Image by Kaela Belingon

On Monday, Nov. 13, at 7:05 p.m. the revival Line 6 of the Epsilon Nu Chapter of the Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority Incorporated “La Tormenta Inevitable” introduced themselves to North Carolina State University. The Nubian Message met with Valeria Gonzalez Perez, the Line’s deuce (#2 of the line), to discuss the revival and future of the Epsilon Nu Chapter on campus.

Nubian Message: The Epsilon Nu Chapter of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority Inc. LTA has recently been reactivated on campus! What does it mean to you and your line sisters to cross as the revival line 6, and what roles did you guys play in making this happen?

Valeria Gonzalez Perez: Re-establishing LTA on NC State’s campus was a longtime passion project of my line sisters Rebecca and Xiomara long before it became the amazing reality we all have today. It began with a hopeful email to Nationals from us three and a few of our friends at the time explaining the work and community we hoped to build on campus and how LTA would come to play into that. It took some time before our request and interest built traction within the organization and the university. Much of it was spent brainstorming, preparing and speaking to members and other interests alike. As the image of a re-established Chapter became a reality, we felt climbing nerves, pressure, excitement, pride and joy in our decision to pursue this passion project so fiercely. Being a revival line is a special challenge in of itself, you have to meet additional institutional requirements and not to mention run a Chapter right from the get-go. In many ways, our journey helped us break down a lot of those fears like the fear of trust, vulnerability, failure and many others in favor of continuing to build a legacy on this campus that would continue to last and continue to create positive impacts at NC State.

NM: You mentioned that you sent emails to nationals with your hopes in the community you’d build on campus as a part of the chapter. I was wondering what those hopes were and how they’ve been manifesting in the chapter so far?

VGP: My experience as a Latine student born and raised in Puerto Rico made my transition into NC State’s many different campus communities a little challenging. I felt that no matter what events or people I surrounded myself with I was always struggling to find my niche. I eventually began to build a community through MSA and eventually through LTA as well. Our organization, and especially this Chapter, has it as a goal to use our platform, resources and creativity for the well-being of the people we serve. A lot of our hopes for community building on campus are strongly tied to this idea, to educate, to advocate, to organize, to lift up and to promote joy within the Latine community without limiting ourselves to just the cultures we grew up in. We wish to see the ties between different student populations deepen and to get as many students as possible involved and interwoven again in a “post-pandemic” academic setting. As Interests my Line Sisters and I hosted events geared towards creating conversations within the Latine community about stereotypes, media representation, race and mental health. All of the different events and activities we have planned for this academic year work upon honoring and expanding these commitments and ideas and creating bonds across student groups. By paying attention to our Instagram @lta_epsilonnu, you’ll be able to see what our first event as a Chapter will be all about!

NM: What does it mean to you to be a part of the line as well as a part of the Epsilon Nu Chapter of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority Inc.?

VGP: LTA places significant importance on the education of Latine women and femmes and the inclusion and advocacy of all marginalized groups. For me, it was empirical that the Organization and the Chapter truly lived by the values of Unity, Love and Respect, and that they showed up for the different groups on campus with integrity and resolution. I was met with overwhelming kindness, support and empathy by every sister of our Chapter long before I ever became a member. Epsilon Nu granted me the ability to continue to explore what family and siblinghood mean to me. Through my relationship with each of my line sisters, I’ve felt a newfound kindness towards myself and have learned to expand on the meaning of showing up to one another. Our journey as interests, orientees and members showed me that they were the best people I could have ever done this with, and I feel so thankful for having them with me. My Tail (the #6 of our line) constantly said that she felt that every LTA she met embodied who she wants to be when she ‘grows up’. My Tre (our #3) joined our group last, but she knew well that she had completed our Line exactly in the way we needed it. My lovely Ace (our #1) found her voice and confidence by our sides. My Quad and Five ( our #4 and #5) gained true confidence in their selves and their abilities and learned to allow people to see them as they are. The value of organizations like LTA and the spaces they create is unquestionable. Being part of a line like my own and a Chapter such as Epsilon Nu grants me insurmountable pride.

NM: How has sisterhood played a role in reviving the Epsilon Nu Chapter and how do you feel you’ve developed it with your line sisters?

VGP: Everyone has different definitions of sisterhood or siblinghood based on their lived experience. I had the absolute honor of growing up with a younger sister close in age to me, so sisterhood as a practice was something that I valued enormously already. To be a sister is to be loving, accepting, honest, kind, real, flawed, true, genuine and present for someone else and to feel all of that reciprocated simultaneously. Every single day of this process we were all granted the opportunity to practice it, and that we did. Everyone gains different things from their Greek Process, and everyone gains exactly what they need and put into their Greek Process. Through the different challenges and goals we met, we felt secure in the safe space we had created for each other because we and the Sisters of the Region chose to pour into us so abundantly. I’ve been able to create what I can genuinely say will be life-long bonds with these women, and I feel very lucky to be a part of a Chapter that consistently shows up for me time and time again.

NM: Now that the chapter is revived on campus, what are your guys’ next steps in the NC State community?

VGP: We have many hopes and goals as a Chapter for this school year, starting with continuing the educational and advocacy work that all of us are so passionate about. Raising awareness and finding ways to get involved in matters pertaining to colonialism, racial equity, women’s rights, immigration law and economic disparity is incredibly important to us, and we have a lot planned to support the Triangle and even the International community. Through hosting events and collaborating with other Organizations, we want to make our presence as educated Latines known on this campus so as to create visibility and safe spaces for others within and outside our demographic. We wish to continue to celebrate Latine culture in its entirety, with a special emphasis on the many different intersections that make up the umbrella of Latine identity. We hope to involve ourselves with existing Greek Organizations to continue to build bonds, solidarity and unity between each other and to show up for all of NC State’s community members as they’ve shown up for us. There are great things on the horizon for Epsilon Nu! We ask that NC State continues to watch us, as we will not disappoint!