Coming into Rutgers, never in a million years did I ever think I would join a fraternity. For whatever reason, I had this stereotypical image in my head that all fraternities were these hetero-normative groups of jocks like you see in the movies. It turns out, that’s far from the truth! There are academic frats, professional frats, community service frats, and specialized social frats- like Delta Lambda Phi!
Delta Lambda Phi, or DLP, is a fraternity for gay, bisexual, and progressive men. It actually turns out I casually met most of the brothers in Rutgers DLP through LGBT programs on campus without even knowing they were in the fraternity. It wasn’t until the end of my fall semester when they started trying to recruit new members that I realized they were all a part of a gay Greek family on campus.
I decided to rush this spring to see what DLP was all about. I had fun learning about the frat but I wasn’t sure if I could handle the pledge process with everything else I had going on in my life. Seventeen and a half credits in college, two part-time jobs, positions in clubs, a commitment to daily blogging, and more meant very little spare time to tack on extra responsibilities. Where would pledging fit into the picture? Could I really do it?
Eventually, the time came for bids to be distributed and I was lucky enough to have one extended to me. What a nice feeling it was. I couldn’t stop smiling that day.
The brothers recognized my concerns with pledging and time management and they reminded me of an excellent point: it doesn’t get any easier.
It’s true. If I wanted to join Delta Lambda Phi, it was probably in my best interest to do it now as a freshman. So I did.
I’m not supposed to talk about the pledge process but what I will say is that it’s fun, it’s doable if you work hard, and it’s rewarding. Oh and no hazing! That was important to me. However, despite there being no hazing, last week was quite possibly the most difficult week of my life– but I somehow made it through alive (..barely??)!
Even with no hazing, there are things to be done. In order to complete those things, I barely slept and one night I even had to barricade my bed so I wouldn’t be tempted to fall asleep. I also downloaded meditation music to my iPhone so I wouldn’t have an anxiety attack one day. But that’s how I cope with stress – it could be different for you! Maybe you don’t even struggle under a lot of pressure all at once.
Yesterday was the day I finally crossed over and now I’m a Brother for life! I’m the newest addition to the Dream Believer family and I have the best big, grand-big, and great grand-big I could ever ask for! I really love them.
I’m also sad because some of my favorite brothers are graduating after this semester is over. I wish I could spend more time with them…
Anyway, Delta Lambda Phi is small but the fraternity serves its purpose and it’s perfect for introverted and extroverted people alike. As an introvert, I never thought I’d fit into Greek Life but our chapter’s size is perfect. I really like that it’s on the smaller side compared to larger frat’s that have 100 members or more.
I got a cool ΔΛΦ necklace today and was told I’ll get a ΔΛΦ t-shirt sometime soon. I’m so happy that there’s a place at Rutgers where I can still experience Greek Life with people I’m comfortable being myself around. No one judges and the brothers are all really friendly. They’re such a good group of guys. I admire so many of them! And this final weekend of pledging was a total blast.
If you’re a gay, bisexual, or a straight male ally in college – you should really consider rushing Delta Lambda Phi! Especially if you go to Rutgers.