CENTAUR’S YELL Brothers, Hello and welcome to the newly relaunched Centaur’s Yell, a publication of the DLP Alumni Association. Whoever you are, wherever you are, this magazine is here to keep you informed on what is going on in the fraternity - what’s new, who’s who, what’s coming up, and who’s doing amazing things that exemplify the qualities of a Lambda Man!
A Look Inside The Omega chapter reaches a major milestone Page 2 The actions being taken to find “lost” brothers Page 7 Making a lifelong commitment with your fraternity Page 8 Brothers are getting the bling Page 15
Alumni Affairs Committee Bryan Guffey, Chair & President Ben Sokoloff, Vice Chair Miles Brainard Orie Givens Lenny Haas
This first issue of 2016 is focused on the theme of “giving.” What does it mean to give back to the fraternity? In what ways can you give back to Delta Lambda Phi? How does Delta Lambda Phi give back to you? How do you incorporate giving into your life and how do Lambda Men across the world incorporate giving into their lives? Hopefully, this issue will give you a glimpse into giving within Delta Lambda Phi and provide you with some ideas on how you can give to DLP as well. We expect to produce this magazine quarterly and will be rolling out an easy, fair and simple way to subscribe to the magazine. We want your content, too! Feel free to contact Julian Casillas, Chief Alumni Services Officer, if you have things you would like to share in the Yell, or to share your feedback. We look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy the magazine. Here’s to a successful 2016! ITB, Bryan Guffey President, DLP Alumni Association
Troy Hoffman Armando Huipe Nolan Petersen Eric Van Sant
Alumni Services Staff Julian Casillas, Chief Alumni Services Officer Jordan Cardoza, Director of Alumni Outreach Zach Ozbun, Director of Alumni Engagement Armando Sanchez, Alumni Engagement Coordinator Lou Camera, Alumni Consultant
Omega Turns 10 Page 2
Lost Boys 2.0 Page 7
Making a Sustainable Lifelong Commitment, While Still Living Your Life Page 8
Spring Regional Conferences Page 11
DLPAA Program Overview Page 12
LAA Leader Spotlight Page 13
Brotherly Buzz Page 15
An Awesome Alumnus Page 15
Omega Turns 10 by Br. Michael Webb of the Omega Chapter
On the heels of being recognized as Chapter of the Year at Convention 2015 in Phoenix, AZ, alumnus and active Omegans found themselves on the precipice of a major milestone; somehow, the 10th Anniversary of our chapter had snuck right up on us. To the active chapter and the Omega LAA, there was no question that we had a unique opportunity we simply could not pass up. In early August, a leadership committee, made up of members from both groups, was formed. This committee came together to take this momentous occasion to task and thus, “Omega Turns 10” was born. In the beginning, many perspectives and ideas were shared, which (of course) came with a few tense exchanges with one another. But, even though we didn’t know where we would land, we all at least agreed that it needed to be big enough to satisfy our wildest fantasies. We had to start somewhere, and that may seem like a simple thing, but it wasn’t. How could we create and pull off a celebration that honors Omega’s past and present? The answer was in our alumni and soon all engines were revving to collect current contact information of EVERY member of Omega since our re-chartering.
Br. Erick Rodriguez, Omega’s current vice president, and I set an ambitious timeframe of two weeks to finish this planning phase, using any and all platforms one could possibly imagine. For Br. Rodriguez, this was where he became enchanted with Omega Turns 10 because our alumni began to come out of the woodwork and boy, they were excited! When we were contacting alumni, one stood out because he hadn’t interacted with us for nine years, yet he was elated to get the news. Br. Rodriguez said, “To see these past brothers so excited that this was even happening was the best part.” According to Br. Brendan Ambrose, President of the Omega LAA, “Once we had all of this information and created a buzz, we knew we had enough momentum to press forward and that the sky was the limit.”
