Lambda Upsilon Lambda
ΛΥΛ - LUL
Lambda Upsilon Lambda crest.png
FoundedFebruary 19, 1982; 40 years ago (February 19, 1982)
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York
TypeSocial and Cultural Interest
AffiliationNALFO
EmphasisLatino
ScopeNational
Mission statement
La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Incorporated primarily seeks to take a leadership role in meeting the needs of the Latino community through academic achievement, cultural awareness, community service, and promotion of the Latino culture and people.
[1]
MottoLa Unidad Para Siempre
Colors  Brown
  Gold
  White
  Red
Symbol
Fraternal Symbol
Fraternal Symbol
PhilanthropyP.A.T.H.E. Initiative
Chapters89
Members3,000+ lifetime
NicknamesLa Unidad Latina, LUL, Elite Lambdas
Headquarters511 Sixth Avenue, PMB #39
New York, NY 10011
USA
Websitewww.launidadlatina.org

La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. (ΛΥΛ or LUL) is a Latino-based collegiate fraternity. It was founded at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York on February 19, 1982,[2] and has 74 active undergraduate chapters[3] and fifteen graduate alumni professional chapters in universities and cities across the United States.[4]

La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Incorporated is the only Latino fraternity to be chartered at all eight Ivy League universities.[5] While founded on Latino principles, Lambda Upsilon Lambda has been open to men of all races since its inception.[6] The fraternity is a member of the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO) and is its third oldest fraternal member by founding date. It also has the second longest-running continuously active status at the collegiate level for the association.[7]

History

Origins

The fraternity was founded alongside other members of the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations during the post-1975 wave of the Latino Greek Movement which followed the "principio" (principle) phase kickstarted by student activism on college campuses in 1898.[8] In the 1980s, the "fuerza" (force) phase of Greek-lettered Latino organizations began as the result of Latino students feeling they had to urgently create systems where their voices could be heard and where they could help increase in the amount of Latinos enrolled in institutions nationwide.[9] This being a primary focus of social justice activists within the community at the time as a result of the stagnant growth of Latino student enrollment during the 1980s and early 1990s.[10]

Establishment

In the summer of 1981, Lambda Upsilon Lambda started as an idea of eleven Latino students at Cornell University, who felt the need for more brotherhood, unity, and cultural expression of their Latino heritage on campus. Founding father Hernando Londoño, who was the main pioneer among the founding line of the Latino Greek organization, argued to his peers that Latino students at Cornell only had the choice between traditionally white or historically black fraternities.[11] Additionally, he believed that the other Latino groups on campus were not able to create a big enough sense of unity among the community there; he wanted to create an organization that would create Latino leaders who would make establishing a sense of unity among the Latino community their highest priority.

In the fall semester of 1981, after four meetings between Londoño and his fellow Latino students, it was decided to name their club "La Unidad Latina". It was then subsequently registered with the university on September 15, 1981. This club would set the foundation for discussions to create a Latino fraternity on campus. In January 1982, the fraternity was officially registered with the Cornell administration.

In February 19, 1982, an official initiation ceremony took place, with the eleven undergraduates and two additional faculty members inducting themselves as the Alpha line of the Alpha chapter of Lambda Upsilon Lambda, and referring to themselves as the Founding Fathers.[12] The founders are: William Barba, Dennis De Jesus, Hernando Londoño, Jesse Luis, Samuel Ramos, Tomas Rincon, Edwin Rivera, Mario Rivera, Victor Rodriguez, Victor Silva, Jose Torres, Henry Villareal, and James Otto "Jim" Ziebell.[13] The fraternity later added an additional honorary father, Angel Montañez.

Like other founding lines for Latino Greek organizations during the "fuerza" era, the founding fathers modeled their probate ceremony after the Greek organizations in the National Pan-Hellenic Council like Alpha Phi Alpha.[14][15] The organization's establishment at Cornell University made it the first Latino-based fraternity to be chartered at an Ivy League institution and the third oldest to be active at the time at the collegiate level.

20th century and NALFO

Throughout the rest of the 1980s, the fraternity expanded into eight different campuses located across the North-Eastern states of New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. In 1986, the fraternity briefly considered becoming co-ed as the founding line of the Beta chapter at Binghamton University included two women, Carol Lasso and Vanina Gonzalez.[16] After much debate, the fraternity's members decided to keep Lambda Upsilon Lambda from that moment on, exclusive, to those who identified as male. As a result, the Beta chapter and its female members came up with the concept of a Latina sorority that would be able to unite the community's women on campus. In December 1987, Sigma Lambda Upsilon, Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc., became the first Latina sorority on campus. [17]

In 1988, the Alpha chapters of both Lambda Upsilon Lambda and Alpha Phi Alpha, and the student organization La Asociacion Latina contributed significantly to the establishment of Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc. at their founding institution of Cornell University.[11] This was the first Latina-focused sorority to be founded at an Ivy-league institution.[18]

Throughout the 1990s, during the fragmentation phase of the Latino Greek Movement (which saw the creation and major expansion of many Latina Greek organizations), the fraternity was chartered at an additional 35 campuses across nine states and Washington, D.C. It also joined the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations in September 1999 and became the second East Coast fraternity, after Lambda Alpha Upsilon, to join the majority West Coast and Mid-West conference instead of the majority East Coast ConcÌlio Nacional de Hermandades Latinas.[19]

In 1999, Lambda Upsilon Lambda co-hosted a presentation by Ricardo Jiménez of the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña at the University of Pennsylvania shortly after he and other members of the organization were given clemency by President Bill Clinton.[20] His presentation primarily focused on the topic of Puerto Rican colonialism.

