Delta Lambda Phi

Delta Lambda Phi
Delta Lambda Phi
ΔΛΦ
Founded October 15, 1986 (1986-10-15) (25 years ago)
Washington, D.C.
Type Social
Scope National
Motto Lambda Men are making their presence known.
Colors Green, Gold, & White
Symbol Centaur
Flower Yellow Rose
Publication The Centaur's Yell
Philanthropy The Delphi Foundation
Chapters 27 Active, 6 Colonies
Total Charters 70
Headquarters Washington, DC, USA
Homepage http://www.dlp.org/

Delta Lambda Phi (ΔΛΦ) is a national social fraternity for gay, bisexual, and progressive men. It offers a social environment and structure similar to other Greek-model college fraternities. Delta Lambda Phi was founded on October 15, 1986 by Vernon L. Strickland III in Washington, D.C. and incorporated in the same city on September 10, 1987.[1] It is currently one of the fastest growing fraternities in the United States.[2][citation needed]

Contents

Purposes

The three purposes of the fraternity are:

  • To develop dignified and purposeful social, service, and recreational activities for progressive men, irrespective of sexual orientation;
  • To lead in determining the rights and privileges of individuals in society; and,
  • To present a strong and positive image which respects the diversity of all individuals, irrespective of sexual orientation.[1]

Membership

Delta Lambda Phi's membership is open to all men whether they are gay, bisexual, or straight.

There are three types of chapters: campus-based, multi-campus based and community based. To be eligible to join a campus or multi-campus based chapter or colony of Delta Lambda Phi, a candidate must live in close proximity to an active chapter or colony and be a male at least 18 years of age and a student at the college or university where the Chapter is recognized. Individual chapters may adopt additional membership requirements based on student status, as well as other policies set by their university or by their own membership. Community-based chapters, on the other hand, do not require their members to be students.

Like most social fraternities, rushing and pledging (new member training) are integral parts of the DLP experience. Once Pledges complete their training, full brotherhood is conferred. Once a Brother, the DLP experience becomes centered on social, service, and recreational activities, as well as recruitment and training of new members. Delta Lambda Phi strictly prohibits hazing and adheres to an extensive, nationwide Risk Management Policy.

Symbols and traditions

The fraternity's mascot is the Lambda Centaur, which is modeled after Chiron, the son of Cronus and Philyra, and the only immortal centaur. Unlike other centaurs in Greek mythology, who were regarded as bestial and monsterous, Chiron was gentle and wise. He was famed as the tutor of Achilles, Asclepius, Heracles, Jason, Theseus, and others. After his death, Chiron became the constellation Sagittarius.

The heraldic crest of Delta Lambda Phi contains eleven symbolic elements, each of which carries a special meaning. For example, the burning lamp in the center of the crest represents "enlightenment and ancient justice." The very same lamp is also depicted on the fraternity's pledge pin, which is hexagonal in shape. The hexagon was selected because it is a tesillating geometric figure, and when closely grouped, hexagons form a honeycomb-like array. Like the ideal pledge class, hexagons grouped together are significantly stronger than when they stand alone.

The fraternity's colors are green, and gold, although white does appear in reference to the fraternity's alumni members. The fraternity flower is the yellow rose, long recognized for its connotations of friendship.

The fraternity's song is titled "Delta Phi." There are two distinct melodies to which the song is traditionally sung. The first is a somber ceremonial version, while the second is a festive toast version. Both of these versions utilize the same set of lyrics. The official song has three verses, but every chapter has a unique fourth verse to commemorate the founding of their individual chapter. A second fraternity song, called "The Delphi Hymn," incorporates three verses of lyrics sung to the stirring melody of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, "Ode to Joy."[citation needed]

The formal motto of the fraternity is "Lambda Men are Making Their Presence Known."[3]

National structure and policies

Chapters and colonies

Delta Lambda Phi at Capital Pride
Delta Lambda Phi, National Social Fraternity at 35th Annual Capital Pride Festival.

As of May 10, 2011, Delta Lambda Phi has twenty-seven active chapters and six colonies.

