Latino fraternity Alpha Psi Lambda coming back to Kent

Alpha Psi Lambda

Alpha Psi Lambda

Justin Graci

There has recently been a lot of interest in reviving Alpha Psi Lambda at Kent State, and the fraternity is on the verge of making a comeback as long as it gets enough members and participation.

About 29 years ago, 13 men and women founded the Alpha Psi Lambda fraternity at The Ohio State University. It was the first Latino, co-ed fraternity to ever exist, and since then it has become the nation’s largest. In 1997, a chapter was brought to Kent State and went dormant in 2006.

Samuel Laureano, Kent State 1998 alumnus and founder of the Alpha Psi Lambda Kappa chapter, is anticipating the return of the chapter.

“I’m excited about it,” he said. “Anyone who is a founder of any organization never wants to see their baby go dormant. It’s been a process where the national corporation has been trying to get it done, but now we’re sparking interest, and this might finally be it.”

Adriana De Los Santos, alumna member from the Alpha chapter, said there is a strong chance that the fraternity will return to Kent.

“The members that were here couldn’t find enough people that were interested to keep the chapter going, so it just kind of went dormant,” she said. “We haven’t had anyone contact us in those years, but recently we heard that students might be interested, and we figured we’d try to revitalize.”

Michelle Maday, national president of Alpha Psi Lambda, said the fraternity could provide a lot of opportunities to students.

“I think there is an opportunity for Latino students and others at Kent State to get involved in something that is currently not on campus,” she said. “We would give them an outlet for leadership opportunities and a support group while they’re in college, and I think that’s something that isn’t currently there.”

The fraternity is open to all students, not just Latinos, Maday said.

“We’re definitely a Latino- interest organization but we are not Latino explicit,” she said. “I’m actually not Latino, but I was a Spanish major and I had a lot of interest in Latino culture. We’re definitely open to all students that value what we’re trying to accomplish, which is academic success, community service, a family atmosphere and much more.”

De Los Santos said that there is a need for a fraternity like Alpha Psi Lambda at Kent State.

“It’s kind of like that family away from home especially since it’s co-ed,” she said. “This is a way to meet other students, and it’s way different than other student organizations. My fraternity brothers and sisters are friends for lifetime. I’ve been in so many weddings and been to a lot of baby showers, and it’s just been a family ever since.”

Everyone that joined Alpha Psi Lambda at Kent State graduated from college, Laureano said.

“The thing that I’m the most proud of is that our chapter had a 100 percent graduation rate,” he said. “I’m very proud that I was a part of something so great. I hope the revitalization of the fraternity is successful, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.”

Contact Justin Graci at [email protected].