Serendipitously, Greek Life at the University of Arizona is experiencing its 100th Anniversary this year, so it only made sense to align the two events. The dates were chosen to be October 22-25. We quickly made a skeleton draft of our 4-day program, created a budget, and launched a registration page on MyDLP. In the very next week, and for the first time ever in Omega history, we did a mass-mailing, which included a “Save-the-Date” postcard (major shout-out to Br. Akeem Todman from Beta Delta for the design) and a signed letter from the committee. Before we knew it, we had a long list of registered attendees and the pressure was on! Omega Turns 10 was here before we could even bat a fake eyelash. Our committee was ready and our program finalized and polished. Thursday night we opened with the University of Arizona’s Greek Block Party, where we enjoyed food trucks and seeing where the new Greek Park to commemorate the UA Greek 100 would be built.
“The sky was the limit.” Then, the Lambda Men gathered for a “Centaur Meet and Greet” at World of Beer in the historic Downtown Tucson District, where many pledges, actives, and alumni formed new bonds while others rekindled old friendships. On Friday, alumni were taken on a tour of the UA campus to see what had changed over the years since their undergraduate careers. The group split up and then reunited “dressed to impress” at the iconic El Charro Café, located in the heart of the city, for the Omega Turns 10 banquet. The dinner program opened with a video of a digital scrapbook, which featured photos from the last 10 years and included every member of Omega since our re-chartering. I took to the podium to make the “exciting announcement” that had been promised to be revealed at this dinner. In collaboration with the Delphi Foundation, an account was created to aid in providing leadership and professional development opportunities, academic scholarships, conference travel assistance, and more to the Brothers of the Omega Chapter. It was within the purpose of this fund, that it was unanimously decided by a committee of Omega leadership that it would be fitting to name it the Michael J. Price Omega Fund. When Br. Price came to Delta Lambda Phi, he was newly out as a gay man.
He was still learning about his identity and truly coming into his own skin, and through DLP grew as a leader and, eventually, became a great president. When the news was revealed in a secret meeting with Br. Price’s mother, Debbie Price, she cried and said, “I’ve known Michael all of his life and when he found Delta Lambda Phi and made all of these lifelong connections, I knew he was living authentically for the first time. He came to life.” After the emotional announcement, Br. Price shared his feelings, stating, “My brothers surprise and inspire me every day, but I’ve never been more surprised, or felt more honored than when I learned that my brothers named the Omega Fund after me. I am so proud of my brothers for achieving their goal of setting up this incredible institution that is sure to benefit so many for years to come.
It is said that you get out of DLP what you put into it, but no matter how much I put in, I continue to get back much more than I could ever give. My brothers constantly remind me that, no matter where my life takes me, I will always be a Lambda Man, and my heart will always be with DLP.” Mr. and Mrs. Price jump-started this fund with a $1000 donation, to which we are all thankful. Following suit, many alumni, actives, and pledges became Founding Donors with a variety of one-time and monthly-recurring donations. There were a multitude of reasons people decided to give. Br. Larry Muth, Zeta Class and Omega Re-Chartering Founder, says, “I cherish the great times and learning opportunities I had as a direct result of my involvement with the Omega Chapter of DLP. I also want to contribute to new, exciting ways for young men to focus on becoming their best. That’s why I’m investing in the Michael J. Price Omega Fund.”
It is estimated that by later this fall, $3000 will have been raised for the Michael J. Price Omega Fund. Other notable Omega Turns 10 moment was Br. Christopher Newman’s keynote speech during the dinner program. He spoke on his family, school life, what it was like living closeted, personal hardships, and ultimately, the point in his life where he decided he needed a space like Delta Lambda Phi to exist. He shared intimate details of Omega’s humble beginnings and highlighted several of our major
“I will always be a Lambda Man, and my heart will always be with DLP.”
accomplishments throughout the years, including winning many major University of Arizona accolades, raising nearly $18,000 for the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, being recognized as DLP’s Chapter of the Year twice in a 3-year span, and identified several of the leaders from Omega that have gone beyond the local chapter to make their presence make difference in the greater organization. Br. Tony Bishop, President of the Omega Chapter, was moved by this speech saying, “It was really inspiring and powerful because he provided a historic perspective coupled with personal vulnerability, which tied together to illustrate how impactful this chapter is for its members.” Br. Newman closed out the dinner program and invited all attendees to make their way over to Old Main for the traditional Homecoming Bonfire to ring in the weekend’s festivities.