Delta Lambda Phi chapters are assigned a sequential Greek letter designation according to the order in which they were chartered. The oldest chapter is the Alpha Chapter, located in Washington, D.C. Subsequent chapters were assigned successive Greek letters of the Greek alphabet, from Beta, Gamma, Delta, etc., through to the last letter of the Greek alphabet, Omega. After all single-letter designations were used, chapters were assigned double-letter combinations in the fashion "Alpha Alpha," "Alpha Beta," "Alpha Gamma," etc. The binary lettering scheme continues with "Beta Alpha," "Beta Beta," "Beta Gamma," and so on. The designation "Alpha Omega" was reserved as a symbolic "Chapter Eternal," suggestive of everlasting membership for brothers who have passed.[citation needed]

Chapters of Delta Lambda Phi are issued a Charter to operate by the National Board of Directors. Unlike many other fraternities, Delta Lambda Phi allows for community-based chapters and multi-campus based chapters in addition to more traditional single-campus-based chapters. A community-based chapter draws its members from the community at large; thus, members of a community-based chapter are not necessarily students. A multi-campus-based chapter draws its membership from several colleges within a metropolitan area. Multi-campus based chapters are often formed when a single school cannot generate enough members to support a chapter of DLP, or when DLP cannot gain official recognition from their school. The Alpha Chapter is a community-based chapter, whereas the Delta Chapter is the oldest continuously operating campus-based chapter. Despite a high level of interest in forming new colonies, the organization has long struggled to keep its active chapters open, as evidenced by the scant number of early chapters still in existence.

In all chapters, each successive pledge class is also assigned a sequential letter designation. A chapter's founding pledge class is referred to as the Alpha Class, with successive pledge classes being assigned letters according to the same binary scheme used for chapter letter designations. The members of all pledge classes having completed their pledge education while the group was still a colony, and who became brothers when the chapter was chartered, are referred to as "Charter Members." Typically, these members include the first three classes of the chapter, but in some cases may include more than the first three.

The members of the Alpha Class of the Alpha Chapter were initiated as the first brothers of Delta Lambda Phi on April 10, 1987. Below is a list of all of the fraternity's remaining active chapters:[4]

Delta Lambda Phi also has several active colonies. A colony is considered a "chapter-in-training." Colonies are typically groups of men who have recruited and educated their first few pledge classes and who are still in the process of proving they are capable of sustaining an active chapter. Colonies do not have greek letter designations and are instead identified by their city or school. Colonies cannot perform their own ceremonies (Brothers from other chapters come to assist with this), and they cannot initiate their pledges as Brothers until the colony is officially chartered as a chapter. At that time, the new chapter is given its Greek letter designation, as well as all other rights of a chapter. Below are the fraternity's active colonies:[5][dead link]

National Convention

Delta Lambda Phi is governed by its National Convention, which is officially the highest authority in the fraternity. The National Convention is held annually and, as a body, comprises two members from every active chapter, as well as alumni representatives and the fraternity's board of directors. The first National Convention was held in 1989 in San Francisco, California, and one has been held every year since.

The location of the National Convention changes from year to year and is selected by the preceding convention. Below is a list of every Annual National Convention and the city in which it was held:

  • 1989: San Francisco, CA (First Convention)
  • 1990: Las Vegas, NV
  • 1991: Minneapolis, MN
  • 1992: San Jose, CA
  • 1993: Long Beach, CA
  • 1994: Washington, D.C.
  • 1995: San Jose, CA
  • 1996: Las Vegas, NV
  • 1997: Atlanta, GA
  • 1998: Minneapolis, MN
  • 1999: Denton, TX
  • 2000: San Diego, CA
  • 2001: Washington, D.C.
  • 2002: Athens, OH
  • 2003: Las Vegas, NV (NAA Founded)
  • 2004: Minneapolis, MN
  • 2005: Denver, CO
  • 2006: Seattle, WA
  • 2007: Chicago, IL
  • 2008: Miami, FL
  • 2009: San Francisco, CA
  • 2010: Columbus, OH
  • 2011: Philadelphia, PA
  • 2012: Portland, OR (Scheduled)

National Board of Directors

The fraternity's Board of Directors (BOD) governs the fraternity between conventions and consists of 11 elected members, 3 ex-officio members, and Life Members. The current Board of Directors is as follows:

  • National Trustee: Br. Jeffrey Thompson, Δ
  • Vice Chairman: Br. Rob Grau, ΒΑ
  • Br. Eric Van Sant, ΑΨ
  • Br. Phil Hernandez, BΛ
  • Br. Adam Steckel, AP
  • Br. Lou Camera, I
  • Br. Chris Christanto, AB
  • Br. Jonas Birch, ΑΨ (Active)
  • Br. Julian Haas, AΡ (Active)
  • National Treasurer: Br. Alexandre Chapeaux, ΒΙ (non-voting)
  • National Secretary: Br. Samuel Brinton, ΒΜ (non-voting)
  • National Executive Director: Br. Christopher Newman (ex-officio, appointed)
  • General Counsel: Br. Joel Corcoran (ex-officio, appointed)
  • Immediate Past Trustee: Br. Ernie Hall, M (ex-officio)
  • Life Members of the Board: Br. David West, Ι and Br. Ernie Hall, M

The National Executive Director (NED) and General Counsel are appointed by the National Trustee and confirmed by the Board of Directors. The NED's principal responsibility is to direct the day-to-day affairs of the fraternity. Delta Lambda Phi also recognizes those board members who have served the fraternity with distinction as a member of the board for ten or more years with the honor of being a "Life Member of the Board."

