While attending an event for one of the two fraternities he was rushing last September, LSA freshman Noah Goodman’s cell phone rang.
The voice on the other end of the line suspected he was at the other fraternity and accused him of disloyalty. Having not committed to either fraternity, Goodman said he realized he wanted the camaraderie of a fraternity but with more freedom.
With that in mind, Goodman joined fellow LSA freshman Reid Benjamin in forming a new chapter of Pi Lambda Phi.
“We wanted somewhere where everyone could fit in,” Benjamin said. “We stress unity without conformity.”
Benjamin and Goodman, president and vice president respectively, used word of mouth to recruit members and to outline a detailed development plan, which they presented to the Interfraternity Council executive board earlier this week.
Last night, the IFC voted to approve Pi Lambda Phi. It will begin the first of two semesters of its expansionary phase in January.
Membership in the IFC is divided into three phases: expansionary, expansionary probationary and full status, said Chris Haughee, assistant director of the University’s Office of Greek Life.
New fraternities spend one year becoming full members of the IFC.
Haughee said this timetable allows new fraternities to establish themselves and adjust to new responsibilities.
“We want to ensure they are acclimated, accustomed and involved in the Greek system,” he said.
The council also granted full membership to The Triangle fraternity, a professional brotherhood focusing on engineering, architecture and science, and a redeemed Zeta Psi fraternity.
A chapter of Zeta Psi was closed in 2002 following a member’s death from a heroin overdose.
IFC spokesman Brian Millman said the new chapter and its members have no connection with the past house, adding that Zeta Psi members have worked hard in the past semester to become strong, active members of the Greek community.
Beyond reevaluating Pi Lambda Phi’s potential to succeed, the executive board was concerned with the role the new chapter will play on campus.
Reid said the organization’s nondiscriminatory history and its diverse membership will allow it to fill a separate niche on campus.
“We were looking around the room and realized (the members) don’t look like stereotypical fraternity kids,” Reid said. “What we did have in common was our love, passion and enthusiasm that we are going to apply (to Pi Lambda Phi).”
IFC members were also impressed by the overwhelmingly freshman chapter’s drive, organization and detailed proposal, Millman said.
In the next semester, the 18 members hope to organize a rush campaign and charity event in addition to finding a chapter house, Reid said.
Goodman said Pi Lambda Phi has a long history at the University, with alumni records dating back as far as 1890. However, because of low membership, the chapter became defunct in the mid-1990s.