Pi Lambda Phi: Started From the Bottom and They’re Almost There

In the beginning of every Greek organization’s history there is a transitional period that must be surpassed before that chapter can gain their charter. During this transitional period, the group is referred to as a colony. This colony is working to gain their charter and become an established chapter of their Greek organization at their college or university.

Here at Frostburg, Pi Lambda Phi fraternity is currently a colony seeking chapter status. The current president of Pi Lambda Phi Maryland Alpha Omicron colony is Michael Bartholomew, junior triple major in political science, law and society, and philosophy. Bartholomew discussed what it means to be a colony verses a chapter.

“Being a colony means we are not a fully-fledged chapter for the school or our international fraternity,” he said. “In reality, that means we are under a tighter watch, meaning our international headquarters keeps a tighter watch on us than they would an established chapter. We’re also on a tighter leash, if we do something wrong, they don’t need as much of a reason to kick us out.”

There are some other differences that effect how the colony operates verses a chapter. “In Greek council, we don’t have a vote yet. We are allowed to participate and have our voice, but because we’re not fully chartered, so we don’t have a vote. Same thing goes for our national convention of Pi Lambda Phi.”

Bartholomew describes some of steps their brotherhood has to take to become a chapter. What they call a chartering check list, is the goals set out by their international headquarters for them to follow.  “The check list tries to put in good habit for the chapter to follow, so when the leash is gone we can function on our own.”

Since their re-establishment only two years ago, Pi Lambda Phi has been quickly checking off the boxes of becoming a chartered chapter. For this colony, there are three stages they must go through to gain their charter. Some of the steps that they need to follow include creating a constitution, developing an academic standard, holding weekly meeting, and raising money for their philanthropy, The Elimination of Prejudice Foundation.

For Pi Lambda Phi to move from phase 3 to full chapter status, they must put on a large scale event and raise $1,000 for their philanthropy. Bartholomew said, “We are planning for a Battle of the Bands next semester in October. We’re opening it up for student bands to perform.”  More details on this event will come next semester.

Bartholomew hopes to be the final stepping stone to this colony becoming a chapter. “My plan is for it to be done by the end of my presidency. What is hopefully going to happen is we’ll finish phase two this semester, we’ll do most of phase three next semester, and then it’ll get finalize over the break, and then the next president will be in charge during our chartering banquet.”

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