Latinx fraternity Alpha Psi Lambda to recruit first WU member class

Jessica Bigley | Contributing Reporter

Latinx fraternity Alpha Psi Lambda will be the first multicultural, co-ed fraternity to come to Washington University’s campus starting this semester.

Sophomores David Leon, Rachel Lopez and Nydia Monroy initiated the idea of bringing Alpha Psi Lambda to campus in spring 2017.

“I was pledging another fraternity, and we were just saying, ‘What if we add a Latino fraternity here on campus?’” Leon said.

The three co-founders contacted the national chapter of Alpha Psi Lambda about starting a chapter at Washington University before communicating their case to Campus Life.

“I reached out to Alpha Psi Lambda to see if they would be interested in coming to this campus, and they were pretty interested,” Leon said. “Campus Life was not as interested, but we swayed them.”

While Alpha Psi Lambda is a Latinx fraternity, the chapter is inclusive of all ethnic, racial and cultural backgrounds.

“We are accepting everyone—pretty much anyone who does not feel a sense of community within the other Greek life sororities or fraternities,” Lopez said.

The first official event will take place Jan. 31, when the co-founders will hold an information session for interested students. The actual membership intake process begins Feb. 10, when the national committee for Alpha Psi Lambda will come to campus.

So far, 12 students have expressed interested in joining the fraternity. After the rush process, the co-founders are hoping to have 20 people commit to the chapter.

The fraternity will hold chapter meetings where members can discuss different Latin American backgrounds and Latinx experiences after recruiting its members.

“A lot of our meetings will be focused on discussions about Latino issues that a lot of people don’t talk about,” Leon said. “Colorism, stereotypes and microaggressions—things that are very prevalent in minority groups and with people of color.”

The membership intake process will take seven to nine weeks, and in the meantime, the co-founders will hold multiple events.

“We’ll have study tables, and we will be doing a lot of philanthropy stuff,” Monroy said. “It will be a [variety].”

The new fraternity’s goals are rooted in multiculturalism. Its founders hope to motivate and give voice to the Latinx community on campus.

“It’s definitely a way for us to bring awareness to the community,” Lopez said. “It’s such a small community, and this frat is able to bring kind of a spotlight to the issues we face on campus and the lack of awareness we have on campus.”