The University of Central Arkansas will host a new member presentation for Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha, Inc. Sunday, April 9 at 5:13 p.m. in the Hall of Fame Room in Estes Stadium on the campus.

The event is open to all university students, faculty and staff, as well as friends and family of the initiates.

Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha, Inc. (SIA) is the university’s first Latina sorority and the second in the state. The organization inducted four new members to the UCA colony.

“It has been a long journey and definitely not easy; however I have enjoyed being in the sisterhood. We all four have worked equally towards the same goal. It has not been aimed just for Latinas but more so for those who identify within it,” said Hermana Dolly from SIA. “We want to bring to UCA and to the Latino/a community values that involve sisterhood, leadership and academic professionalism. These values will remain among us with the purpose to empower our Latino culture and community.”

SIA was founded in September 1990. It was founded on the east coast at the following schools: State University of New York-Albany; State University of New York-Stony Brook; State University of New York-New Paltz; and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Since then, it has expanded to many other states across the United States with the closest chapters being in Texas and Kansas. SIA strives to increase awareness of the Latino culture, promote sisterhood and leadership, serve as role models in the community and achieve academic excellence. While SIA is Latina-based, it is not Latina exclusive, and it welcomes women from all cultures and backgrounds.

The university also welcomed its first Latino fraternity in December 2016, Phi Iota Alpha. That group initiated six members and hosted a new member presentation in February. Phi Iota Alpha was founded in 1931 and is the oldest Latino fraternity in the nation.

UCA created a Latino Initiative Outreach program in 2013 to develop programs and services that will increase university access and success for Latino students, as well as provide support for a greater percentage of Latino students to attend UCA and graduate. Programs and services provided since the program’s inception have been the Amigo Cup Soccer Challenge, Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations and sponsorship of the Latino Student Association. The program was also instrumental in the formation of the interest groups, Sisters in Action and Fuerza Integridad, which worked together in hopes of bringing the sorority and fraternity to campus.