Viviana Favela began her journey at DePaul almost two years ago in the fall of 2017. Now a sophomore, Favela is as busy as it gets with her dedicated involvement in Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. and the Latinx Cultural Center, along with her major in art media & design and a minor in marketing. She didn’t start out this way, however: her first months at DePaul were actually a bit slow.
“I grew up on the northwest side of Chicago so I wanted to live on campus to get the full college experience,” Favela says. “But once I got to campus, I didn’t really do or get out much. I mainly hung out in my dorm because I roomed with my best friend from high school.”
By the time Favela got to winter quarter of her first year, she was itching to do more, so she took a friend’s advice and decided to become more involved with the DePaul community.
Favela began considering joining a sorority, which she wasn’t entirely sure about. She had questions about how a Latinx student would fit into fraternity and sorority life. But wanting to try something new, she found herself on the website of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc.
“I always thought sorority life wasn’t for me,” Favela says. “I wanted to give it a try, though, and Lambda Theta Alpha, Inc. was the first one that I encountered. I was looking for a diverse, multicultural group of women, and that’s exactly what I found.”
LTA is a sisterhood for Latina women based in unity and strong bonds of love and respect. At DePaul, Favela says the sorority has provided her with a community of women around which she feels comfortable.
“It’s more than a sorority,” she says. “It’s a safe space made up of 11 young women at DePaul who look out for one another.”
Favela’s choice to join LTA introduced her to a multitude of ways to get more involved with DePaul’s community. She acclimated to multicultural fraternity and sorority life quickly and moved up the ranks to become not just the recruitment and retention advisor, but she also manages public relations and advertising for her sorority, using her skills from her major and minor to spread word about events and recruitment opportunities.
“I started doing public relations and advertising for my sorority during my first quarter with them, and now I have a sister who helps me with it,” Favela says. “I love any opportunity to use skills learned in my major and minor courses in my extracurricular activities, especially to promote events like BeYOUtiful, where we get to work with other women of color to empower each other.”
For Favela, there is nothing more important than this empowerment, and BeYOUtiful embodies this. It’s an event organized by LTA and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a sorority for black women. At the event women of color come together for an evening of embracing and reflecting on the attributes of women of color.
Favela also spends much of her free time in the Latinx Cultural Center. Similar to her experience with Greek life, Favela has found a group of people with which to bond and network.
“I was struggling to find a community here my first year, and through the cultural center I’ve been able to connect with great people and form amazing relationships,” she says.
She currently is in the early stages of trying to put a mural up in the Latinx Cultural Center. Again drawing from her major and talents, Favela has found a way to integrate her academics with her hobbies and on-campus social life. She has truly embraced the spirit of campus involvement and capitalized on it to improve herself and her community.
“I just think that people are so visual, and a mural would be a really fun and effective way to attract more people to all of the cultural centers,” she says. “I try to encourage people to visit cultural centers no matter how they identify. It’s a great way to meet people, learn new things and just hang out with other students.”