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 15 graduate alumni professional chapters[4] in universities and cities across the United States. La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Incorporated is the only Latino fraternity to be chartered at all 8 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 major 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

Lambda Upsilon Lambda started out as an idea in the Summer of 1981 by 11 Latino students in Cornell University, who felt the need for more brotherhood, unity, and cultural expression of their Latino heritage on campus. Specifically, Founding Father Hernando Londoño, who was the main pioneer among the founding line of the Latino Greek organization, argued to his peers that Latinos students at the institution only had the choice between joining 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, and thus he wanted to create an organization that would work on creating leaders within the Latino population who would make establishing a sense of unity among the Latino community their highest priority. It is for this reason during the Fall semester of 1981, after four meetings amongst Londoño and his fellow Latino students, that they 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. The next semester in January 1982, the fraternity was officially registered with Cornell administration. Following this, the next month an official initiation ceremony took place that would make the fraternity's officially recognized founding date as February 19, 1982, with the 11 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] Like other founding lines for different LGOs 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.[13][14] 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 (as Phi Iota Alpha was inactive at the aforementioned level for a long duration of time until 1987 when it was revived).

20th century expansion and attaining NALFO membership

The fraternity throughout the rest of the 1980s expanded into eight different campuses located across the North-Eastern states of New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Then throughout the 1990s, during the fragmentation phase of the Latino Greek Movement (which saw the creation and major expansion for many LGOs), the fraternity was chartered at an additional 35 campuses across nine states and Washington, D.C. It also additionally 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.[15]

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] Eventually, after much debate, the decision was made amongst its members to keep Lambda Upsilon Lambda from that moment on, exclusive, to those who identified as male. The result of this led to the Beta Chapter coming up with its female members, the concept of a Latina sorority on-campus that would be able to unite the community's women on campus. Shortly afterwards in December 1987, the university saw its first Latina sorority on campus founded, Sigma Lambda Upsilon, Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc.[17]

In 1988, the Alpha chapters of both Lambda Upsilon Lambda and Alpha Phi Alpha, alongside the student organization known as 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] Thus helping create the first Latina-focused sorority to be founded at an Ivy-league institution.[18]

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.[19] His presentation primarily focused on the topic of Puerto Rican colonialism.

21st century expansion

Throughout the 2000s, 2010s, and 2020s, in the current adelante (moving forward) phase of LGOs, the fraternity has seen major expansion across eleven states and on over 30 campuses. Lambda Upsilon Lambda has seen an increased presence across the South-Eastern part of the United States, with it being the first Latino fraternity chartered on many campuses throughout the Mid-Atlantic region of the country.[20] It has also begun to see an establishment of chapters in the South-West, with multiple chapters being established in Texas and California.[21]

In 2006, Lambda Upsilon Lambda at James Madison University hosted Jaime Escalante, the subject of the 1988 film Stand and Deliver which was based on the time he gained national attention in 1982 for his work in the Los Angeles educational system. At the university, he served as a guest speaker for the undergraduate student body and the greater community of Harrisonburg, Virginia.[22]

In May 2012, La Unidad Latina 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.[23][24] 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.[25][26]

In May 2018, the fraternity closed its Epsilon Chapter on the campuses of the University at Buffalo and Buffalo State College for undisclosed reasons.[27]

On August 1, 2020, the seventh of the Founding Fathers of the fraternity, Edwin Rivera, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 59.[28][29]

On June 25, 2022, the 13th Founding Father of Lambda Upsilon Lambda, James Otto "Jim" Ziebell, passed away at the age of 67.[30]

Fraternal ideology

Mission

The mission of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Incorporated is to primarily 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.[31][20] Specifically, the fraternity seeks to meet this mission through:

Pillars

The four pillars of Lambda Upsilon Lambda to promote leadership are:[32]

Philanthropy - P.A.T.H.E (Providing Access To Higher Education)

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/university tours, providing P.A.T.H.E. initiative workshops, and advocating for the improvement of the educational system. In participating in 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.[33] Nationwide, a portion of the organization's chapters allocate and provide for local scholarships to either current or prospective college students.[34]

LULF- La Unidad Latina Foundation

The La Unidad Latina Foundation was established in 1999 as a platform for a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to academic excellence and leadership in the Latino community.[35] LULF is a branch of the fraternity and is operated by active alumni members. The educational scholarships offered by LULF are awarded to Latino/Hispanic undergraduate students that meet moderate requirements and range from $200-$1,000.

