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Cultural night moves indoors

November 18th, 2012

The University’s student organizations and community came together Thursday night to celebrate Cultural Night with food, dance and music. Hosted by the Office of Student Involvement together with the Office of International Programs, this event is held every year at the University to celebrate different cultures.

Usually held outside in the Quad, Cultural Night was instead held in the Ballroom to accommodate for the cold weather and slight drizzle, according to OIP Director Sandra Hansmann.

“This year it’s enclosed. The last one was outside. There looks like there is a lot more people, but because of the space,” said Oscar Mendoza, a 27-year-old UTPA graduate studying for his master’s in business administration. For the number of people attending and organizations presenting, the turnout appeared to be the same, according to Mendoza.

About 350 people congregated at the event to enjoy free food from other countries and witness performances by nine different groups, some of which included mariachi music, Indian dance and tai chi fan dance.

“I’m in love with Chinese culture,” said April Lopez, a 35-year-old UTPA graduate studying for her masters in nurse practitioning. “I’m with the Lianhong Chen company and we performed a tai chi fan dance.”

There were 11 student body organizations serving food from their preferred culture, some countries being represented were: Italy, Mexico, Brazil, India, the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico and France. Bucky, UTPA’s mascot, also made a guest appearance.

“Cultural Night gives a chance to try different food and learn about other cultures without traveling,” said 38-year-old President Javier Mireles of the health and kinesiology club representing Japan. “Roca Sushi of Pharr, Texas are good friends with the club. They brought the fridge, food, sushi and the sushi chef.”

Some of the food being served included: tamales with mexican fried rice and beans, sushi, french bread with french butter, pizza, fried plantains, pancit, egg rolls, corn in a cup and many others. The multicultural sorority inc. chose to represent Italy and served cavatini.

“We chose China previously, but we all love italian food so we decided on Italy,” said Ivanna Flores, 21-year-old president of Delta Xi Nu who is studying criminal justice. “Our dish is a layer of pasta, sauce, sliced pepperoni and mozzarella cheese.”

Another sorority, Kappa Delta Chi was also present and decided to ironically represent Greece with the grecian dessert baklava.

“We choose Greece because we are part of the greek society,” said Maggie Leal, a 20-year-old junior doubling majoring in chemistry and pre-pharmacy. “Our baklava went quickly, it tastes like nuts and honey. It’s crisp and super yummy.”

Red ticket stubs were handed out at the door for a chance to win a variety of prizes. 20-year-old sophomore business economics and finance major Michael Kent was one of the many winners.

“I’m surprised that it was an umbrella. Winter is coming, the cold rain is coming so I appreciate the prize,” said Kent. “There was a good turnout this year… it felt crowded. The food ran low with in the first hour.”

Although there were many organizations, the Student Government Association also attended representing the French. Matthew Garcia, 21-year-old SGA president was the MC for the night.

“I volunteered to be MC, they asked me and I was happy to do it,” Garcia said, a major in pre-med biology and political science. “I wish we could have had it outside, but the performances have been excellent and there was a great turnout.”

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Greek stroll expands

October 14th, 2012

Rhythmic grooves and pounding dance beats filled UTPA’s Fieldhouse Thursday night. Five sororities and three fraternities took part in the Second Annual Multicultural Greek Council Stroll Competition. With tickets priced at $3, students cheered on fellow Greek student body members as the fieldhouse walls shook with the joyous screams of over 120 people.

This year’s competition featured prizes, free shirts and squishy balls for the crowd. It also held two interactive intermissions with the audience; a basketball competition between girls and boys ages 18 to 34 and a dance competition with song “Gangnam Style” by Psy playing in the background. The winner of the basketball competition was junior Chelsea Luna of Beta Omega Tau, and the winner of the dance competition was a split of four participants.

Heavy bass and a relentless flow of electronic sound kept the momentum going for the stroll competition. Typically, a stroll is where the Greeks can introduce their fraternity or sorority by rhythmically moving in straight line, one behind the other, and synchronously perform a choreographed routine.

“It’s something that other universities do and it shows pride for the University,” senior social work major Lizbeth Ruiz President of the Multicultural Greek Council and Delta Xi Chi member said. “It may be small now, but we’re growing and learning from what we do.”

Winning first place in the stroll was Kappa Delta Chi, they were awarded with huge trophy and $200 spending money for their sorority. Second place was Eta Omega Tau followed by Sigma Lambda Gamma who won third place in the stroll.

“We are proud to win this award. We put a lot of effort into our routine even though we were busy,” Maggie Leal, a Kappa Delta Chi junior majoring in pre-pharmacy who performed in the competition, said. “We are glad to have the recognition and the positive feedback we received tonight.”

As they introduced the Greek student body, there were many cheers for those present and laughs from the crowd for those whom where part of the event, but did not show up to perform. In comparison to last year’s competition, there were more attendees.