As soon as the sun was rising on Saturday, brothers could be found on the UofA Mall setting up for an exhilarating day of tailgating for the 101st Homecoming! All had gathered at DLP’s official tent by 10am and our two fabulous cooks, Br. Octavio Partida and Pl. Stefano Saltalamacchia, were grilling and feeding people by 10:30am.“I think at that moment the pledging experience became surreal as I got to think about everything said the night before at the banquet, while tailgating amongst other Greek organizations. I felt really proud to be a part of this,” said Pl. Saltalamacchia, Omega-Corcoran Pledge Class President. The group swiftly made our way over to Old Main for photos taken by our Chapter Sweetheart, Eleanore Leichtenberg. During the afternoon, 16 people attended the UA vs. WSU game in Arizona Stadium, while the other half of the group watched the game at the Auld Dubliner on University Boulevard in a private space sponsored by the Omega LAA. The night ended with some pretty fantastic (intimidatingly good) karaoke, food, and drinks at Bumsted’s, a local restaurant located in the Historic 4th Avenue District. On Sunday, all gathered for a “Farewell Brunch” at NoRTH Italia on their South Patio with a view of Tucson from the Catalina Foothills. To culminate a long and eventful weekend, around 20 people went on an excursion to Mt. Lemmon, which is the highest point in the Santa
Catalina Mountains with a summit elevation of 9,159 feet. It takes a great deal of work to plan an event like Omega Turns 10, and that shouldn’t go without thanks. I would like to recognize the Omega 10th Anniversary Planning Committee consisting of Brs. Tony Bishop, Erick Rodriguez, Brendan Ambrose, Christopher Griffith, Octavio Partida, and Christopher Newman for truly defining what it means to be Lambda Men with over 400 combined hours of work put into this event. And though at times we worried that all of the lost sleep from late-night meetings wouldn’t manifest into something worthwhile, we found that what we got in return was more valuable than we could have ever imagined. Because of the committee’s dedication, nearly 50 people registered for Omega Turns 10 and the effects will ripple for years to come. The sky truly was the limit. So, you may be wondering who that brother was that reengaged with DLP after 9 years. His name is Br. Mao Barragan, Eta Class and Omega Re-Chartering Founder. After attending Omega Turns 10, he reached out to me and said, “Reuniting with my brothers after so many years of losing touch made me feel like I was never really gone. Omega Turns 10 was truly an example of how “No matter how far you drift, or how long you have been gone…you can ALWAYS come home.” To that, I say, “It was so worth it.”
“No matter how far you drift or how long you have been gone…you can ALWAYS come home.”
by Br. Lou Camera of the Iota Chapter Alumni Outreach is revising efforts initiated under the Lost Boys program to find ‘lost’ brothers. We will now work directly with active chapters and Local Alumni Associations to collect, minimally, the email address of brothers not currently on file in MyDLP. Individuals can still, and are urged to, update their own information at www.dlp.org/ brotherhoodservices. The Alumni Outreach team is endeavoring to collect missing information of all initiated brothers. Efforts are underway to identify Alumni Coordinators in each chapter, as well as the Alumni Advisor. Alumni Outreach will be working directly with all Local Alumni Associations to complete the task. Jordan Cardoza (Alumni Membership Coordinator) is working to insure that contact information is accurate once a Brother graduates and goes alumni. Earlier efforts, asking that Brothers submit contact information of ‘lost Brothers,’ were not as successful as we had hoped they would be. Some Brothers were hesitant to just provide contact information, even though it was for the Fraternity Office. Additionally, some were not sure exactly how the information would be used.
