Native Village
Youth and Education news
October 2010 Volume 2

Native sisterhood: Students building Haskell’s first sorority
http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2010/may/31/native-sisterhood-students-building-haskells-first/?city_local
Condensed by Native Village

       

Kansas: Corey LeRoy and Ariane Franklin are students at Haskell Indian Nations University. They wanted a place for Haskell female students to connect and help one another. They wanted something never before seen at Haskell -- a greek organization.

It took a year for the women to find enough potential members for Alpha Pi Omega, the nation’s oldest Native American sorority.  Five members have since been initiated.

“We decided we were going to do it and do it right, because one, we wanted to be sisters, and two, we wanted to have a family away from home,” said LeRoy, a sophomore transfer student from Indiana. “Indiana is 10 hours away, and I haven’t been home all semester.”
 


Alpha Pi Omega, University of New Mexico

The five members include LeRoy, Franklin, Taryn Anquoe, Krystal Jumping Elk and Lara O’Toole who are now working on a constitution. If it is approved by Alpha Pi Omega Sorority, Haskell's chapter will receive provisional status. In 2011, they can apply for full status.  =

“We are just trying to get our constitution written now and trying to keep our image positive on campus so that other women will want to join us,” LeRoy says.

The five new members have also started another campus organization: Haskell Women for the Betterment of All Women. It is for female students who want companionship and support but not a full-on sorority.

LeRoy says other than classes and athletics, Haskell students lack opportunities to organize and meet with other students. She hopes both groups provide women an alternative to drinking and partying around Lawrence.

“We can offer people to just come and hang out with,” she says. “We don’t party; we try to keep away from that. It would just be a positive thing for them to be a part of.”
 


Alpha Pi Omega, University of North Carolina

Leroy added, “Now even the men on campus are trying to get a chapter of Phi Sigma Nu, a Native American fraternity.”
 

Alpha Pi Omega sorority was established in 1994 at the University of North Carolina -- Chapel Hill. APO includes nearly 400 members from more than 70 tribes in 13 chartered university chapters in 5 states.

Lenzy Krehbiel-Burton, a regional adviser for Alpha Pi Omega, says it will be a unifying presence on campus.

“Being Native on a college campus is a different experience, especially at Haskell, with a lot of their students leaving their home or reservations for the first time, and it’s hard not to go back,” she says.

Krehbiel-Burton hopes the sorority can lead to more greek and other helpful organizations at Haskell


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