Symbolism

Pre-Colombian symbolism

Lambda Upsilon Lambda widely uses the tumbaga zoomorphic-jaguar pectoral ornament of Quindío in its fraternal imagery.
Lambda Upsilon Lambda widely uses the tumbaga zoomorphic-jaguar pectoral ornament of Quindío in its fraternal imagery.

Lambda Upsilon Lambda chooses to heavily use Pre-Colombian imagery to be representative of its goals and ideals like many other LGOs such as Sigma Lambda Upsilon and Lambda Pi Chi.[36] The fraternity specifically derives most of its symbolism and branding from the Muisca, Tolima, and Quimbaya cultural groups of the Colombian Andes and their zoomorphic tumbaga works.[37][38][39] These groups (most notably the Muisca) were renowned for how they used gold throughout their various traditions and ceremonies. This led to the widespread passing of myths and tales by the Spanish conquistadors of the vast amounts of gold resources that were available to be extracted from the indigenous folk.[40] One of these tales is mentioned in the fraternal song, "City of Gold", which references the mythical city of El Dorado that various European explorers (such as Francisco Vázquez de Coronado and Walter Raleigh) tried to find in the Americas but were unable to locate.[41][42] This largely being due to it actually being originally used to describe a Muisca zipa (tribal chief) who would cover himself in gold in an elaborate induction ceremony.[43] The king's realm was based in the Altiplano Cundiboyacense and included the holy Lake Guatavita site of the Muisca people.[44]

Colors and fraternal crest

The primary colors of Lambda Upsilon Lambda are brown and gold. Meanwhile, the secondary colors are white and red.[45] Each of these is 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 13 rays can be seen 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.[46]

The fraternal crest has had three different versions since 1982.[47] The first version had a different art style and color scheme compared to the current one, with it also having 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 on it. 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 features 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 predominately come from the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Members within this organization 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).[48]

There are three ways to obtain membership within the fraternity, which are gaining it through an undergraduate chapter, an alumni professional chapter, or receiving honorary status. Undergraduate and alumni professional chapters have separate academic requirements including prerequisites for membership. Honorary membership is decided by the organization's legislative yearly.[49] The fraternity is a nationwide based organization and is still expanding in several states within the United States.

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).[50]

Notable members

Politics

Literature

Academics

Founding Fathers

La Unidad Latina was founded by 13 individuals from Cornell University on February 19, 1982, 11 of whom were undergraduate students and two who were faculty members of the institution. The fraternity refers to them as the 13 founding fathers and knights, and since its inception, has added an additional honorary father, Angel Montañez.

The thirteen founders of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Incorporated are:[60]

  1. William Barba
  2. Dennis De Jesus
  3. Hernando Londoño
  4. Jesse Luis
  5. Samuel Ramos
  6. Tomas Rincon
  7. Edwin Rivera
  8. Mario Rivera
  9. Victor Rodriguez
  10. Victor Silva
  11. Jose Torres
  12. Henry Villareal
  13. James Otto "Jim" Ziebell

Governing structure

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 11 members who include the National Council President, the chairman of the board, the Vice Chairman of the Board, and eight additional directors.[61] The second governing body of Lambda Upsilon Lambda is the National Council, which is tasked with overseeing day-to-day operations of the organization, such as chapter management and expansion. It is made up of 16 members who include the National Council President, Comptroller, three departmental officers, and 11 regional vice presidents.[62]

Additional planning for the organization is also done during conferences held within the fraternity's annual national conventions.[63]

National chapters

Main article: List of Lambda Upsilon Lambda chapters

The 11 Administrative Regions of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Incorporated within the United States.
The 11 Administrative Regions of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Incorporated within the United States.

The fraternity has 74 undergraduate chapters (four of which are provisional chapters and one of which has been closed) and 15 graduate alumni professional chapters.[64][65][66] Lambda Upsilon Lambda has the honorary Pi Sigma Chapter reserved for deceased members of the fraternity.

The 89 chapters are divided nationally into 11 administrative regions across the United States:[62]

Affiliations

Further information: National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations

Lambda Upsilon Lambda is a member of the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO). The fraternity joined the organization in 1999 and was the second Latino fraternity based on the East coast to join the council.

NALFO is composed of 19 Latino Greek-letter sororities and fraternities. The association has the goal of promoting and fostering positive interfraternal relations, communication, and the development of all Latino fraternal organizations through mutual respect, leadership, honesty, professionalism, and education.[67]

Fraternal dates of celebration

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