The stereotypical image of the fraternity boy at many colleges and universities is that of overt masculinity, fueled by socializing and partying with members of the opposite sex.
However, a group of young men at the University of Miami are aiming to shatter these stereotypes by beginning a frat of a completely different nature: they are in the process of launching a chapter of a nationally established gay fraternity.
Seven UM students have begun the process of making what is now an officially recognized interest group a reality within the next several years. However, some major obstacles stand between these students and their goal to establishing the chapter of the Delta Lambda Phi fraternity.
“Contrary to how chapters of most traditional fraternities are established, chapters of Delta Lambda Phi are started from the ground up,” Delta Lambda Phi member and sophomore Vincent Foster said. “A group of interested, like-minded students come together to create an interest group, the phase at which we currently are. After an interest group is established, they can proceed to apply for colonization. Then after the Alpha class is formally inducted by Nationals, and the colony is recognized by their school and has rushed three classes, the colony can apply to become a chapter.”
However, Delta Lambda Phi has yet another obstacle to overcome before they can become a recognized fraternity in the eyes of the university administration.
“Currently, the biggest problem we face is getting over the university’s unofficial, yet quite impeding, ban on new fraternities. We are recognized as an interest group by Delta Lambda Phi’s national headquarters, but we are not recognized by our university,” Foster said. “Other than this, we have astounding support from UM’s gay, bisexual and progressive community, so after we get over this ban, the rest of the colonization process will go smoothly.”
Associate Dean of Students and Director of Judicial Affairs Dr. Tony Lake clarified this ban and how it will affect the formation of the fraternity.
“We aren’t ‘banning’ the formation of new groups indefinitely; we simply aren’t recognizing new groups right now to make sure the groups we already have will remain healthy,” Lake said.
A founding father of UM’s chapter of Pi Kappa Phi, junior Zach Zelman, remarked on the difficulty even his traditional fraternity had in their formation last year.
“It seems like everyone’s against you. The whole Greek life spectrum, they’re very to themselves. You have to break through the mold, and all of the fraternities and sororities aren’t very happy with it,” Zelman said.
The future brothers of Delta Lamda Phi remain positive about the process and see the obstacles as worthwhile steps toward an entity that would be an important addition to the UM community.
“The student body, specifically the gay and bisexual student body, has expressed much interest in rushing Delta Lambda Phi,” Foster said. “UM’s LGBT community has one of the largest and most active student organizations [SpectrUM], yet we are the largest recognized minority on campus without a Greek outlet.”
For more information, details on rushing or advice and support, please contact Vincent Foster at email@example.com.