Group seeking recognition

Campus Times
April 14, 2000


by Danny Craig
Features Editor

For sophomore Falone Serna, there is a desire to expand the definition of "Greek community" at the University of La Verne.

Serna and three of his peers -- junior Luis Juarez, junior Damien Silva and freshman Brandon Pollard -- comprise of the executive board of Delta Omicron Gamma, a proposed local fraternity to which these men seek recognition at ULV.

"We felt the students deserve another choice,"said Juarez.

Serna, who is currently acting as the group's president, said that the others members originated the idea to create Delta Omicron Gamma early last fall.

Juarez and Serna said that their intent in forming the organization is not to take away from the existing organizations, but rather strengthen the Greek system at ULV.

"The more Greek fraternities we have at this school, the more unified we'd be," said Jaurez, who is serving as the vice-president. Juarez said he and the other members feel the presence of a third fraternity would create a better balance with the three existing sororities on campus.

Giving a perspective from the only local Greek organization at ULV, Iota Delta Sorority president Araceli Esparza said she shares Juarez's sentiment with the possible balance that Delta Omicron Gamma could provide.

"If they're interested in being active and committed to being active in their organization, that's when it will work. The apathy is what's going to bring you down," she said.

ULV coordinator of Student Activities and Commuter Programs Michael Houdyshell said he also considers the benefits of an additional fraternity.

"It's good for the Greek community provided that the Greek community is ready for it, and La Verne is ready for it and the organization is ready for the Greek community," said Houdyshell.

The activities coordinator said that Serna and the other members have displayed motivation, but still has many of the logistics to work through before becoming officially recognized on campus.

"They've got a lot of work to do on the front end," said Houdyshell.

"Right now we are just taking the baby steps," said Juarez.

Although lacking a formal religious base, Serna said he hopes to promote values to his active members from his spiritual origins.

"I want to start off on the right foot and I want to keep it that way," said Serna. "I want to have a good image."

Juarez and Serna said they seek to build a brotherhood with a balanced emphasis on campus involvement and collegiate scholarship.

"We in no way want to be known as 'dogs'," said Serna of the fraternity's letters. The acronym of the organization is D.O.G. and Serna does not want the any misconceptions of the fraternity's name. "I know that maybe hard to look, but our letters mean a great deal to us."

Juarez said that members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Phi Delta Theta fraternities have been receptive to the proposal of their organization's recognition at ULV.

"As much as we want them to help us, we can help them," said Juarez.

Although focused locally, Serna said that he and the other members will entertain the idea of excepting a charter from a national fraternity after having been established at ULV. Many of the national and international Greek organizations at ULV began as local groups such as Phi Sigma Sigma and Phi Delta Theta.

With numerous aspirations, the drafting of a set of bylaws and working with Houdyshell, Delta Omicron Gamma will work to be prepared and recognized for next spring to take part in the interfraternal rush process, said Serna.

Serna said he has prided in the project as a new venue to get involved on campus. The president said he hopes to set a foundation for others to grow upon.

"When I graduate, I don't want this to end," said Serna.