Lambda Upsilon Lambda

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Lambda Upsilon Lambda
Lambda Upsilon Lambda Crest.jpg
Founded February 19, 1982
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Type Social, Academic, Professional
Scope National
Mission statement
La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. primarily seeks to take a leadership role in meeting the needs of the Latino community through academic achievement, cultural awareness, community service, and promotion of the Latino culture and people.
Motto La Unidad Para Siempre
Colors  Brown   Gold 
Philanthropy P.A.T.H.E. Initiative
Chapters 61 Undergraduate Chapters at 85 Universities and 14 Professional Chapters [1]
Nicknames LUL, Hermanos
Headquarters 511 Sixth Avenue, PMB #39
New York, New York, USA
Homepage Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc

La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Incorporated (commonly called "LUL's") was established on February 19, 1982 in order to address the shortcomings of academic institutions in meeting and addressing the needs of Latino students in higher education. Founded at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, Lambda Upsilon Lambda primarily seeks to take a leadership role in meeting the needs of the Latino community through cultural awareness, community service, and the promotion of Latino culture and heritage.

From its inception, La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. has maintained a firm commitment to the empowerment and betterment of all Latinos and other minorities. To accomplish this goal, it addresses various areas of concern to the Latino community, beginning with a concentration on academic achievement, community service, and cultural awareness. Within the academic realm, Lambda Upsilon Lambda continually strives to increase the representation of Latino faculty and students in higher education. Realizing that recruitment is only half of the solution, it places strong emphasis on academic programs that aid in the retention, guidance and improvement of its members in institutions of higher learning. Lambda Upsilon Lambda is committed to developing its members and peers into mature, intelligent, socially active, and culturally conscious individuals, who, via mutual support, can excel academically and professionally.


Mission Statement[edit]

Since its inception in 1982, La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda has remained on the vanguard of political and community empowerment by developing influential leaders that strive to exert knowledge and power into its peers in order to attain mutual success. Lambda Upsilon Lambda is committed to academic excellence, leadership development and cultural enlightenment, enhanced by a diverse cognizant membership. LUL, as it is colloquially known, strives to preserve and promote an inclusive intellectual environment for its members, in addition to the general community.

Founding Fathers[edit]

The Idea

In 1981, a group of Latinos on the Cornell University campus that summer discussed the need for a Latino fraternity at Cornell. At the time, there was little choice for Latinos who wanted to join a fraternity; you either joined a traditionally white fraternity or a traditionally black one. This group of Latinos began not only to talk about the idea of creating a Latino fraternity. The group agreed that there was a need for brotherhood and unity as well as a need for more cultural expression and exchange of ideas between Latinos at Cornell, but very few where willing to commit to more than words.[2]

The Early Days

That following semester (Fall 1981) the work began on organizing the Latino fraternity. The organizing was slow. Most people indicated an interest in the mission, but few committed themselves. The first few meetings were attended by only a handful of people. After the fourth meeting, the core group had expanded. A club, La Unidad Latina was registered with the university on September 15, 1981, with Hernando Londoño as President. The intent was to register first as a club and then officially become a fraternity. After much work at recruiting people, the fraternity started to gain form. From approximately 30 interested men, La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity was formed with 13 members:

The Founding Fathers of La Unidad Latina are:

  • William Barba
  • Dennis DeJesus
  • Hernando Londoño
  • Jesse Luis
  • Samuel Ramos
  • Tomas Rincon
  • Edwin Rivera
  • Mario Rivera
  • Victor Rodriguez
  • Victor Silva
  • Jose Torres
  • Henry Villareal
  • Jim Ziebell
  • Angel Montañez (Honorary)

It was very tough to get engineers and pre-meds to give up any of their free time, but in spite of this, we marched forward. The university recognized the group as an official fraternity in the beginning of the second semester, January 1982. On Friday, February 19, 1982, the founding members joined at an initiation ceremony that was held at Henry Villareals' (our faculty advisor) home. LUL uses the February 19, 1982, as the founding date because it was at this ceremony, that the group formally took their oaths and became Hermanos of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc.