Since its founding by Vernon L. Strickland III, Delta Lambda Phi has emphasized that being a brother is lifelong opportunity and commitment. It is the Fraternity’s hope that all Alumni will find value in one of our basic tenants: ‘once a brother, always a brother.’ Being able to communicate and provide opportunities for brothers after they leave active membership is a high priority for the Alumni Services and Engagement team. I would like to extend personal thanks and congratulations to Brother Morgan Morris, Beta Zeta, for the numerous updates submitted during our initial endeavor. In the full spirit of giving, Bro. Morris asked that a donation be made to the Delphi Foundation in lieu of the free conference registration he was awarded. If there are any questions or concerns, please contact any other member of the Alumni Services and Engagement team.
How to Make a Sustainable Lifetime Committment, While Still Living Your Life by Br. Orie Givens of the Alpha Sigma Chapter Commitment is scary and powerful. It’s a thoughtful and intentional action among individuals and organizations. Some of us thrive from it. And some avoid it at all costs. As Brothers of Delta Lambda Phi, we all made a lifelong commitment. But, things are different when you’re out of school. And throughout the course of our brotherhood journey, we find different ways to be committed – to one another and the Fraternity. Some take a direct role in supporting their home chapter, local region or the fraternity-at-large. Others volunteer their presence at events, assist with recruitment efforts or share their resources. And, of course, there is the always-welcomed financial donation to help keep the accounts afloat. There is always a way to be committed to the fraternity and yourself as a brother, and it may be different than what you think. Take Paul Mercurio (Alpha Chi), for instance. I met Br. Mercurio the summer of 2002, just after I became a brother. My chapter, Alpha Sigma, hosted the (National) Convention on the Ohio University campus in Athens, Ohio. Over many years, we kept in contact, but other than the occasional fraternity event, we rarely saw each other and our friendship was Facebook-based. But, recently, we found ourselves living in the same place for the first time ever. So, instead of the quick phone interview, we opted for a much more scenic location for our interview about commitment - an impromptu walk over the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City on a seasonably warm and clear November Sunday afternoon.
“Think, what does being involved mean to you? What do you want to do to be involved?” Br. Mercurio said while we climbed toward the center of the bridge with the bright, white light of the sun beaming in our faces. “You have to search within yourself to figure out what you want to see happen, then ask how to make it happen.“ Br. Mercurio’s perspective on commitment to the fraternity is deeply rooted in providing your skills to meet Delta Lambda Phi’s needs whenever possible. He got the nickname Johnny Appleseed for starting or supporting colonies wherever he moved. Whether it was board work or mentorship, he sees being an active alumnus as a very active, present role. Just like some guys wear suspenders and others wear belts, there is more than one way to show your commitment, and depending on where you are in life, that role will surely change. “Everyone knows what the alumni is supposed to do. Most people choose not to,” said Br. Tony Holt, (Theta), an Atlanta-based alumnus with over two decades of fraternity history. “Most folks will show up for a party, but won’t stay to clean it up.” When asked about the role of alumni and commitment, he didn’t mince words. “After your stint as an active brother, you’re supposed to become an active alumnus,” said Br. Holt. He defines that in many ways, including being a physical presence when needed to support the chapter, assisting in rituals or other events, or providing other volunteer support. And he says that being a good alumnus starts with good pledge education.
