Sorority sister spotlight

Leena Hallock, Assistant Lifestyle Editor

UW-W Alumna Steffany Garcia

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Royal Purple is highlighting the success of Steffany Garcia, a strong and accomplished leader on the UW-W campus. Garcia is a sorority sister and former president of Zeta Sigma Chi Multicultural Sorority, just recently earning her B.A. in Spanish with a minor in Women’s Gender Studies. Garcia also served on the Homecoming Steering Committee and interned at the PB Poorman Pride Center with Career and Leadership Development. 

What made you want to join a sorority and why did you choose Zeta Sigma Chi?

“Coming into college, I never had the intention of joining a sorority, it was never something that I saw myself being a part of. My first year there, I found it very difficult for me to make friends since I was a commuter. However, one day in between classes, I noticed a lot of people going to the involvement fair. I went in and walked around, not really seeing anything that interested me until I came to the Z-Chi table. A few of the sisters saw me looking as I was walking by and called me to talk to them. I was expecting them to give me a run down on the sorority, but instead they asked me questions about myself. After the fair, I stuck around campus more, hanging out in the Warhawk Connection Center in between classes, always seeing one of the Z-Chis. Then one night, I attended the multicultural carnival event they were hosting, and met some alum and sisters from other schools/chapters. Many of them did not know me, but when they talked to me, it felt as if I had known them for years. That night I told myself that I wanted to become a sister of Zeta Sigma Chi Multicultural Sorority. I officially became a sister in the Summer of 2017.” 

How has being in a sorority changed you as a person? Academically? Socially? 

“Joining Zeta Sigma Chi has made me into the person I am today. Growing up, I attended a very small, predominantly white institution. In joining Zeta Sigma Chi, I was given the opportunity to meet sisters and learn more about religions, ethnicities, and other cultures that were different from my own. It broadened my perspective. Socially, joining Zeta Sigma Chi helped me step out of my shell, allowing me to get more involved on campus. My sorority sisters and I would attend different organization meetings on campus like Latinos Unidos and Black Student Union (BSU), which is when I started to meet many of the friends that I have today. Academically, being in a sorority helped me learn to balance and prioritize my time. By my senior year, I applied and was accepted into the Theta Mu Chapter of Order of Omega, which is a leadership honor society. Professionally, Zeta Sigma Chi helped me become a part of the Homecoming Steering Marketing Committee, as well as get my internship at the Pride Center for Career and Leadership Development. My role as the public relations chair for Z-Chi for the past 3 and a half years helped me in creating flyers for events, posters, and illustrations for the Pride Center. Overall, these different roles and skills I have gained over the years, have helped me when I have interviews. Zeta Sigma Chi has opened up many opportunities for me that I wouldn’t have thought possible. Throughout the years I’ve held many positions such as president, vice president, new membership chair, external relations chair, public relations chair and alumni relations.”  

Why did you decide to run for president?

“Holding the position of president was something that always intimidated me. Up until my second to last semester, I was very self-critical and told myself I couldn’t do it. However, in spring 2020, we initiated two new members into our chapter, and I knew then that I had to step up and be the role model for these women. I knew it was going to be difficult because it was my first time holding this position and to add to it, it was during my final semester on campus all while being in a pandemic. Although it was challenging at times, I learned a lot about myself and my capabilities as well.”

As a student what have been some of your challenges?

“When I first came to Whitewater, since I commuted, one of the challenges that I had was getting involved on campus. I am a very introverted person. It took awhile for me to open up. Like many others I also struggled with procrastination, having to pull over nights just to finish work. Another challenge that I had later on was becoming too involved, I had to quickly learn to put myself first and prioritize the important things. Finally, one of my biggest challenges was my depression and anxiety. As a first-generation Mexican American college student, there were days when I felt out of place and my thoughts would take over. I was the only one in my family at the time to go to college, so I had to learn many things on my own. It was very difficult at times, but I am fortunate to have had great friends and sisters that always reassure and encourage me.”

Who is someone you look up to?

“Someone that I look up to a lot is my sorority sister and one of my best friends, Brianna Donaldson-Morton. Brianna was Zeta Sigma Chi’s president when I first became an active member in the Fall of 2017. Brianna has been the one to push me to step out of my comfort zone, always being one of my biggest supporters. During her time at Whitewater, Brianna was a student leader on campus involved in many other roles besides the President of Zeta Sigma Chi.”

Lastly, what are some important features you want people to know about your sorority?

“Here at UW-Whitewater, we are the Beta Chapter of Zeta Sigma Chi Multicultural Sorority, Inc., which was founded on March 3rd, 1991 at Northern Illinois University by eight radiant women who we call our ‘Mommy Chis.’ Overall. We are the first National Multicultural Organization to be founded in the Midwest and the third to be founded nationally. Some interesting facts are that our colors are peach and black, with our symbol being a unicorn.” 

To learn more about the UW-Whitewater Beta Chapter of Zeta Sigma Chi Multicultural Sorority, Inc. add them on Instagram & Facebook at @uwwzchis.