Pacific University Greek Senate declined a proposal for a co-ed fraternity March 14 saying that the current Greek system needed focus first. Lambda Omega Delta would have been Pacific’s first co-ed fraternity. While they met the requirements for a new Greek group, PUGS said in a letter that the Greek system is “simply not in a place stable enough to support a new chapter.”
The idea for Lambda Omega Delta started when two friends, juniors Eva Forrester and Heather Nichelle-Peres discussed reasons they did not pledge this past fall. They decided to start working on the requirements to start a new Greek group at Pacific. With 12 members, two advisers and a constitution all for Lambda Omega Delta, Forrester and Nichelle-Peres met with PUGS on March 10 and answered questions regarding their intentions for the fraternity with the hope of becoming officially recognized.
Four days later, PUGS gave a letter to Forrester and Nichelle-Peres that said their proposal was denied.
Forrester and Nichelle-Peres said they heard rumors from third parties that may have hurt the proposals chances for success. Among the rumors were that PUGS thought Lambda Omega Delta was being created to undermine current Greek groups and that other Greek groups didn’t want to welcome the co-ed addition. Rumors even cirrculated that the reason for a co-ed fraternity was to organize orgies.
“I expected to hear a no because of the rumors I heard from different people,” said Forrester.
According to Forrester and Nichelle-Peres, Lambda Omega Delta was going to be created as a new, gender ambiguous option for transfer and non-traditional students. However all students would be welcome whether they were transfers or not.
“We simply wanted the option to be in a co-ed Greek life environment to foster and embrace understanding and platonic unity between the sexes,” said Forrester.
Forrester and Nichelle-Peres also discussed with PUGS that a co-ed fraternity would make a safe place for those who do not identify with a specific gender.
“It would have been a great place for them to feel invited and accepted,” said Forrester.
In an attempt to clarify and halt the rumors Nichelle-Peres talked with Assistant Director of Student Activities Jennifer Crowder and PUGS President Alyssa Russo. Nichelle-Peres gave them her contact information and told them to hand it out to anyone who had questions about what Lambda Omega Delta was trying to accomplish.
No one ever contacted Nichelle-Peres about the motivations of Lambda Omega Delta being co-ed.
“We were repeatedly told that our proposal was given serious consideration,” said Nichelle-Peres. “I hope that was the case.”
While ultimately their proposal was declined, PUGS said they would take action about the areas of the Greek system that are not being met.
“We have realized other areas where we need to grow,” said PUGS in a letter to Forrester and Nichelle-Peres declining their fraternity. “Specifically with regard to inclusion of our growing transfer and non-traditional students. You have shed light on an issue that we need to be very intentional in our approaches and practices as our population of diverse gender- identifying students grows. Your work has certainly provided us with feedback and an opportunity to further reflect as we continue to improve our current system.”
Out of the 12 people intending to pledge for Lambda Omega Delta, only two plan on pledging this coming fall semester with other fraternities or sororities.
Lambda Omega Delta has since disbanded and the group does not have plans to reapply.
At the time of publication, the PUGS Vice President of Inter-Greek Relations Dakota Kinyon was not available for comment.