“If you’re taught the correct way, you’re available to be an additional body,” said Br. Holt. When we join Delta Lambda Phi, we go through that education. We learn about the organization, and also how to be good stewards of it. Maintaining our rituals and traditions and maintaining a fruitful and thriving active chapter are very important, too. But the final piece – and arguably the most important – is what happens well beyond pledge education, and even college itself. For some, though, the obvious question might be ‘why?’ Why maintain that commitment? Why give after I graduate? “My motivation to continue to stay involved has always been to provide that opportunity for actives to become a part of the brotherhood, to become alumni, to have that experience,” said Br. Ernie Hall (Mu). Br. Hall’s fraternity legacy is well-known, and from his perspective, that engagement is about paying it forward. Demonstrating commitment by helping to keep the organization strong for future brothers. Of course, our lives require that we commit to other things or that we take time and focus on other aspects of our life. Maybe we simply can’t volunteer for the Fraternity Office, or mentor a colony, or we live far away from our home chapter. Or, like me, your home chapter isn’t around anymore. Then, the level and type of commitment might change…to something more personal, and arguably even more important. In the case of Br. Mercurio and I, and our walk across the bridge discussing brotherhood, it occurred to me that if it weren’t for DLP, we probably wouldn’t have met. He grew up in upstate New York, I was from Ohio and at no time before this point were we living in the same place. But being brothers, and living in a new location, was a blessing that is all too welcome living miles away from home.
“I think that’s one way to get really involved, to keep things grounded on a local level and out of the internet,” Br. Mercurio remarked when asked about Local Alumni Associations as we paused at the top of the bridge, surrounded by the water and landmarks in and around the New York Harbor.
“I think that a lot of times Brothers, we may feel kind of, a sense of guilt. Because we aren’t necessarily rolling up our sleeves and contributing in the same way at the same intensity as we had before,” he explained. “The reality is that it requires different things of us at different points.”
“It gets you out of your routine of the daily life.”
Commitment to DLP past active chapter status isn’t just completing a set of model alumni checklists, but it is maintaining the Fraternity as an active part of your life – whatever that looks like for you. It can involve using your skills and strengths in an official capacity, or it can mean spending actual physical time with brothers on a regular basis. It can be as simple as writing a check, or as time-consuming as spending hours volunteering for an event. The best way to do it is just to do it, in your own fabulous way.
Indeed, for some brothers the notion of commitment to the Fraternity at this stage is purely within intimate local social circles. And that’s ok, too. “A lot of what the Fraternity is for me is the people that I’ve met,” said Br. Ariel Bedak of the Xi Chapter, a former fraternity officer who now lives in Southern California. “I’ve made some of the best friendships that I have, and a lot of people that I don’t get to see or talk to very often, but when we do talk, there’s a special bond that’s there. He admits that after his time in the Fraternity Office he felt “exhausted and jaded” by fraternity life, and compares his journey with Delta Lambda Phi to his spiritual journey being Jewish. He says that LAAs are ok, but it might be just easier to hang out without all of the formality. That perspective shows it’s important to recognize that our relationship with the Fraternity won’t always be without complications… or the need for space. “It took a while for me to grapple with the idea that Delta Lambda Phi would mean different things to me, and I would mean different things to it at different points,” said Russell Martin. “It’s very fluid; one’s relationship with the fraternity is very dynamic.” Br. Martin (Alpha Rho) says that grad school became a priority in his life around 2010, causing him to refocus his energy and change how he engaged with the Fraternity. Now living in Switzerland, he personally understands that the dynamics between a brother and DLP ebb and flow.
Be committed to making Delta Lambda Phi a part of your life again. Make it local – find a Brother in your area to have coffee with (or walk a landmark bridge with), whether they are from your chapter or not. Find your way to a convention, or even a conference – renew your engagement at this new place in your life and continue to find ways to reinforce the bonds of brotherhood. And if you ain’t got time for that – there are many places where you can help foster brotherhood with financial support. A cause very close to my heart is the newly-announced Timothy Ortyl Memorial Conference Travel Fund, which can help actives cover some of the expenses associated with attending conferences. Make your coins make a difference. Your dollars could help to fund the Brotherhood experience for others and enhance the experience for us all. Imagine the programs we could have for Brothers, now and to come, if we all made a monthly sustaining donation to the Fraternity equal to a happy hour (I live in NYC, so that’s about $40 on a good day). Now that’s commitment, for sure.
