UI students look to develop gay fraternity on campus


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A group of University of Iowa students hopes to bring the campus its first gay, bisexual, and progressive fraternity.

Organizers with Delta Lambda Phi are working toward becoming a greek colony at the UI and eventually becoming a fraternity. The new group's leaders say they're currently working on recruiting new members. They say about 15 men on campus have expressed interest.

"I want to diversify the greek life and down the stereotypes," said Jonathan Solis, the chapter president.

There was a push to start a gay fraternity on campus a few years ago, but the efforts never came to fruition. The latest push to start the new fraternity on campus came last fall when Delta Lambda Phi sent a national representative to the UI campus to meet with interested students.

Organizers say that while the organization focuses on gay and bisexual men, it's open to everyone.

"Delta Lambda Phi isn't based on sexual orientation, it is based on men's qualifications and who they are as a person." freshman Trevor Leeper said.

Solis and Leeper plan on attending Greek Week and participating in other sorority and fraternity philanthropies to boost their recognition on campus.

Though recruiting will be continuous, Solis claims that their main priority at the moment is their application to become a chapter.

Before a fraternity becomes a chapter, they must go through a three-step colonization process. First, as an interest group, they decide what the group's priorities are.

Solis hopes that the fraternity will raise awareness of LGBT issues, and increase acceptance.

Solis and Leeper are in the process of filling out a 20-page application that includes elements like the history of the UI campus and biographies of their current members. If the application is accepted, in a few weeks, they will have a formal ceremony to become a colony. After a short time as a colony, they will achieve formal fraternity chapter status.

Iowa State University's chapter of Delta Lambda Phi became a fraternity in April 2006, and it now has 16 active members as well as many alumni.

Delta Lambda Phi has 32 chapters and colonies across the nation, and the number continues to grow.

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