UI fraternity Delta Lambda Phi becomes an official chapter

BY BEN MARKS | FEBRUARY 04, 2015 5:00 AM

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Delta Lambda Phi, a fraternity founded “by gay men for all men,” and the first of its kind on campus, has undergone chartering and is now recognized as an official chapter.  

“I feel fantastic, and I’m so proud of my members who have come through and how much support and dedication all our men have given to the organization,” said Trevor Leeper, the chapter president.

The national fraternity, which started during a conversation among four gay men in 1986, aims to be inclusive to all groups and be a progressive social fraternity, according to its website.

The fraternity on the University of Iowa’s campus was first born as an interest group in the fall 2011 semester with 15 members, said Nolan Petersen, a founding member and University of Iowa alumnus, said.

Soon, the UI Fraternity and Sorority Life Office approached the group about becoming a colony.

In greek life, a colony is much like a fraternity with training wheels, and it is a way of making sure the group is capable of handling all the responsibilities and pressures of being a full-fledged fraternity, Petersen said.

Zachery Arellano, a former Delta Lambda Phi president, said the fraternity made him feel welcome when he first came to Iowa.

“Being out of state, I was completely not included at the university,” he said. “But then I found Delta Lambda Phi, and it’s where I found a home and started belonging at Iowa. My brothers have always been there for me.”

After becoming a colony, Delta Lambda Phi was required to fulfill certain requirements before it could undergo chartering, including writing governing documents, developing one-, three-, and five- year plans, and educating a minimum of three pledge classes, as well as continuing to demonstrate growth and development.

So after two years of work, around 50 people from 11 different chapters attended the chartering of the 15 newest members of the fraternight, a number Arellano said he found significant, because that was the number of men who originally started the group.

“I’m so thankful I was able to make it to such an important event after thinking I was going to miss it, which I was so frustrated about,” Petersen said.

Petersen, who graduated in December 2013, has been out of the country for the past year, and he flew from Denver this past weekend to be there for the chartering.

“It was a nice time for alpha class to come back and see how we’ve grown and see the new members,” Arellano said. “A time of bonding without having to worry about anything.”

Leeper, who has also been with the group since the fraternity was founded, said he has seen tremendous growth in all its members over the past three years.

“It’s been amazing to see the process, and the change, and the amount of dedication and time everyone has put into this,” he said.

Leeper said he hopes the fraternity continues to grow, and its goals moving forward include building a strong foundation for future members.

“[Our goals are] establishing our own practices as a chapter so future generations can build off of what we started and keep this organization going, and thriving, and positively contributing and giving back to the university what the university has given to us,” Leeper said.

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