MGC fraternity interest group hopes to cultivate Latino leadership among ‘hermanos’

Junnie Kwon, Reporter

A fraternal interest group on campus is one step away from becoming Northwestern’s second Latino-based fraternity.

The Interested Gentlemen of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda fraternity, applied for associate member status Oct. 15. The Multicultural Greek Council approved the application on the same day.

LUL differs from Omega Delta Phi, a multicultural service fraternity, although both share an interest in Latino issues.

After seeing a lack of Latino leadership on campus, Sergio Alvarez, one of the group’s six current members, started generating ideas for a Latino-based group last November.

“After my freshman and sophomore year, I really wished there were individuals out there who reached out to me to really sort of push me,” the Bienen senior said. “We take pride in pushing each other and finding opportunities for each other and becoming the best we can be.”

After discussing these opinions with other students who had similar thoughts, Alvarez recruited five other members. Together they researched and evaluated multiple fraternities and organizations that didn’t have NU chapters before they chose LUL. They decided on forming the fraternity because of the prestige of its alumni and its mentorship given to potential members, group member Ricardo Rodriguez said.

“All have gone out of their way to help us,” the Weinberg sophomore said. “Without their help and the advice they’ve given – we call each other ‘hermanos,’ (Spanish for ‘brothers’) by the way – we couldn’t have gotten to where we are now.”

The group reached interest group status from MGC in January.

Some of the group’s current members deactivated from Interfraternity Council chapters to join LUL because they were not satisfied with those chapters’ sense of brotherhood, Rodriguez said.

“The problem we see through IFC is that there’s so many people in one fraternity, and it’s hard to see each and every one of those guys as a brother,” he said. “Whereas these guys were very close to one another and willing to support and help each other out no matter what. That’s one of the key pillars of LUL.”

The interest group created the pseudonym “GOLD,” which stands for, “Generating Opportunities for Leadership Development.” With this name, the group hopes to emphasize that its main goal is to not only develop a brotherhood but also to cultivate Latino leaders in the community.

In order to increase its visibility on campus, the group hosted a week-long series of events that started Monday. The group designed events to reflect issues important to individual members. On Wednesday night at Kresge Hall, the group co-hosted with sorority Delta Sigma Theta a presentation on Belize to show their interest in cultural awareness.

Another member, Ellyn Pena, said he naturally clicked with the interest group and shared their ideas, but the selling point for him was that LUL was established at an Ivy League university.

“They valued academics,” the SESP sophomore said. “The people I’ve met in the organization are very professionally oriented, and they have really good connections, and they’re mentors, even if you don’t ask for it.”

Another Latino-based interest group for Sigma Lambda Beta is also working to become an official chapter. That group, however, has not reached associate member status yet.

“It will be interesting to see how the dynamics would play out in terms of bringing more diversity to MGC and the Greek community overall,” said Allison Hung, vice president of operations for MGC.

Correction: A previous version of this story said LUL could become NU’s first Latino-based fraternity. Omega Delta Phi is NU’s first Latino-based fraternity, which means LUL would become the second Latino-based fraternity on campus. The Daily regrets the error.