UNITED GREEK ASSOCIATION

Welcome to Washington State University

We currently have 16 chapters at Washington State University under the United Greek Association.  We are currently experiencing an unprecedented growth and welcome new chapters to our campus every year.  Take the time to review all of the current existing chapters here at Washington State University.

In the Beginning....

Fraternities and sororities have a long history in American culture. The first and oldest Greek lettered organization dates back to Dec 5,1776 with the formation of Phi Beta Kappa at William and Mary College. When Greek organizations were first starting out they functioned as literary and political societies, whose members would discuss current issues. Through the years these organizations became more socially based.

The Development of Latino/Multicultural Greek Organizations

Latino students felt there was a need for greek organizations that would cater towards their needs. In December of 1975 a group of Latino students at Kean University, Union New Jersey convened to discuss the formation of a Latino greek organization. The men would come to form Lambda Theta Phi Fraternidad Latina, Inc., and the women would form Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc.  Today, in addition to African American, Latino, or Multicultural organizations, there are also Asian and South Asian Greek Organizations that are rapidly growing in popularity. Many of these Greek organizations distinguish themselves by having "handsigns" and "calls" that identify their organization and use these symbols as a sign of pride to their organization.

Aztec Based Brotherhood

Washington State University saw the founding of the first Aztec Based Brotherhood on the west coast in January 21st, 1996.  La Hermandad de O eMe Te, a brotherhood firmly founded on the Mexicano Chicano Latino culture, an alternative to the more traditional "Greek" fraternal system. O eMe Te stands for Oquichtli Macuilli Tonatiuh a Nahuatl (Aztec) term shared among their members. La Hermandad strives to achieve a level of brotherhood by spreading its message of culture, wisdom, empowerment, and carnalismo, throughout the community.

What is Strolling?

Strolling is a tradition that traces back to the early 1900's to Black greek organizations such as Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (the first historically black greek sorority) and is a tradition practiced by many organizations to this day.  Strolling functions by having members of a particular greek organization line up one after another. Similar to saluting, they begin to move forward in the same dance motions, or many times alternating dance moves. The practice of strolling is a very organized event, as members in a line know every step of the choreographed stroll.

What is Stepping?

Stepping is a tradition where members synchronize their moves so that they are in a sense performing their own dance, without music. In stepping the members will clap, stomp with their feet, jump, and create their own beat by doing so.   Today stepping performances can be rather intricate. As organizations will use props like blindfolds, machete knives, canes, and other items to take their performance to another level.

What is Saluting?

Saluting is a tradition common to many Latino-Greek Organizations. The tradition of saluting originated with the first Latin fraternity, Lambda Theta Phi, according to the book Latino by Birth, Lambda by Choice written by Jesus Pena, Esq.. Saluting is a means by which members of an organization can praise a particular member within their fraternity or to honor the organization's past and current accomplishments. Members write a salute, and tend to include words of modern day songs. Once they have the text they proceed to add motions to the salute. Typically if there is more than one person performing a salute the members will synchronize their movements, so that they are all doing and saying the same thing at the same time. To put into context the type of words that are in a salute, check out a salute written and performed by the brothers of Lambda Theta Phi.