The idea of a Latino Fraternity originated out of a need at the Cornell campus. In that environment there was a small number of Latinos relative to the rest of the population, as well as an almost non-existent Latino community around the university. The existing Latino student organizations did not provide enough sense of unity among the Latino population. There was no focal point for Latino culture. Many of the students needed a place to find their cultural roots. There were also many divisions among the Latinos. These factors coalesced to create the need for the creation of La Fraternidad. The need was there, and through the hard work, dedication, and faith in our destiny, La Fraternidad was founded.[2]

Campus Activism[edit]

Cornell University 1993[edit]

In the fall of 1993 the Hispanic America Study Program, in conjunction with the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, brought eight Hispanic artists to Cornell for site-specific exhibitions entitled Revelaciones/Revelations: Hispanfic Art of Evanescence.[3] The works explored aesthetic, political and cultural issues. Jose Pierda, director of the Hispanic American Studies Program in 1993 and one of the two curators of the exhibition, stated that “one of the pieces erects barriers along the pathways of the Art Quadrangle, which disturbs the sense of permanent and the path and things can be taken for granted.”

This artwork that Piedra refers to entitled The Castle is Burning, by Daniel J. Martinez, is what helped ignite the second Latino takeover of Day Hall, Cornell’s administrative building. The first take over of Day Hall in 1991 lasted less than a day, but on November 19, 1993 U.S. Latino students and supporters once again took over Day Hall, but this time for three consecutive days. The Takeover began with a protest against the acts of vandalism of Daniel J. Martinez’ artwork on the Arts Quad.

Many of the leaders during the takeover were Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity members. Eduardo Penalver (who was later made an Honorary Hermano) was a primary leader of the takeover. Eduardo would become a Rhodes Scholar going on to Oxford, Yale Law School and was a clerk for a US Supreme Court Justice. He is now a Cornell Law Professor. There were about ten Hermanos that were inside the building taking part or leading the sit-in. However, there were about another ten Hermanos outside the building coordinating efforts of support. Hermanos were using a ladder to climb near windows to give people food, books and information – cells phones were not common at the time. Hermanos outside the building were also coordinating with Hermanos from other top-tier institutions for letters of support. Those inside were briefly expelled from Cornell, but Hermano and Professor Hector Velez as well as other Professors threatened to leave the University if the students were not reinstated.)[citation needed] On Friday there was a Rally in which former Hermano, James De La Vega, an artist himself, spoke to the students against the defacement of the artwork by Daniel J Martinez.

The protests turned contentious as students needed to form a human barricade around the artwork to prevent further vandalism. Students eventually were frustrated and sought an open meeting with university president Frank H.T. Rhodes, to discuss the problems facing the Latino community at Cornell. Students left the rally and headed to the main administrative building to talk to Rhodes.

The Rally turned into a march towards Day Hall, the administrative building. The march was led, in part, by Hermanos Mike Moreno and Eduardo Penalver. Approximately 200 students remained in Day Hall demanding a meeting to discuss a list of demands that they composed addressing issues of the Latino community. The University police eventually closed off the building not allowing anyone in. The work week was over on Friday and the University President was out of town so it appeared that the sit-in was going to last all weekend. The number of students reduced to about 70 as [the sit-in was becoming a take-over. While in the building students did various things such as study, hold workshops, and create art that would hang throughout the building walls and outside the building.

While in the building James De La Vega painted an art piece that included a quote from Che Guevara – “Allow me to say…that a true revolutionary…is guided by great feelings of love.” While hanging the artwork outside the building, Hermanos James, Eduardo, Mike and Jimmy were photographed—the photo also appeared in the USA Today.

While in the building the student leaders of the sit-in discussed a list of demands that they sought from the University. There were nine demands in total. The first two were asking for President Rhodes to condemn the destruction of the artwork and “acknowledge the problems of Latino students on Campus.” The next few demands asked for an increase funding of activities, programs, library resources and funds that would assist in the recruitment of professors. The final demand was for the creation of a Latino Living Center, a “resident college that would focus on interest in Latino culture.” The Latino Living Center opened its doors in the Fall of 1994 and two new Latino Professors arrived on campus.