Join us for the Spring 2016 Regional Conferences! by Br. Rob Lydick, Chief Operations Officer
Long before we closed the book on the Fall 2015 Regional Conferences, planning was already well underway for this spring! Brothers from all over North America will gather in each of our three regions for educational workshops, a discussion of what’s happening in Delta Lambda Phi, and fun! Tier registration is now open for the following on MyDLP:
• WRC - Los Angeles, CA - March 4-6 • ERC - Providence, RI - March 18-20 • CRC - Ann Arbor, MI - April 1-3
Regional Conferences offer you a chance to catch up with Brothers you haven’t seen for a while, meet new Brothers from all over the world, and/or go on an adventure with those you see regularly. Educational workshops allow for learning and discussion on hot topics our members are presented with in today’s world. Presentations and panels on the latest happenings in DLP keep you informed and ensure that YOUR voice is heard in our fraternity. The list goes on and on...whether you’ve been to every Regional Conference for the past several years or haven’t been in nearly a decade, these events have something for everyone in DLP. Register for one in your region or join us for all of them! For more information, visit the event pages on Confluence and Facebook.
White & Gold Weekend by Br. Julian Casillas, Chief Alumni Services Officer As the sun sets on the Vegas strip so does the inaugural White & Gold Weekend. As I sit here in the Las Vegas airport reminiscing on the great times that were had I can not help but to feel a strong sense of pride in our brotherhood and the alumni who represent the meaning behind a Lifelong Journey. The alumni weekend is rooted in the founding ideals of our brotherhood, a safe and fun place to enjoy the fraternal experience, for the rest of our lives. I would like to take a moment and send my sincere gratitude to key players that made this weekend successful: our Director of Alumni Engagement, Br. Zach Ozbun, who played an integral part in the weekend’s execution, beginning preparations almost 6 months ago; the DLPAA Board whose support and presence made a clear statement of its direction in the coming years; and lastly, all of the brothers who joined us from across North America which allowed our alumni weekend to DOUBLE IN SIZE from years past!
Their support also allowed us to raise a substantial amount of funds for the DLPAA Programs, including, the David L. West Convention Assistance Fund, Tim Ortyl Memorial Conference Travel Fund, and the Shining Knight Fund. Needless to say it has been an honor and privilege to carry the alumni weekend to the next level. We hope to see everyone in 2017! Announcement on location and dates will be made by Convention 2016. Adios, Vegas!
DLPAA Program Overview by Br. Zach Ozbun of the Beta Mu Chapter
Greetings Brothers! The Delta Lambda Phi Alumni Association and the Office of Alumni Services & Engagement are proud to announce some new and revised programming initiatives for the Brotherhood. The guidance of the Alumni Affairs Committee, in conjunction with feedback from you, has been utilized to develop and implement better programs benefitting alumni and active brothers. Regional Conferences & Convention You may have noticed a larger alumni presence at our Regional Conferences and Convention. These events are a great way to reconnect with Brothers and the Fraternity! As our alumni-base continues to grow, Alumni Services & Engagement is excited to sponsor and present more alumni-centered activities at our Regional Conferences and Convention. Currently, we are offering workshops and presentations focused on our alumni. In the futurm ,we would like to add excursions and other events that cater more to our alumni. This year, we are also excited to utilize these events as a time for participants in our newest service, Lambda Mentors Program, to meet and get to know fellow mentors and mentees.
White & Gold Weekend (Formerly Alumni Weekend of Fun) Alumni Weekend of Fun has been re-branded and will now be called White & Gold Weekend. The updated name better reflects the purpose of the weekend and the values of the Fraternity. Feedback from Brothers who have attended previous weekends indicates attendees would like a little more structure and sponsored events. Alumni Services & Engagement researched opportunities in Las Vegas, including shows, social events, and the obligatory buffet. Registration is open on MyDLP! If you have any questions or concerns about Alumni Services & Engagement, our programming, or would like to share any ideas, please do not hesitate to contact Brother Zach Ozbun, Director of Alumni Engagement (email@example.com). We look forward to seeing many of you at our upcoming events!
