Six students became the first-ever pledge line of the Georgetown colony of the Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity Sunday, inaugurating the Latino fraternity’s presence on campus.
Founding member Alberto Morales (NHS ’12), who has been working with Phi Iota Alpha representatives since last August to establish Georgetown’s colony, said that the fraternity will bring to Latino students institutional support that the university does not provide.
“The reason that I decided to bring this specific chapter is because I personally saw some of my friends drop out of Georgetown and struggle a lot, and I couldn’t understand why,” Morales said. “We want to use [PIA] as a powerhouse to find innovative ways to unite the Latino community and all of Georgetown.”
Phi Iota Alpha strives to develop leadership and unite the Latino community, a mission the Georgetown colony aims to extend to people of all races and backgrounds. Despite Phi Iota Alpha’s Latino origins, Morales emphasized the importance of opening the fraternity to all students at Georgetown.
“Although this can be very successful, if we only welcome Latinos, then we are doing exactly what other clubs do,” Morales said.
Drawn to the fraternity because of its focus on personal improvement, new pledge Antony López(COL ’14) is excited to serve as an example for other students.
Martin Rincon (COL ’15), another brother, particularly enjoyed the pledging process. “You … build a friendship that’s really strong,” he said.
Because the university traditionally does not support Greek organizations, the group will not seek or receive funding or recognition from the Student Activities Council, instead looking to Greek organization councils for funding.
“This is a grassroots movement because it is an independent project,” Morales said. “We hope that Georgetown can fund us one day, because we believe this will add value to the community.”