A new chapter of Greek life at Illinois State University is unlike any other fraternity or sorority on campus and a new word was fashioned to fit its unique nature: frarority.
Lambda Psi Omega is a gender neutral, queer frarority established in October 2013. They welcome students who identify as male, female, transgender and for those who do not identify as any gender.
While other Greek organizations on campus call each other brothers or sisters, Lambda Psi Omega call themselves siblings. The mission of Lambda Psi Omega is to provide its members a family based on acceptance and equality.
“Some members of our founding line have been talking about building a Greek organization where people who identify as members of the LGBTQ community can feel welcome for over a year,” Marva Moody, elder for the public relations for Lambda Psi Omega, said. “We put those words into action officially in October of last semester.”
Other Greek chapters across the United States are creating organizations with the same mission as Lambda Psi Omega. Theta Pi Sigma from the University of California, Santa Cruz coins themselves the World’s First Gender Neutral Frarority, Moody said.
The purpose of Lambda Psi Omega being established was the feeling that nothing in the Greek community on campus was as welcoming to the LGBTQ community, Moody said.
Lambda Psi Omega is trying to create a strong sense of community for members who may have faced rejection in the past because of their sexuality.
According to Lambda Psi Omega’s mission, the organization will nourish self-discovery within its members while promoting self-wellness throughout life and utilize these tenets to assist in the development of leadership within its members.
“In all of my years attending ISU, I never felt like I would be fully accepted in Greek life without having to closet part of myself, until we established Lambda,” Moody said.
Any student is welcome to join Lambda Psi Omega no matter of their identity as long as they are supportive of the LGBTQ community. Students who become Lambda Psi Omega members must pay dues once a semester if accepted.
If a student wishes to join Lambda Psi Omega, they can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their Facebook page.
“I hope Lambda will make ISU a more welcoming place for its LGBTQ students,” Moody said. “I also hope that Lambda will build awareness giving those who don’t know about or don’t agree with the LGBTQ community the tools to be more knowledgeable, inclusive, respectful and accepting of their peers.”