Lambda Mentors Program The Lambda Mentors Program is a new way for our active brothers to have better access to Delta Lambda Phiâ€™s Alumni! Participants in this program are paired with an alumni brother in the same field of study or career field. Mentors and mentees participate in monthly round table discussions covering topics of interest to the mentees. Some of this fallâ€™s topics included networking, resume building, professional goal setting, and interviewing skills. In addition to our monthly roundtable discussions, mentors and mentees complete 1-on-1 meetings to discuss additional topics, including current events and trends related to their mutual field of study or career path. Feedback has been positive and we are excited to build this program to better serve more active brothers. If you are interested in participating in the Lambda Mentors Program, applications are available at www.dlp.org/alumni.
LAA Leader Spotlight by Br. Sean Gerardino, President of the South Florida LAA
Background A graduate of Florida International University and alumnus of the Beta Delta Chapter. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Sociology/Anthropology and Women’s Studies along with an M.Ed. is Higher Education Administration. Professional Passions Sean’s work is committed in higher education at FIU while teaching ESOL courses at Miami Dade College. He hopes to continue his work in education by using film to teach topics in sociology and LGBT causes on path to achieve a long term goal of pursuing an Ed.D.
Q&A with Br. Julian Casillas, Chief Alumni Services Officer Julian: What were your first impressions of DLP before rushing? Sean: I was inspired at how out these individuals were because my close friends knew but I was still uncomfortable with myself in so many ways. They essentially inspired me to just be myself and be proud of who I was/am. Julian: What was your favorite memory as an active brother? Why? Sean: The year after I joined my pledge brother became my dorm roommate.
There was a third room with a guy that left because he didn’t want to live with two gay guys and the next guy left too. We were able to get another fraternity brother living on campus to become our roommate. The room number was 226 and our brothers named it “Club 226”. We were the go to place for all the fraternal functions. Julian: What was your favorite memory at a fraternity-wide event? Sean: So many come to mind. I remember always being excited for Rush week. I always like meeting new potential members. Our annual event DLP Divas was always a lot of fun, and the retreats were amazing. But if I had to choose one I would say a retreat we did to the panhandle. We met with the colonies from UCF and Embry Riddle. I met several people at those events and the drive up there I think was about 8 or 10 hours in a car filled with my brothers. Julian: What would you tell a potential new member as the single best reason to join DLP? Sean: My current roommate is a fraternity brother.
A large part of my social circle is made up of members of the fraternity. I have spent every major holiday with them; traveled with them so many times. We have our annual trips to Key West, Gaydays Orlando and Gay Camping just to name a few. I lived in Georgia for a year after I finished my master’s and I never lost touch with my brothers. When I moved away and had no one near me they were always just a call away. If you put in the effort you will get the lifelong brotherhood. Julian: Tell us about your experience as an alumnus? What do you do and what has the South Florida LAA been up to? Sean: I am the president of the South Florida Local Alumni Association. I have been since it was started and the position was kind of thrown at me against my will. I do not regret it because it has helped me get to know alumni from other parts of the country that now live in South Florida. My favorite activity is our retreats. The first two retreats we did were camping trips, they were a lot of fun. Earlier this year in September we went to Ybor City. It is in Tampa and it has a great gay scene. We didn’t have a big crowd but those of us who went did bond and had a blast. Julian: Why do you feel it’s important to be involved as an alumnus? Sean: In the gay community at times it can be difficult to get a close circle of friends, at least in Miami. A lot of people are guarded, they are not genuine, they may use you, or they only want a hook up. As adults you don’t always make friends as easily as you did when you were a kid, but with my fraternity brothers, even the ones I only recently met, there is always a shared bond. Although we did not become brothers from the same chapter we are still connected.
