Diversity on Campus, Part 1: Alpha Psi Lambda


Courtesy of Alpha Psi Lambda

Alpha Psi Lambda enjoys dinner together

Meaghan Bedigian

APsi, led by President Jocelin Rocha, meets once a week and has inducted ten members since its founding in fall of 2015.

“We are truly driven and dedicated to bringing about cultural awareness to our homogeneous campus,” Rocha said. “[We] strongly identify and take pride in our cultural roots. In a campus that has such little Hispanic representation, what we do is crucial to maintaining a positive image of our community.”

The group has a strong focus on service and participates in local philanthropy with Casa del Carmen in Philadelphia and both Days of Service on campus. They also host an educational talk on the etymology of Spanish, Hispanic and Latinx cultures.

“My APsi familia is the best thing I could have asked for from the Villanova community,” Rocha said. “I love my brothers and sisters and I see the potential that the organization has. I want to help its growth to help other students find their family with us and to simply establish a Latinx presence on campus that will encourage Hispanic high school students to come to Villanova and grow our population on campus.”

Since Apsi is a Greek organization, members must go through an intake process that consists of submitting a formal application, attending two APsi social events and an informational meeting and interviewing with current members. 

APsi’s main fraternity event, La Fiesta, is a celebration for prospective members going through the induction process and includes Latinx food and dancing.

“My Mexican culture is my identity, and it defines who I am,” Rocha said. “I love every aspect of it—my language, the food, the music and dancing, the customs, the history, the fashion and my people’s resilience and grit.”

In addition to Mexico, APsi has had members from Ecuador, El Salvador, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Europe.

Rocha encourages students who don’t feel like they have a cultural home on campus to start their own organization.

“Everyone deserves a space where you feel free to express yourself and [are] surrounded by people who understand where you are coming from and the struggles that you face,” Rocha said. “It may not be easy on this campus, but I have seen great efforts to create those spaces.”

“Though it may be daunting to come to a campus and population that is far from what you are comfortable with or can identify with, you can always find your family if you look for them,” Rocha said. 

Rocha says becoming a part of APsi has changed her experience at the Univeristy for the better.

“If I had not joined APsi, I think I still would feel lost on campus and I would not have met some of the best people I know,” Rocha said. “We are all invested in one another, and it’s an organization where you have the opportunity to be actively involved and have a space to be your true self. I believe that APsi has been able to reach that small percentage of Latinx students that need the love and support if they felt isolated and misunderstood on campus.”

Look for part two in our series on diversity organizations on campus in next week’s issue of The Villanovan. 

The Villanovan wishes to apologize for a series of mistakes made in our article DACA crisis heightens need for diversity celebration on campus, published on Sept. 12, 2017.  While the piece was intended to feature Villanova’s colony of Alpha Psi Lambda Inc., the article’s introduction mentioning DACA and its title inappropriately grouped together issues of immigration and the fraternity and the photo we chose to print with the piece incorrectly represented the organization. Furthermore, our reference to the members of Alpha Psi Lambda as, “from Ecuador, El Salvador, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Europe” instead of “of Ecuadorian, Salvadoran, Colombian, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Cuban and European backgrounds and heritage,” inaccurately represented the group and, while unintentional, was an incredibly ignorant mistake with troubling implications.