Chi Delta Omicron gains official Greek status

by Julia Carachure
Editorial Director

Chi Delta Omicron is now officially a fraternity at the University of La Verne and has been recognized as such for about a month. It has five official members who comprise the executive board of their fraternity and they are expecting to gain more members this spring.

The idea for the fraternity originated from several students who felt that there should be other options for students when it came to deciding what campus organizations they wanted to join. Junior Falone Serna, seniors Luis Juarez, Damion Silva, Jonathon Johnson and sophomores Brandon Pollard and Shawn Bailey began to work on making their idea a reality at ULV. It was Serna who assisted them with becoming an organization.

“We just felt that we needed something for guys like us, guys like myself, another choice for the students, that was one of the reasons [for forming the club]. Another reason is that I am already pretty close with the members, the founding fathers, that are in the fraternity already. I am really close to those guys so we wanted to do something like that, to leave a legacy with the school and also we figured that it would be better for the school to have three fraternities to balance out with the three sororities,” said Serna.

For Chi Delta Omicron to become a Greek fraternity, it had to go through several obstacles. First, it had to be recognized as a campus organization before they could proceed to officially become part of the Greek community. The members went to Michael Houdyshell, coordinator of Campus Activities and Commuter Programs as well as Greek adviser. When they went to him, they were first known as Delta Omicron Gamma, which later changed.

Houdyshell decided that they should be just an organization first and then proceeded to work with them on several issues they needed to work on in order to become a Greek organization. Since the fraternity is a local one, which means it has no national headquarters like the other fraternities at ULV, they had to create their own constitution, bylaws, philanthropies, rituals and traditions.

“They needed to come up with that and basically, that is not something you come up with overnight. You want it to mean something so you want to put some time into it and you want it to be good, you want it to be representative of your organization. That takes a while and I also wanted to review and kind of work with them over time and develop that,” said Houdyshell.

By the time that the Fall 2000 started, Houdyshell was comfortable with them. “I was confident that they were making very good progress and I kind of said [to them], ‘You know what, I think that things look good. By spring we can look at officially recognizing you [Chi Delta Omicron] and bringing you into the Greek system and getting you out there.”

The organization had several meetings with Houdyshell to work on becoming part of the Greek system. It also had to make a presentation on Feb. 9 to both Houdyshell and Associate Dean of Student Affairs Ruby Montaño-Cordova to demonstrate to them what their club was about. Their adviser Mark Potocki was also there that day.

“They have been absolutely wonderful to work with, and very cooperative, very understanding. I will say on their behalf that the process to become recognized sometimes is very long and drawn out and it was for them, they stuck with it, very positive, really willing to work and work on stuff and addressing issues that I brought up or that Ruby brought up and had done everything they need to do and it was easy to recognize them because they were ready,” Houdyshell said.

Chi Delta Omicron took part in Rush Week with the other Greek organizations, which took place the week before. Many people came to them for questions about their organization and see what they offer. Prospective members had the opportunity to go the ESPN Zone last Wednesday with them as well as ask any questions that they might have had.

“Some of the goals that we have that we let them know that we want to set some tradition here, we wanted to get something started that is going to last longer than my stay at La Verne because I’m out of here after next year so I want it to last longer than a year,” Serna said.

Currently, Chi Delta Omicron is planning its philanthropy event for the spring. Serna said that they will probably do an event dealing with sexual abuse, emphasizing on the male’s responsibility when it comes to dealing with sexual assault. Another possibility they are looking into sponsoring a fundraiser to earn money for spinal cord injury and research, which is dedicated to former student Essie Elliston, who was injured in a car accident last spring. They are also looking into throwing another social to build up their fraternity.

Like the other Greek organizations, Chi Delta Omicron focuses on three philanthropies, which are sexual abuse dealing with the male’s responsibility and awareness, spinal cord injury and substance abuse. Serna said that he hopes that later on they can set up a scholarship in honor of Elliston.

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