QUICK QUESTIONS: What’s the last show you binge watched? The Walking Dead, includes Fear the Walking Dead, and webisodes. What song do you currently have on repeat? Book of love by Peter Gabriel, since I saw it on South Park I have had it stuck in my head. What’s the last movie you saw? The Wonder Woman animated movie, I had friends over and we saw it together. Last concert/show you attended? Marilyn Manson and Smashing Pumpkins Best vacation destination so far. Costa Rica, I went earlier this year as a 30 birthday present to myself.
Brotherly Buzz: Br. Todd Garcia Awarded by Br. Rob Lydick of the Alpha Rho Chapter
Alpha Delta alumnus and San Diego City Council member, Todd Gloria, was recently awarded the Sarria Gold Medal by the The International Imperial Court. The medal was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Imperial Court. This organization was founded by Jose Julio Sarria back in 1965 as a safe space for LGBT people to meet and raise funds. Sarria was the the first openly gay candidate to run for public office in 1961 many years before Harvey Milk. The primary focus of the organization today is to raise money for charity. Br. Gloria, who previously served as Interim Mayor of San Diego, was honored at a state gala dinner in Portland, Oregon, along with special guests that included Judy and Dennis Shepard (founders of the Matthew Shepard Foundation), Stuart Milk (founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation), and Dustin Lance Black (Academy Award winning screenwriter/Tom Daley’s boyfriend).
An Awesome Alumnus: Br. Adam Steckel by Br. Orie Givens of the Alpha Sigma Chapter
Br. Adam Steckel (Alpha Rho) is one of our Brothers that’s well-known for his commitment to fraternity affairs. “As a brother and mentor, Adam has always made sure the experience of the new pledges, brothers and alumni is as powerful and memorable as possible, creating new shared bonds everywhere he goes,”said Alumni Association President Br. Bryan Guffey (Alpha Psi) From the time he worked with fellow colonists to start Alpha Rho at Penn State University in 1997, until his recent retirement from the DLP Board of Directors, Br. Steckel’s mantra has been “try something new and keep learning,” something he says has enabled him to keep involved in a variety of different ways.
“I always wanted my involvement to be teaching new things,” said Br. Steckel. “ You don’t get paid, so you gotta find ways to get something out of the experience for yourself because that’s what keeps you going.” And he certainly did keep going – Br. Steckel said he’s worked with expansion, helped to build the first chapter-based Alumni Association that provided a model for our fraternity-wide organization, worked with the committee to reorganize the fraternity structure, and more. Sometimes, he said, he jumped into a new project with more motivation than information. “[Policy Governance] sounded like a really good structure that would help bolster some of the weak areas within the organization…but I kinda didn’t know a whole lot about it,” explained Br. Steckel. “It was another opportunity to learn that turned into ideas that helped bring about our current fraternity office organization. And he says that seeing (former) Executive Director Chris Newman (Omega) in action is one of his moments of pride. “It was an exciting [time] because we were working at such a high level,” said Br. Steckel. Though he’s been involved with some aspect of DLP life during the majority of his 18 years of brotherhood, he says that he’s also taken his own time. But never for too long, and he’ll admit that, like many of us, his relationship with DLP is one of co-dependence (but the good kind). “I loved the feeling of helping Delta Lambda Phi, in particular, because when I joined it was a fairly small, new organization,” said Br. Steckel. “There just seemed to always be something that needed to be worked on…I care about it too much and I really want to see it blossom.”
Though Br. Steckel values the work at the national level, he also stressed the importance of creating local spaces for Alumni to contribute, whether supporting their chapter alumni association or creating one. Something that could help mitigate of our biggest concerns as a greek organization. “We still have the problem in Delta Lambda Phi of chapter mortality,” said Br. Steckel. “If you’re hesitant about the idea of going to the fraternity office… just go back to the place you know and love and the place that you have a nostalgic connection to, the brothers you have.” For him, the service to the Fraternity has given him so much – learning, brotherhood, experience – but he also said that you get out of it what you put in. “There is so much you can learn from the fraternity and there is so much you can get out of staying in touch and staying connected with it, “ said Br. Steckel.
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