Delta Lambda Phi colonizes at OSU

Zbigniew Sikora Orange Media Network
Roman Battaglia, Cory Zimmerman, Chris Hands and Tyler Paine are new members of the recently colonized IFC fraternity Delta Lambda Phi at OSU. DLP focuses on creating a space for men of all sexual orientations and gender expressions to have the traditional Greek experience on campus. 

Anna Weeks Greek Peek Blog Manager

IFC fraternity to focus on creating an inclusive environment within the Greek system, support LGBTQ+ community

In an effort to create a more inclusive environment within the traditional Greek system, Delta Lambda Phi has officially colonized on the OSU campus.

“Founded by gay men for all men,” part of DLP’s mission statement, summarizes the fraternity’s goal to create a place within the fraternal system that enhances the quality of life among men irrespective of sexual orientation or gender expression.

On Oct. 22, Delta Lambda Phi was installed as an Interfraternity Council colony and invited 10 pledges into the nationally recognized brotherhood.

Delta Lambda Phi was founded in 1986 in Washington D.C.

Those that helped bring DLP to campus hope the chapter will provide a welcoming community for men who identify as gay, bisexual or transgender—as well as those who do not­—­and allow anyone who wants it to get a true fraternity experience.

Cory Zimmerman, the current DLP president and one of the individuals who worked to bring the fraternity to the OSU campus, had debated whether or not to participate in traditional recruitment while attending OSU.

Because of this, he sought out alternatives, which eventually led him to DLP.

“I couldn’t think of any fraternity on campus I would fit in with, so I looked up national LGBTQ friendly fraternities,” Zimmerman said. “That’s how I found Delta Lambda Phi.”

One of the main attributes of DLP that stood out to Zimmerman was the national philanthropy, the Delta Lambda Phi Foundation. One of the many charities DLP raises money and awareness for is The Trevor Project, which benefits LGBTQ youths in crisis, especially assisting those who struggle emotionally with how they identify themselves in today’s society.

After researching more about the chapter infrastructure, Zimmerman sent an email to the DLP National Headquarters requesting more information on how to start a colony on a college campus.

Zimmerman wanted to bring DLP to campus to help give those looking for something outside of the traditional Greek system an opportunity to get involved.

“(DLP) is an alternative way for men in the LGBTQ community, and those who aren’t, to have a classic Greek experience without the stereotypical testosterone-filled events,” Zimmerman said.

From start to finish, the colonization process took about a year. After contacting DLP National Headquarters and getting approved, Zimmerman met with Leslie Schacht Drey, the director of the center for fraternity and sorority life at OSU.

The approval from the university was the first step of the process of crafting the roughly 15 page document filled with details about OSU, the Corvallis community and surrounding area that was then sent to the national fraternity headquarters.

Facing a colonization fee of $600, Zimmerman and those working with him began reaching out to friends and family with a GoFundMe account to reach their goal. Additionally, they introduced themselves to local fraternities and sororities.

Those who generously donated were rewarded with personalized recognition on social media accounts and a promise of further recognition at DLP’s first event.

Alpha Phi, a member of the Panhellenic Council at OSU, decided to assist the fundraising by donating $200 toward DLP’s colonization fee.

“Greek life is gender based by nature, so people who do not fit into the typical gender or sexual orientations might feel as though they do not have a place within the Greek community,” said Nissa Johnson, the president of Alpha Phi. “Alpha Phi believes that it is important to maintain an inclusive Greek community, and the colony members of Delta Lambda Phi are working to provide that inclusive environment.”

Anthony Maier, from the Beta Zeta Chapter of DLP, and Ben Sokoloff, from the Chi Chapter of DLP, are DLP alumni stationed in Portland, who have served as the OSU colony’s mentors throughout the process.

DLP’s Colony Installation ceremony, held on Oct. 22, in the Memorial Union, was lead by the two mentors, as well as brothers from the Iota Chapter at Sacramento State University and various alumni in the area.

After 100 years of existing on the campus, many involved with the fraternity and sorority life at OSU are thrilled to add an LGBTQ chapter into the community.

“I think it is awesome,” said Colton Sheets, a member of Sigma Nu. “Oregon State does a lot to expand the diversity of its students. I’m glad to have more Greeks on campus and I can’t wait for them to make the impact that I know they are going to have.”

While many aspects of the colony installation remain a mystery to outsiders, the bond of Delta Lambda Phi’s newfound brotherhood is evident.

Delta Lambda Phi will be holding their first event called “Meet the Lambda Men” on Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union, room 206. Refreshments will be provided.

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