A new addition to Greek Life at Portland State is in the works—a chapter of the Latino men’s fraternity Omega Delta Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Founded at Texas Tech University, it is a national multicultural fraternity established at 27 universities—including Oregon State University and Western Oregon University—and has been around since 1987.
With their motto, “One culture, any race,” Omega Delta Phi stands out from other fraternities by concentrating on diversity and the graduation of its brothers, as well as hands-on community service.
“This organization is breaking the stereotypes of fraternities,” said Roberto Calixtro, a freshman criminology and social justice major who is also a founding member of the Omega Delta Phi PSU chapter.
“It can be hard for minorities to find a sense of both community and family at PSU,” said Emanuel Magana, program coordinator for La Casa Latina. “This brotherhood was founded by Latinos, and 85 to 90 percent of national members identify as Latino, but it is open to everyone. Some chapters are even predominantly Black or Asian.”
Currently as an interest group, there are only five members in the chapter, including four PSU students and Magana.
The students behind this initiative have already launched the chartering process. They hope to be an established fraternity chapter toward the end of winter term, but are presently recognized only as an interest group by Student Activities and Leadership Programs at PSU.
Jonathan Riquelme-Lopez, a senior studying criminology and a founding member of the PSU chapter of Omega Delta Phi, explained his inspiration for starting the organization.
“I heard in one of my classes that the rate of Latinos graduating college is 13 percent. I am a first generation student in my family with no one or anything to fall back on,” Riquelme-Lopez said.
“I want to start to leave something for incoming freshman, like myself, to get the most out of their learning experience along with developing leadership in my community of the school.”
Erick Lorenzo, another founding member and a sophomore in business administration and financial accounting, explained what motivated him to get involved as well.
“Expanding this network and getting the sense of famillia is important to me,” Lorenzo said. “Having that here on campus will benefit academic opportunity and the overall performance of the group.”
The success behind the national Omega Delta Phi Fraternity, Inc. has prevailed with its members. So far 98 percent of members have successfully graduated from their universities.
Along with academic fulfillment, the national fraternity has other goals, which the members in PSU’s chapter have already begun planning.
“Members will need to do 20 hours of community service quarterly and [have] a minimum of a 2.5 GPA,” Magana said.
Calixtro has plans for higher-education mentoring workshops every Friday with teenagers at Beaverton High School.
Along with these objectives, the group has been planning fun events to invite any interested students to learn more and get to know the current members.
On Dec. 4, the group will be hosting Game Knight, a FIFA and Call of Duty tournament in the Smith Viking Game Room. Those interested can sign up in La Casa Latina, located in Smith Memorial Student Union, room 229.
The group also meets every Wednesday at 4 p.m. in La Casa Latina, and invite any interested men to join in becoming a founder.
“A leader starts by himself, but people follow,” Riquelme-Lopez said.
For more information, visit The Interest Group of Omega Delta Phi at www.facebook.com/pdxodphi.