21st century

Throughout the 2000s, 2010s, and 2020s, in the current adelante (moving forward) phase of Latina Greek organizations, the fraternity expanded to more than thirty campuses in eleven states. Lambda Upsilon Lambda has increased its presence across the southeastern United States, with is the first Latino fraternity chartered on many campuses throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.[21] It also established chapters in the southwest, with multiple chapters in Texas and California.[22]

In 2006, the James Madison University chapter hosted speaker Jaime Escalante, the subject of the 1988 film Stand and Deliver which was based on his work in the Los Angeles educational system..[23]

In May 2018, the fraternity closed its Epsilon chapter on the campuses of the University at Buffalo and Buffalo State College for undisclosed reasons.[24]

On August 1, 2020, the seventh of the founding fathers of the fraternity, Edwin Rivera, died unexpectedly at the age of 59.[25][26] On June 25, 2022, the 13th Founding Father of Lambda Upsilon Lambda, James Otto "Jim" Ziebell, died at the age of 67.[27]

Symbols

The primary colors of Lambda Upsilon Lambda are brown and gold. Its secondary colors are white and red.[28] These four colors are incorporated into the four quadrants of the fraternal crest. In the center of the Lambda Upsilon Lambda's crest, the mascot of the fraternity is featured on a shield. On the brown top-left quadrant, a scroll with an image of Latin America is shown. The gold top-right quadrant includes a red phrygian cap on top of caduceus with two hands shaking out of clouds in the center. In the white bottom-right quadrant, a sun with thirteen rays is shown above a mountain range in the backdrop of a Mesoamerican pyramid. The red bottom-left quadrant features two crossed swords behind a ribbon banner with the year 1982 on it and a hanging key pendant.[29]

The fraternal crest has had three different versions since 1982.[30] The first version had a different art style and color scheme, with additional elements such as thirteen sets of knight's armor on the top of the crest and an additional large ribbon banner containing the fraternity's name. Lambda Upsilon Lambda's second fraternal crest is almost identical to its current version, with the only difference being that the bottom-left quadrant's ribbon banner featured the fraternity's motto "La Unidad Para Siempre" on it instead of its founding year.

Membership

Lambda Upsilon Lambda's membership is predominantly Latino and Hispanic American in composition. Members are predominately from the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Members refer to each other as Hermanos (translated as brother in the Spanish language). Those undergoing the new membership education process are referred to as Caballeros (translated as gentlemen or knight in Spanish).[31]

There are three ways to obtain membership within the fraternity: through an undergraduate chapter, through an alumni professional chapter, or receiving honorary status. Undergraduate and alumni professional chapters have separate academic requirements and prerequisites for membership. Honorary membership is decided annually by the organization's legislative group.[32]

Members of the fraternity have access to a variety of different social and professional programs within the organization such LUL Out, which provides a supportive network to Hermanos who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community, and the Lambda Guilds, which are eight professional guilds within the organization that provide resources to Hermanos within different fields.[33]

Notable members

Academics

Literature

Politics

Activities

The mission of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity is to seek a leadership role in meeting the needs of the Latino community through academic achievement, cultural awareness, community service, and promotion of the Latino culture and people.[43][21] Specifically, the fraternity seeks to meet this mission through:

The four pillars of Lambda Upsilon Lambda are to promote leadership are academics, brotherhood, culture, and service[44]

Philanthropy – P.A.T.H.E

The goal of Lambda Upsilon Lambda's philanthropy, The P.A.T.H.E. Initiative (Providing Access To Higher Education), is to support middle school and high school students in their quest to graduate from a four-year college and beyond. The program supports local schools and organizations by mentoring future scholars, facilitating college and university tours, providing P.A.T.H.E. initiative workshops, and advocating for the improvement of the educational system. Through the P.A.T.H.E. initiative, Lambda Upsilon Lambda provides future scholars with the social, educational, and emotional support needed to reach these goals.[45] Nationwide, a portion of the organization's chapters allocate and provide for local scholarships to either current or prospective college students.[46]

Dates of celebration

Chapters

Main article: List of Lambda Upsilon Lambda chapters

The eleven administrative regions of Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity within the United States.
The eleven administrative regions of Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity within the United States.

The fraternity has 74 undergraduate chapters (four of which are provisional chapters and one of which has been closed) and fifteen graduate alumni professional chapters.[50][51][52] Lambda Upsilon Lambda has the honorary Pi Sigma chapter reserved for deceased members of the fraternity.

The 89 chapters are divided nationally into eleven administrative regions across the United States:[53]

Alumni groups

National Council and board

Lambda Upsilon Lambda has two national governing bodies that oversee different aspects of administration to help it continue to grow throughout the United States. The first is the board of directors which is tasked with alumni development, fund-raising, and strategic planning. It is made up of eleven members, including the National Council president, the chairman of the board, the vice chairman of the board, and eight additional directors.[54]

The second governing body of Lambda Upsilon Lambda is the National Council, which is tasked with overseeing the day-to-day operations of the organization, such as chapter management and expansion. It is made up of sixteen members, including the National Council president, comptroller, three departmental officers, and eleven regional vice presidents.[53]

Additional planning for the organization is also done during conferences held within the fraternity's annual national conventions.[55]

La Unidad Latina Foundation

The La Unidad Latina Foundation (LULF) was established in 1999 as a platform for a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to academic excellence and leadership in the Latino community.[56] LULF is a branch of the fraternity and is operated by active alumni members. LULF awards educational scholarships ranging from $200 to $1,000 to Latino/Hispanic undergraduate students that meet moderate requirements.

In May 2012, LULF made news headlines after raising over $125,000 dollars in support of a member of the organization who saw the loss of seven immediate family members in a fatal car accident.[57][58] The fraternity exceeded its goal of $100,000 and composed the fraternal song "The City of Gold" in honor of the respective Hermano and his family.[59][60]

References

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