they wouldn’t normally be able to read,” Ramirez said.
According to Ramirez, women tend to get erased from music’s history. Ramirez explained that we all know names like Mozart and Beethoven, but we often overlook female composers, and that even today, women struggle to be taken seriously in the music industry.
“It’s important for women within the world of music to find each other and really share their passion and be able to support each other in a place that doesn’t necessarily want them to succeed,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez said that although they are a small group, they have a unique sisterhood.
“We all share the same love of music, which brings us together in ways you’d never expect it to.”
Collegian reporter Maddie Wright can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @maddierwright.