A former CSUN fraternity on the verge of dying out is starting to find its way back up again.
Last July, Delta Lambda Phi had only two active members working in the fraternity.
“It’s hard to believe that only two of us were active,” said Mike Luna, CSUN alumnus and president of the DLP. “We did what we had to do.”
With only two active members, the fraternity had to make the decision to go on its own.
“We almost died out,” said Danny Boitanni, in charge of public relations and outreach for the fraternity. “We were forced to go to a community-based chapter.”
Members of the fraternity wrote a petition to their national board to break away from CSUN and become a community-based chapter.
The national board granted them that permission and DLP broke away from the university on July 22, 2005. The fraternity is now part of Alpha Omicron San Fernando Valley chapter.
DLP is a fraternity open to any gay, bisexual or progressive men. The fraternity was founded at CSUN in 1996. Since then, the number of active fraternity members started getting lower and lower.
The decision to break away from CSUN was not a difficult one because there was not really a choice, said Mike Luna, CSUN alumnus and DLP president.
The decision made by Luna was supported by those close to the organization and has brought more interest from the community.
“Our concentration right now is on rebuilding ourselves,” Luna said. “We are doing better.”
DLP does what it can to help the community by volunteering and bell-ringing for the Salvation Army during Christmas. They also plan on beach-cleaning, Luna said.
There is no official house for the fraternity yet, Boitanni said. The organization meets wherever it can in the Valley.
The number of members in the fraternity currently stands at 15. Of those, six of them are active members, with two more being pledged later this May, Luna said.
DLP accepts anyone interested in the fraternity.
The lack of members in the organization was not the only factor in the decision to break away from the university. The fraternity was not getting the support and attention it needed from CSUN, Luna said.
The fraternity received much support from organizations such as the University Student Union and Associated Students, but felt it was kept out of the loop on news and events pertaining to fraternities, Luna said.
E-mails sent by the United Sorority and Fraternity Council were sent to former members, so DLP was not informed of several social events and meetings, Luna said.
All fraternities and sororities are informed through e-mail of any news or events, said Chante Felix, USFC president and third-year biology major. Organizations are responsible for providing updated information to the USFC.
There were biweekly meetings held by the USFC in which delegates from each fraternity and sorority must attend. A DLP delegate failed to appear at most of the meetings, said Jamison Keller, fraternity and sorority adviser.
The lack of attendance may have been due to miscommunication, Felix said.
“We did not know what was going on,” Felix said. “If they were struggling, needed help or support, we didn’t know. If someone reached out, maybe they would still be here.”
Despite the miscommunication, there are “no ill feelings toward CSUN” on behalf of DLP, Luna said. Miscommunication was not among the bigger reasons as to why the fraternity broke away from the university, he said.
“We received much support from the USU and A.S., but had already thought about branching off,” Luna said. “A big reason we did what we did was because not many students from CSUN were joining.”
DLP has already tripled the amount of active members in less then one year after breaking away from CSUN. The fraternity expects more of the same success in the future, Luna said.
The decision to branch off has given life to a fraternity on the brink of dying out.
“We are alive and strong,” Luna said. “We are very prosperous as opposed to a year ago.”
Oscar Areliz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.