The past fall semester marked the inception of the new non-profit organization — Sigma Sigma Rho. This spring semester will mark the beginning of the next class, the beta class.

In 1998, the original Sigma Sigma Rho was a sorority that had been established by 10 women who sought unity among South Asian women.

ETSU’s sigma leaders believe there are shared characteristics between this organization and the one they’ve just formed. It is from this sorority that ETSU’s own Sigma Sigma Rho takes its name.

The alpha class of the sisterhood is composed of five members: Tara Crowell, Rima Patel, Pooja Patel, Nikki Chaudhari and Tulsi Amin.

Alpha member Pooja Patel said the Sigma Sigma Rho motto is, “Sisterhood is who we are. Society is who we give to and remember it is one life,” and added that their mission is to help raise awareness about domestic violence and intervention.

The sisters have undertaken this cause because some of the sisters have experienced or known someone who has experienced domestic violence. They believe education, diversity, strength, pride and respect towards their roots will help them to make a difference in their community.

The Rho sisters plan on helping out at homeless shelters as well as giving women information and access to self-defense classes.

This semester, Sigma Sigma Rho is accepting female members for the Beta class, and Patel says the organization is open to people of all ethnicities and races.

Four of the alpha members are Indian, and one of them comes from mixed descent. Patel said that she and her other sisters will likely have a tent pitched on campus where interested passersby will be able to ask questions and learn more about their organization.

Meetings will be exclusive to members and they will likely discuss more ways of getting involved in the community and how to improve the sorority.

Even though the sorority has just recently been recognized, Patel believes that Sigma Sigma Rho will be productive.

“We like to be social with other fraternities,” Patel said. “It’s not going to be us working with strictly us. We want people to know us and we want to get to know other people.”