Zeta Phi Beta full of ‘women with goals and a purpose’

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“We are very community conscious and action oriented,” said Latanza Humphrey, president of the Lambda Eta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta, describing what she thinks differentiates Zeta Phi Beta from other sororities on campus.

Zeta Phi Beta was first founded by five women in 1920 on the campus of Howard University in Washington D.C. and came to the SHSU campus on April 30, 1976. The Lambda Eta Chapter currently has 14 members.

The defining characteristic of Zeta Phi Beta, according to Humphrey, is the diversity of personalities and the mindset of the members.

“We go and look for girls that will help make the organization better, not just make it look good,” said Humphrey. “What also differentiates us is that no two girls are alike here, we all have so many different personalities and they all take things very seriously. Not that we don’t have fun, but everything is handled professionally and in a business manner.” Another focus of the sorority, Humphrey said, is “womanhood.”

“We teach our members to be a lady at all times,” said Humphrey. “And when people see us, they see women with goals and a purpose.”

The main focus of Zeta Phi Beta this year is community service as part of the Zetas Helping Other People Excel (or Z.H.O.P.E. as it is called) initiative that the Zeta Phi Beta National President began at the beginning of the year. As part of this, the Zetas will be working at the Good Shepherd Mission today from 4-7 p.m. in preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“They give away a lot of food at Thanksgiving and the Good Shepherd needs a lot of volunteers,” said Humphrey who also encouraged students to come out and help. “We just need people to come out and give good help.”

In addition, Zeta Phi Beta has been in several other community service projects over the course of the semester, such as volunteering at tutoring centers and speaking at conferences, and it is these acts of service that Humphrey believes is the most significant contribution the Zetas make to the campus.

“We are very active in our community and on campus, our biggest contribution is that we make ourselves available to the campus,” said Humphrey.

Humphrey also expressed her gratitude to the sorority for all that it has contributed to her life.

“It has helped me to develop as a person, to be a leader and to be more active. I has helped me tremendously to grow as a person and to find myself,” said Humphrey.

Fundraising Chairwoman Kimberly Sanders has had an equally positive experience with Zeta Phi Beta.

“I came in as a freshman, and as a freshman I wasn’t very mature. But being around so many leaders it made me step up and take on a leader’s position and show everyone that Zeta Phi Beta is a business,” said Sanders. “I have two sisters at home, but having 15 other sisters that I can rely on makes it like a home away from home. We are all very close.”