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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

Small-but-mighty Greek letter programs bring vibrant, philanthropic engagement to campuses

Members of the Alpha Psi Lambda fraternity represent campus Greek life during Discover Day Feb. 19 at the Occhiato Student Center. [Today photo/Danielle Whitaker]

Going Greek

By Hailee Langowski


Hollywood tends to promote the wild party scene of Greek life in some films, which can stereotype the fraternity and sorority experience. It has the potential to cast an unfavorable light on Greek chapters.  

What’s going on around CSU Pueblo’s sororities and fraternities? Are there raging parties on campus or volunteer opportunities? Where can one even find this information?

The Student Engagement and Leadership Office at the Occhiato Student Center (OSC Room 102) headquarters what information on Greek life exists. COVID and graduating seniors have caused certain Greek clubs to become inactive, according to Fabian Sigala Orozco.

The university recently announced the addition of the Omicron Pi chapter of the historically Black Greek letter fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi. And the Alpha Psi Lambda Co-ed Fraternity – Alpha Zeta Chapter is one of the active fraternities on campus. This is a co-educational fraternity that welcomes all individuals and gender identities. 

Faith Valdez, an Alpha Psi Lambda member, learned about the organization through CSU Pueblo’s club involvement fair for students. She signed up, Alpha Psi Lambda reached out and together, they moved forward with the recruiting process. Valdez explained that members learn about the fraternity’s history and form bonds with other individuals in the chapter. 

Alpha Psi Lambda members take part in recruitment weeks, which take place at the start of each semester to spread the word about the fraternity. Members are also encouraged to participate in their chapter’s paint and study nights or informational meetings.  

The fraternity provides opportunities for new and current members to form friendships through events like trips, according to Valdez. The chapter recently met with members and alumni on a cabin trip to Idaho Springs. They’ve also gotten together for off-campus activities like bowling.

“We accept all different types of people; all races, backgrounds and ethnicities.” — Faith Valdez, Alpha Psi Lambda fraternity member


Making an impact

Valdez mentioned that the fraternity aims to undertake at least one fundraising and community service project each year. 

Volunteer opportunities, such as Rake Up Pueblo, are available to members of the Greek chapter.  The Senior Resource Development Agency hosts Rake Up Pueblo during the fall season, where seniors in Southern Colorado who cannot rake their lawns or pay for yard care can receive these services free from volunteers. 

Alpha Psi Lambda has also raised funds for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in the past. The most recent fundraiser, according to Valdez, was a supply drive which was a success, especially with cleaning materials during the pandemic. 

According to the CSU Pueblo website, Alpha Psi Lambda is a co-educational, Latino-oriented Greek letter intercollegiate fraternity. It was the first Greek letter organization in the United States for Latino college students. 

Although the fraternity is Latino-oriented, Valdez stated that everyone is welcome. 

“We accept all different types of people; all races, backgrounds and ethnicities.”


Across the state

How are other Colorado college campuses handling Greek life? Haley Wiedeman, the assistant student life director at Colorado Mesa University (CMU), oversees the Greek organizations. 

She said the Greek Council has recently experienced a significant drop in leadership, and the community was largely dormant for the past two years due to COVID. 

CMU’s purpose in reviving fraternity and sorority life on campus is to facilitate that group and host a community-wide Greek Week. It brings together the campus community and the Grand Junction community. 

 “It is pretty important for us to engage in the local community as well,” Weideman said

Independent financing supports CMU’s fraternities and sororities. All national organizations distribute budgets through various initiatives, she said.

Fraternities with higher GPAs, for example, might be eligible for more financing. Or, a sorority that contributes a certain number of hours to philanthropy and receives funding from its national governing organization.

Wiedeman said there needs to be a shift in attitude toward Greek life, from negative to positive.

“They are a person; they are not their predecessor’s past,” she said. “Trying to encourage them, uplift them and knowing they are doing things because they want good to come out of their efforts in their community.”

Alpha Psi Lambda’s Valdez said CSU Pueblo’s Greek community needs to have a more vibrant social media presence to help recruit more members. She believes that the fraternity’s Facebook page, Alpha Psi Lambda-Colorado State University-Pueblo, should be promoted to reach a larger audience. 

“Getting a shout-out or a share from the university page, in general, would really bring a lot of attention. Some people follow us, but they are mostly alumni and active members,” said Valdez. 

Alpha Psi Lambda’s enrollment is closed for this semester; however, if anyone wants to join, the chapter does have an open list for next semester. Those on the list will be contacted at the beginning of the 2022 Fall semester. 

** See related content: Fraternity and Sorority Life Council hosts Greek Olympics on campus **


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