A new organization on the yard is helping fill the social and lonely gap that is felt by women who attend online institutions. The founders of Sigma Chi Psi wanted to create a sisterhood that catered specifically to online students.
Sigma Chi Psi came about after Dr. Hildra Anna Jeanetta Starks, discovered a growing demand for sisterhood organizations for women who attend online university programs.
Starks told RoyalTee that most divine nine organizations don’t accept online students because it is not considered traditional. But the limitation has not stopped Greek organizations from supporting them.
“I found that established sorority organizations were reluctant to extend Greek membership to currently enrolled students at online universities/colleges,” said Starks, who attended Lane College, Southwest Tennesse Community College, The University of Memphis, Strayer University, and Morgan State University.
“I started reaching out to different Greek organizations to inquire about starting a chapter of their organization for online accredited programs, but I was met with a lot of resistance.”
Starks soon learned if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.
Together, she and her friend, Stephanie Robinson, who is a graduate of the historically Black LeMoyne-Owen College, met that request and created Sigma Chi Psi in 2019. The sorority is the first of its kind that is open to women attending all accredited online colleges and universities. Membership is also extended to students who attend community and technical colleges.
What Makes Sigma Chi Psi Different From D9?
Stark and Robinson tell RoyalTee that Sigma Chi Psi is not affiliated with the divine nine, nor are they affiliated with the National Pan-Hellenic Council. However, the women say they have huge support from them.
“Many D9 members have been very receptive of what we are trying to accomplish and have even inquired about joining our organization,” said Dr. Hildra Starks
SCP further praised D9 on their website. “Without their existence, there would be no thought of The Beautiful Jades of Sigma Chi Psi,” the organization posted the state in their FAQ section. We are not in competition.”
And the D9 community has been supportive of the sorority.
“So far, many D9 members have been very receptive of what we are trying to accomplish and have even inquired about joining our organization,” said Starks
In an email interview with RoyalTee, Starks said that the meaning of the Sorority’s letters and the crest is a secret that is only revealed to its members.
“Those curious should consider applying to find out this and other very special sorority secrets! But we definitely wanted to keep the tradition of using Greek letters for the type of organization we have.”
How Do I Join Sigma Chi Psi?
The membership process for this organization begins by requesting an application online on the SCP website.
“Members can be undergrads, grad students, doctoral candidates, alumnae or faculty and need to have a minimum 2.8 GPA,” explained said, Dr. Starks. Also unlike D9 organizations, community service is recommended but not required.
From there, candidates are invited to a virtual intake process. The intake process typically takes two weeks. According to their website, divine nine members can also apply for membership as long as they have an online degree. Like D9 sororities, SCP values sisterhood and service.
Their principals aim to connect women to social, charitable, and career-networking events.
“Sigma Chi Psi gives women a fresh start by creating the opportunity for them to build community and life-long bonds with their sisterhood,” said Tonya Bull, Sigma Chi Psi’s executive assistant.
Intake occurs seven times a year. Interest zoom dates are announced on their website.
“The charitable and fun-loving, uplifting, educated, and fierce spirit of the Beautiful Jades of Sigma Chi Psi is what makes us Royal and unstoppable. This is what makes the ladies of Sigma Chi Psi Royal Women,” Starks said.
Starks added, “Keep pushing forward, no matter what. Even if your idea seems crazy. Your idea will always look or seem crazy until it works. Just keep going. If your heart is in it it will work!”
I’m Sylah Ferguson, 20 years old and I was born and raised in Albany, Georgia. I am a Senior at Albany State University majoring in Mass Communications with a minor in Criminal Justice. On campus, I am apart of the radio station Real 92.7 for the school, there I work as an on-air personality and Music Director. I’ve had a strong love for music at a young age, and growing up I listened to a variety of genres of music. Writing has always been one of my strongest talents and favorite hobbies.