Undergraduate Chapters[edit]

Professional Chapters[edit]

  • Gamma Alpha Chapter - New York, NY
  • Gamma Beta Chapter - Philadelphia, PA
  • Gamma Gamma Chapter - Buffalo, NY
  • Gamma Delta Chapter - Providence, RI
  • Gamma Epsilon Chapter - Washington, DC Metro Area
  • Gamma Zeta Chapter - Chicago, IL
  • Gamma Eta Chapter - New Jersey
  • Gamma Theta Chapter - Austin, TX
  • Gamma Iota Chapter - Los Angeles, CA
  • Gamma Kappa Chapter - Miami, FL
  • Gamma Lambda Chapter - Long Island, NY
  • Gamma Mu Chapter - Atlanta, GA
  • Gamma Nu Chapter - Orlando, FL
  • Gamma Xi Chapter - Albany, NY

Medical Mission[edit]


La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. and volunteers embark on a medical mission trip to the Dominican Republic once a year. Over their one week mission in several poverty stricken areas, Hermanos and volunteers assist over 1,000 patients in need of medical care.[4]

Fraternal Traditions[edit]

Noche Dorada[edit]

Noche Dorada, which translated into English means “The Golden Night” is a fraternal tradition usually held to commemorate the anniversary of the chapter’s founding. The tradition began in October 1993 at SUNY Binghamton. Noche Dorada is a semi-formal event used to celebrate Latino culture, the resilience of Latinos in the face of adversity, and the role of La Unidad Latina within both. The event was conceived by Hermano Eric Contreras, who shared it with the Binghamton Hermanos who developed it into a week Semana Dorada and Festival Dorado, consisting of workshops, events and fundraisers. Each of the Noches is centered around a theme.


La Unidad Latina's Annual Celebration began in 1989, as the National Council developed this dual purpose event to celebrate the achievements of the Fraternity and Latino Community as well as a vehicle to drive the future of the Fraternity through a National Convention that would bring together Hermanos from all of the Chapters nation-wide annually.

Previous Gala Locations[edit]

Notable Hermanos[edit]

Requirements for Admission[edit]

La Unidad Latina welcomes members either through an undergraduate or graduate intake process. La Unidad Latina stresses involvement in the Latino community from all of its members.

Undergraduate Intake Process[edit]

The organization underscores three requirements of becoming a member as an undergraduate are

  • Freshman 3.0 Minimum GPA requirement/Upperclassmen 2.8 Minimum GPA requirement
  • A desire to help and give back to the Latino & minority community
  • Successful completion of the New Member Education Process (NME)

Graduate Intake Process[edit]

  • Bachelors Degree from an accredited four-year college or university
  • Successful completion of the graduate intake process

Honorary Membership[edit]

Men nominated for honorary membership are usually older men whose contributions to the Latino community over their personal and professional lives exemplify the goals and ideals of La Unidad Latina. Honorary Hermanos are admitted into the organization once a year at LUL’s Annual Gala celebration.

Awards and Recognition[edit]


  • 2013 - Philanthropic Organization of the Year
  • 2006 - Fraternity of the Year


  • 2013 - R.I.S.C National Step Champions[5]
  • 2012 - R.I.S.C National Step Champions[6]
  • 2005 – Latino Step National Champions[7]
  • 2004 – Latino Step National Champions [8]


  • 2014 - SILK National Stroll Champions [9]
  • 2013 - SILK National Stroll Champions [10]
  • 2009 - Strolling of the Bulls Champions [11]
  • 2002 - SILK National Stroll Champions [12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc.". Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  2. ^ a b "Story of Lambda Upsilon Lambda". Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  3. ^ Online listing of primary material Online Library
  4. ^ Medical Mission Website
  5. ^ Web site declaring winners Remo Inc.
  6. ^ Web site declaring winners Remo Inc.
  7. ^ Web site declaring winners Latinos Step Website
  8. ^ Web site declaring winners Latinos Step Website
  9. ^ 2014 National Stroll Champions Greekster
  10. ^ 2013 National Stroll Champions Greekster
  11. ^ SOTB Website
  12. ^ Website declaring winner Greekster

External links[edit]