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"She Looks Like Me": Why Diversity Matters in Sorority Life


I am a hijab-wearing, Muslim woman. It was intimidating for me to step into sorority life. I was hesitant to seek membership because I did not know how my personal values would align with those of a sorority. However, I knew immediately that Kappa Delta was the perfect fit for me as soon as I started the recruitment process.

woman in hijab

Arwa is proud to be a Muslim woman and a Kappa Delta.

As a founding member of the Theta Upsilon Chapter of Kappa Delta at the University of Loyola Chicago, I was lucky enough to help build a sisterhood that values diversity. One of the best aspects of attending Loyola Chicago and living in the city is that students are immersed in diversity every day. Going to school and living with people from a many backgrounds allows us to experience vastly different cultures on a single campus. It was important to me that our sisterhood reflect the values of a school and a city that encourages diversity.

I was pleasantly surprised to receive so much love and encouragement from my new sisters. These women treated me as though we’d been friends for years. My sisters appreciate my unique background and, in return, I’ve learned so much from them and value the unique contribution they each make to our chapter.

group of college women

The Theta Upsilon Chapter of Kappa Delta proudly show off their letters.

One of my favorite memories of my Kappa Delta experience occurred during our first formal recruitment. It was time for the founding members to welcome a new pledge class to our diverse sisterhood. During the recruitment process, a sister pulled me aside and told me that one of the potential new members had noticed me from across the room wearing my hijab. This PNM expressed that she was so happy to see me, dressed the way I was, in a sorority. My sister told me that this PNM was also Muslim.

This small interaction impacted me so much. It was the first time someone outside of my chapter appreciated seeing a Muslim woman in that setting. In that moment, I realized my personal values of diversity and multiculturalism were not only reflected within my sisterhood but projected to the world as well.

two women hugging

Arwa and a sister enjoy a celebration.

My sisters and I mirror the society we live in: one that is dynamic, diverse and accepting. Being a Kappa Delta has shown me that women are stronger when they are together and that we have the power to better our campus and the world in which we live.

Arwa Madhwala

opens in a new windowTheta Upsilon – University of Loyola Chicago

Discover more about the Kappa Delta experience  opens in a new windowhere.