By Edith Yang
Student Org. of the Week: Delta Lambda Psi
We will be interviewing: Tim Lafond, Delta Lambda Psi President , and Danielle Crain, member
City on a Hill Press (CHP): When was Delta Lambda Psi established?
Tim: DLP was established after the queer conference in 2005, and started recruiting members fall quarter 2005.
CHP: Why was it established?
Tim: We were at the queer conference when a couple of other founders and I were introduced to Delta Lambda Phi, which is a gay male fraternity. We went into it with different perspectives. I didn’t like the categorization that went along with gay male fraternities and lesbian sororities. There was no space for trans people, queer people, [or those who] don’t, can’t or prefer not to identify with either/or. Also, we knew that such a separatist model wouldn’t work on this campus especially because it would’ve been fueling the flames of separation between the gay male community, queer community and lesbian community.
CHP: What does Delta Lambda Psi do?
Tim: One of our most important aspects is membership education. We have a lot of internal workshops that make the members of Delta Lambda Psi aware of what’s going on in terms of health, total awareness, activism, fun things.
Danielle: My first year we had a marriage equality event. It was after Brokeback Mountain came out and we called it Marriage Equality: Breaking Down The Mountain. It was a big event. It was really great that we were able to make an event in our first year of being a Greek organization, so we’re striving to do stuff like that. We’re [also] really into volunteer work, [and are] going to start volunteering with the Santa Cruz Aids Project (SCAP).
CHP: What upcoming events can we expect from your organization?
Tim: We do an annual Gay Days of Great America and we’re doing a camping trip. In terms of larger projects, just as an organization, we’re going to start going out with SCAP and doing needle workshops, condom packing, and whatever else they need us to do. And of course there is spring rush we need to prepare for.
Danielle: One thing with Delta Lambda Psi is [that] it’s not just for gay people. When I first rushed, I wasn’t going to because I didn’t think I could, but that’s another thing about the queer community: you don’t have to be gay to be in it.
CHP: What is a fun tradition your organization members do?
Danielle: Instead of big sisters, big brothers, we have siblings. It’s something we’ve changed to incorporate our values. Instead of having a big sister or a big brother, it’s changing so that it’s gender-neutral.
CHP: What is a memorable moment you have with Delta Lambda Psi and why?
Danielle: When we did the marriage equality event. Toward the end, everybody else was leaving and it was just DLP people there. We got together and were talking about it; it seemed so possible for our organization to keep going and that was really powerful for me.
Tim: I studied abroad last year, so I left Delta Lambda Psi just a year into it, and coming back this year and seeing how much the organization had grown in number and [how much ] the people that I left had grown. Coming back to something that I left not knowing what the future was going to hold, and seeing that it really held on to itself and continued traditions [in] serving its members.