The National Trustees of Delta Lambda Phi (Chairman of the Board of Directors), in order of service, have been:

  • Br. Vernon L. Strickland, III, Α (Founder)
  • Br. Will Collins, Μ
  • Br. Kevin O'Keefe, Α
  • Br. David L. West, Ι
  • Br. Andrew M. Burnett, ΑΠ
  • Br. Ernie Hall, M
  • Br. Jeffrey Thompson, Δ (current)

The highest honor bestowed by Delta Lambda Phi is the Vernon L. Strickland III Founder's Award for extraordinary service to the fraternity's brotherhood. The award is not given every year but rather when a long-standing Brother is deemed worthy of receiving it.

The fraternity recognizes three broad geographic regions—Eastern, Central, and Western. The Eastern Region comprises most of the eastern seaboard states. The broad Central Region stretches from just west of the Appalachians to the states east of the Rocky Mountains. The Western Region begins in the Rockies and stretches to the Pacific Coast. Each region is overseen a regional steering committee. Each region typically hosts two regional conferences; one in the spring, and one in the fall. Like the location of the National Convention, regional conference locations are generally rotated.[6]

National Alumni Association

Delta Lambda Phi has a national alumni association [1] that is governed by its own elected board of directors. This board comprises a President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, and three Regional Alumni Representatives (Eastern, Central, and Western). The current NAA Board Officers are as follows:

  • President: Br. Dusty Garner
  • Vice-President: Br. Trent Smith
  • Secretary: Br. Jeremy Charles
  • Financial Director: Br. Griffin Parsons
  • Eastern Region: Br. Troy Hoffman
  • Central Region: Br. Morgan Morris
  • Western Region: Br. Robert Dick

The Delta Lambda Phi National Alumni Association (DLPNAA) was founded on July 21, 2003, and lists 42 brothers as its founding members. Since January 2004, the DLPNAA has sponsored an annual alumni retreat. This retreat provides alumni from around the country an opportunity to get acquainted or reacquainted. These alumni retreats have been hosted in the following cities:

  • January 2004: Miami, FL
  • January 2005: Santa Fe, NM
  • January 2006: Tampa, FL
  • January 2007: Lake Tahoe, NV
  • February 2008: Las Vegas, NV
  • 2009 (needs to be updated)
  • January 2010: New Orleans, LA
  • 2011 (needs to be updated)

The DLP NAA also allows for the creation of local alumni associations (LAAs). Two distinct types of local alumni associations are recognized; Chapter-based alumni associations and City-based alumni associations. Chapter-based alumni associations draw membership from Brothers who all come from the same chapter (regardless of where they reside today), and are formed primarily to support that active chapter. City-based alumni associations draw membership from a particular town or city, and are formed primarily for social purposes.

The Delphi Foundation

Delta Lambda Phi also has a separately incorporated 501(c)(3) educational foundation, The Delphi Foundation. The current president of The Delphi Foundation is Marshall Smith (Beta Alpha Chapter).[7]

Delphi has an official 501(c)(3) determination letter from the IRS and has kicked-off a bold initiative to establish academic scholarships for brothers of Delta Lambda Phi. The Foundation secured around $5,000 in initial capital from a small group of alumni to be used as a basis for soliciting additional matching funds and other contributions.

"Hands-Off" policy

Delta Lambda Phi observes a strict Brother/Pledge relations policy. While the words 'gay fraternity' may tempt imagination, sexual relationships between Brothers and Pledges are forbidden. The policy governing these relationships is the National Brother-Pledge Relations Policy; known informally as the "Hands-Off Policy." The policy has existed in various forms since the early years of the fraternity, and it was codified and adopted by the DLP National Convention in 1998. Many chapters and colonies also adopt their own local hands-off policy consistent with the national policy, often intended to expand or clarify it.

The National Brother-Pledge Relations Policy states that Brothers and Pledges may not engage in "extra-fraternal relations" during the course of the rush and pledge education periods. The policy ensures that bid distribution remains fair, that pledge education remains focused on platonic fraternal bonding, and that the risk of sexual harassment is virtually eliminated. The policy also bolsters chapter morale and enables the fraternity to uphold high standards of fairness and dignity.[8]

No national policy exists prohibiting two members from engaging in extra-fraternal relations after they have both become Brothers. Because the student-teacher relationship that existed during the pledge education process no longer exists, all Brothers are regarded as peers and are simply encouraged to exercise their best judgment.[9][10]

See also

  • List of LGBT and LGBT-friendly fraternities and sororities

References

External links


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