MGC votes to sponsor gay student fraternity

The Multicultural Greek Council voted Tuesday to give the student interest group Out on Rugby permission to pursue the establishment of a chapter of Delta Lambda Phi fraternity at the University. Members of OOR have been seeking to bring Delta Lambda Phi, a national gay fraternity, to the University since last April.

In accordance with University policy, national groups such as Delta Lambda Phi are not permitted to independently establish themselves at the University. Instead, the University requires that students form an interest group, petition for establishment and apply for sponsorship from one of the four Greek governing councils.

After forming an interest group and petitioning to the MGC for sponsorship at the end of last year's spring semester, OOR began a standard probationary research period in August to determine whether the group would be sustainable on Grounds, MGC President Melody Han said.

However, after OOR made an official proposal to the MGC, the council voted Feb. 17 to extend the interest group's research period.

"We felt that they weren't quite ready yet to establish," Han said.

The MGC recommended that OOR establish more of a network with Delta Lambda Phi brothers nationwide, communicate their intended contribution to the community and recruit more members, Han said.

At a meeting Tuesday, members of Out on Rugby presented their efforts to meet all of the MGC's suggestions. OOR established AIDS/HIV awareness as their philanthropy and were able to recruit four new members.

"We were concerned because so many of them were graduating," Han said. "The younger members strengthen the group some."

Although the MGC has granted OOR sponsorship, the student group still must negotiate with Delta Lambda Phi to officially become a chapter of the national fraternity at the University.

"Now the group will have to follow policy to establish a colony with their national organization, which I anticipate they will do with the same diligence and care," said Aaron Laushway, associate dean of students and director of fraternity and sorority life. "We hope to welcome Delta Lambda Phi to the University in the very near future."

However, Delta Lambda Phi maintains a "blackout period" during which it does not colonize during the summer. The University's potential colony is hoping that the national organization will make an exception.

"Four of us who are graduating will miss our opportunity to join Delta Lambda Phi if we have to wait until August to establish a colony," OOR President Anthony Whitten said.

Despite obstacles, the members of the group said they are excited about their progress.

"We have worked hard," Whitten said. "I am excited that we have had the opportunity to bring a gay fraternity to the University."

In order to eventually become an established chapter of Delta Lambda Phi, the University's colony will have to pledge three classes of brothers and create a charter with the national fraternity, Whitten said.

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