by Nikki Khanna
My parents did not respond well when I told them I decided to rush a sorority. As immigrants, they only knew of the media’s portrayal of a “sorority girl,” and saw no living proof that disputed that particular image.
My new friends in college did not offer much support either. They would say things like “you don’t seem like a sorority girl,” or “why would you want to pay for your friends?” I wondered about these questions as well. But, I knew universities would not dedicate whole departments and lots of funding to support Greek life if the stereotype of fraternity boys and sorority girls were true. Also, there had to be a reason why nine million American citizens “paid for their friends.”
So I decided to rush Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority, Inc., which is a South Asian interest organization. I was raised in a predominantly Caucasian area, which meant that my friends viewed my home as a mini field trip to India and were mesmerized by the food, music and religion.
Though I was extremely blessed to have such wonderful and accepting friends, I wanted to bond with people who understood why I had to be home by 11 P.M., “or else.” This is when KPhiG came into play. After crossing into KPhiG, I was able to meet women with similar backgrounds as me. Not only were we bonded by our heritage, but we were also connected by the urge to embody the principles of character, culture, service, scholarship, leadership, womanhood, self and sisterhood.
My sisters have been my best dancing partners, trusted therapists, and most importantly, my best friends. They make me feel like the best thing that has ever happened to the world, but they have also brought me back down to reality when needed.
They appreciate my dry humor and never take offense to my bluntness. They have taught me how to manage my time efficiently, stand up for what I believe in, and to stay positive even in the most challenging times. I have bettered myself through their constructive criticism and learned from their mistakes.
I would not be the person I am today without the older sisters who looked out for me. As a senior, I hope I can end my time as an active sister knowing that I have helped to instill positive characteristics and taught invaluable life lessons to the younger sisters of my amazing sorority.
To learn more about Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority, Inc., visit their website, ‘like’ them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
About Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority, Inc.
In 1998, Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority, Inc. became America’s first women’s Greek-letter organization to promote a South Asian interest. Her roots date back to the Jester basement at the University of Texas at Austin where 27 collegiate women from a myriad of backgrounds collaborated to form what would be the most diverse and strongest sorority of its kind.
The Founders envisioned a sorority built around 8 principles: Character, Leadership, Scholarship, Sisterhood, Service, Womanhood, Culture, and Self. Realizing the quality of The Sisterhood could never be compromised, the founders’ every endeavor thereafter was directed toward fostering these 8 principles and establishing a solid foundation for the future before embarking on plans for expansion.
The infant years of The Sisterhood were dedicated to developing lifelong traditions and rituals, service to the community, writing and ratifying the national constitution, and a commitment to excellence.
During the first eight months alone, The Sisterhood participated in over 30 community service activities. These efforts also resulted in Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority legacies such as the annual Sisterhood Retreat, C.A.R.E Week, the Emerald Endowment Scholarship, Founders Week, Family Weekend, the Fire and Ice Ball, and the Sterling Soiree to name a few.
Nikki Khanna is in her final year at Temple University, pursuing a bachelors degree in Biology. She plans on attending medical school after she graduates. Her list of favorites includes halal food carts, Bhangra, candles and Philly.