Iranian fraternity started at CSUN

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This semester, members of Iota Alpha Chi, a new Iranian-based fraternity, will begin to establish themselves on campus by recruiting as many students as possible.

The pledging process is just like any other fraternity: non-discriminatory.

“We welcome anyone,” said the fraternity’s vice president Padra Bayani, senior civil engineer and political science major.

While there are between 10 and 15 current members in IAC, each member is looking to recruit at least two other students, Bayani said.

IAC is also working with the Iranian Students Association to gain more members.

IAC plans to eventually have a recruitment presentation at an ISA meeting to see how many students are interested, according to fraternity president Arhang Abedin, senior electrical engineering major.

The fraternity wants to reach the Iranian student community because it wants to get these students that do not usually convene socially and educationally, Bayani said.

“Many culturally-based organizations want to help their community and inform others about their culture,” said Vicki Allen, assistant director for Student Involvement at the Matador Involvement Center.

Associated Students Vice President Safa Sajadi, senior political science and religious studies major, was president of ISA for two years. While she is still involved with ISA, Sajadi said she is very supportive of the new fraternity.

“It is very important because it creates an organization not only for Iranian students, but for other students to appreciate and understand the Iranian culture,” Sajadi said. “It’s very important that they don’t exclude other cultures.”

As a fraternity that has not established itself, IAC will have difficulty recruiting students, Bayani said.

So far, other fraternities have been very supportive, he said.

“Fraternities and sororities are not homogenous,” Allen said. “They are a true reflection of the campus. They all have unique identities, and there is no need for conflict.”

Abedin said he does have some worries about the future of his fraternity. He is looking to find loyal members that will allow the organization to continue to flourish even after he graduates.

“Any student organization needs to understand its purpose to be effective,” Allen said. “They need to establish who they are and what they want, and maintain a balance. They can’t be all about being social or academic.”

The ultimate goal of IAC is to become a national fraternity and have different chapters and councils going, Abedin said.

His present goal, however, is to recruit many members, and to expand the IAC chapter at CSUN, he said.

Ariana Rodriguez can be reached at ariana.rodriguez@csun.edu.