“It’s more lively [this year], there are lots of Greeks here. There is so much energy and we had fun participating,” Delta Xi Nu junior studying rehabilitation services Samantha Lazo said.

Joshua Lee Lopez aka Deejay Lo, Omega Delta Phi member, was the disc jockey pushing sound for the Greeks as they got their strut going. The 34-year-old sophomore majoring in nursing is proud to attend the event and help his fellow Greeks.

“There are definitely more people this time around and it’s better coordinated; there’s more prizes. I have lots of respect for those who put the time into practicing for this. They didn’t have a DJ last year, and the location is different. DJ-ing is my profession and I’m happy to represent my fraternity,” Lopez said.

Last year’s stroll was held at the Student Union and some changes were made to get more people involved in getting to know their multicultural Greeks.

“[The stroll] was held on a stage, it was calm and simple,” said Ruiz. “This year we spiced things up with the ‘mystery round’ that featured a random song for each group whether they were ready or not. Both were a success, but I’m glad we were able to get a larger place.”

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Knock, Knock

October 13th, 2012

Have you ever wondered how you manage getting through your day?

Seriously, being a full time student, having a job, an internship, being Vice President of two organizations, spending time with my family/ friends/boyfriend, etc. I wish there were more hours in the day, but then again I would probably just keep adding things on my “to-do-list”.

I wish we all had a “life” remote.  *Pause* for the moments we just need to catch our breath from all the madness, *fast forward* for those bad days that need to be over already, and *rewind* for the days we need that extra hour of sleep (every day).

One thing is for certain, I would be lost without my #Lily Pulitzer planner. It is definitely a must have for a sorority girl on the go with a million things to do.

It’s pink and green, just like my Delta Zeta colors, so I am obsessed with it! If you’re interested in getting one, check this website out girls, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

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5 Things Fraternity Guys should know about a Sorority Girl

September 29th, 2012

Hello Broncs,

So I’ve been a Greek for a while now and I’ve heard quite possibly everything about Greek relationships. Here are 5 Things I feel Fraternity Guys should know about a Sorority Girl.

1.      It’s called being social

When dating a sorority girl, you must know that just because she is dating you, doesn’t mean she can’t talk to other fraternity men. Being social is a part of the Greek life experience.

2.      Nobody likes a blabber mouth.

It’s cute when you brag to your brothers about us, but don’t tell them EVERY detail of the relationship. Know the limit.

3.       “Bro’s before…”

Yes, we know you are crazy about your brothers, and if you could, you would be with them 24/7, but don’t forget to make some time for us, even if it’s for a little bit.

4.       We are dating you, not your fraternity.

You and your sorority girl break up. It happens. Always remember, just because things didn’t work out between you TWO, doesn’t mean your fraternity has to break ties with her as well or get in on the drama.

5.       Don’t hate, appreciate.

As sorority girls, we bust our butts to try to have the highest Greek GPA, throw the best formal, have the most community service hours, to always look our best, etc.  Appreciate our efforts. A little complimenting goes a long way.



Little Miss Greek Life

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4 Tips To Keep in Mind During Rush

September 10th, 2012



This week is my last formal recruitment before graduation! If you’re a freshman about to go through rush, you are probably wondering what to do, I know I was.

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My sisters and I at last week’s rush event.

Here are 4 tips to remember when rushing a sorority/fraternity:

1. First impressions do matter.

Just like an interview; you only get one chance to prove yourself. It is important to look your best and show the organization what you have to offer.

2. Be yourself.

Don’t over think anything. There is no need to act like someone you’re not. Find the organization that fits your personality, morals and certain goals.

3. Ask questions.

There is no such thing as a stupid question. Choosing what Greek organization to be in is a huge commitment. You have the right to know what you are getting yourself into and what they have to offer YOU.  Ask away!

4. Don’t be intimidated.

Walking into a room full of people you don’t know, can be pretty nerve-wrecking, especially when you’re rushing a Greek organization. Yet, don’t worry; we are just as nervous and excited as you are. Just have fun!

Hope these tips will help you when you’re going through your rush process.  Always remember, to keep calm and get your Greek on!


Little Miss Greek Life.



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Keep Calm and Get Your Greek On!

September 6th, 2012

Hello there,

Welcome to my “Keep Calm and Get Your Greek on” blog page. My name is Valerie Garate and I am currently the Greek Council Vice President. I was initiated into Delta Zeta Sorority Fall 2009 and have been an active member of the Greek community ever since. I am so excited to be blogging about Greek life for the UTPA newspaper this year. Being a Greek has honestly been the greatest experience of my life. I am so glad to finally be able to share my experiences with you during my final year as an undergraduate. I’ll be blogging more soon!


Little Miss Greek Life

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