Boston University’s Delta Lambda Phi fraternity will be updated from a colony to a chapter this weekend after undergoing various initiation rituals, said members of the fraternity.
“We’ve proven that we can conduct ourselves in an appropriate fashion,” said DLP president Marcos Villarreal, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. “We’ve already proved that by submitting a charter petition that outlines our one, three- and five-year goals.”
Members from the DLP national organization, the executive board, the students’ mentors and about 40 DLP alumni will come to Boston beginning Thursday for ceremonies to update the group to a full chapter, Villarreal said. The colony will be tested to find out if they know the values of the fraternity and go through ceremonies and rituals.
“This is a big, exciting weekend coming up and we’re much more excited than nervous,” said Eric Linder, vice president of DLP and College of Communication sophomore. “It’s a really big deal. Charterings don’t happen very often.”
DLP, a social fraternity for gay, bisexual and progressive men, began in February 2011 as a colony at BU, which is standard procedure to train a group to become a chapter, Linder said.
“We [DLP] were founded in the ‘80s, when being gay was a thing, but it was no where close to where it is today,” Linder said. “It was founded for gay men to have a social setting where gay men could be together, not be persecuted, feel comfortable — especially younger gay men.”
Villarreal said the original Boston DLP chapter that was founded in 2001 was disbanded due to low membership.
“The hard part about it was that it wasn’t a Boston University fraternity, it was a community based fraternity, so they had people from all colleges throughout Boston,” he said.
Nationally, DLP was the first fraternity to be geared toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and it is the only one at BU with this philosophy, though technically all of the fraternities are open to LGBT students.
“[We were] founded by the traditional fraternity structure of a social fraternity with a national structure and chapter at different schools, centered around brotherhood and other core values like community service,” Linder said.
Linder said the soon-to-be fraternity is very close-knit.
“It’s really a brotherhood,” he said. “Its really a family. We live together, hang out together, do service projects together — I even work with a couple of them.”
In May, the DLP colony gained provisional status on the BU’s Inter-fraternity Council, the governing body for Greek Life at BU, which is standard procedure, Villarreal said.
“They accepted us with open arms and were thrilled to have us work with them,” Linder said. “They thought we were really driven and they appreciated the diversity and we were really excited to work with them because it’s great to network with the other Greek organizations here.”
By the end of this semester, they will be full members of the council, Villarreal said.
“Pending that there’s no violations in terms of recruitment or state laws,” said Patrick Moriarty, president of IFC and a CAS senior. “But I don’t foresee any of that happening.”
DLP was originally on the Multicultural Greek Council, a branch of the IFC, said Ethan Pravetz, former DLP president and now a graduate student in the Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.
“We were originally on the Multicultural Greek Council, and since we are a social fraternity, [the Inter-fraternity Council] fits our needs a little better,” he said.
Linder said membership in the fraternity is growing, as well as their finances.
“We’re growing into what we were supposed to do,” he said. “A long time ago, we were just focusing on staying alive, and now we’re really thriving.”
With a lot of their members graduating in May, the group is focusing on recruitment and philanthropy, Linder said.
“We’d like to step up fundraising — there’s a big philanthropy coming up — and definitely social events,” he said. “Now that we’re done focusing on the petition being written, we’re really excited to go out and actually be part of the community.”
Linder said they are starting to pick different philanthropies.
“We want to work with the Boston community to make our presence make a difference here,” he said.