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Potential fraternity aims to represent LGBTQ students, community

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Potential fraternity hopes to create safe space for LGBTQ men.

The Delta Lambda Phi interest group, a potential fraternity composed of gay, bisexual, transgender and progressive straight men, had its first meeting Monday evening. 

Nine Marshall University students and two faculty members gathered to begin the process of starting the fraternity after noticing a lack of LGBTQ representation on campus.

“Faculty members began to notice that was only one organization for LGBTQ students on campus while other minorities have a number of different organizations,” Jonathan Sutton, faculty adviser of the group, said. 

The group of students and faculty discussed different ideas for the fraternity during the summer, and although they haven’t been recognized as a national chapter, Sutton said that is their immediate goal.

Despite the group being targeted at a specific community, members of the meeting said that the potential chapter could have a big impact on campus.

“We would have the same purpose of any other frat,” Levi Haines said. “But we also want to foster a brotherhood for the LGBTQ community on campus and lead conversations about change in the surrounding area.”

When the topic of a potential discrimination arose, James Ticknor, a member of the group, said there is a distinct need for LGBTQ exposure on campus.

“Most ignorance towards different lifestyles come from a strong lack of exposure,” Ticknor said.

When met with the idea of adversity and struggles in the future, members said they were willing to fight for their space on campus.

“It’s so important to harbor safe spaces for all communities, not just select groups [on campus],” Rajon Stanton said. 

Members of the group said they had high expectations for the future even though the task at hand may seem overwhelming.

“If there begin to be various safe spaces on campus it could reassure students that they aren’t alone no matter how they’re feeling,” Jonathan Stonestreet, another member, said. 

The group is still in the beginning stages of forming, and members said they are determined to keep high spirits while recruiting new members.

“As long as we have enough members who are committed and willing to fight through ignorance then we’ll be able to overcome that,” Haines said. “We’ll always have a positive outlook.”

Joelle Gates can be contacted at [email protected]

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