Improving Marquette’s diversity through sisterhood

Chloe+Hurckes+talks+about+joining+Alpha+Kappa+Alpha.

Photo by Yue YIn // yue.yin@marquette.edu

Chloe Hurckes talks about joining Alpha Kappa Alpha.

Five women descended the stairs in the Alumni Memorial Union Nov. 21. The women were wearing white long sleeve tops, paired with a salmon pink skirts. On their heads were sunglasses and apple green scarves.

While singing, the women made their way to a stage on the first floor of the AMU with 10 Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Mu Beta Chapter members and began their annual presentation.

“It was such an exciting moment to say, ‘I’m an ΑΚΑ, that’s right. That’s me,'” said Chloe Hurckes, a junior in the College of Communication and one of five new AKA members initiated this fall.

Hurckes said she was waiting for the presentation since her sophomore year. During the event, the women demonstrated to the crowd how much they learned during the initiation process. The five new members danced to a song of their choosing and removed their sunglasses and scarves to reveal who they were.

“It was definitely a big relief,” new member Tristen Shorter, a senior in the College of Communication, said. “It took a lot of hard work to put on this presentation,” she said. “It was nice to become a part of the larger Greek family.”

The Alpha Kappa Alphas are part of the National Pan-Hellenic Council on Marquette’s campus. Within the NPHC, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority belongs to the Divine Nine, a grouping of nine historically black sororities and fraternities.

“It’s important because it provides opportunities for unity. It’s kind of safe to say that we all experience similar trials and feelings toward certain situations,” Hurckes said. “It’s nice to have groups on campus who know what you’re feeling.”

Last year, African-Americans made up 3.6 percent of full-time enrolled students on campus, compared to 71.6 percent white, 9.1 percent Hispanic and 5.3 percent Asian.

“Since there only is that 4 percent, it’s important for us to actually do what our philanthropy purpose is, so everyone on campus can see the good we’re doing,” Hurckes said. “Even though we’re small, they’ll see us and notice us. I hope that it brings in more diversity to our campus in the years to come.”

For the five new AKA members who went through presentation, sisterhood remained an important aspect throughout the initiation process.

“I was nervous, to be honest,” new member Arra Strong, a senior in the College of Business Administration, said. “Just knowing that we had a great support system behind us, knowing that our sisters really encouraged us and helped us get to that point, made it exciting.”