Latino fraternity Lambda Theta Phi seeks MU chapter

The Latino fraternity has a chapter at UMKC and is interested in expanding to the MU campus.
Jessie Lueck / Graphic Designer

Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc., has contacted the Office of Greek Life about chartering a chapter at MU.

Lambda Theta Phi was the first Latino fraternity recognized by the North-American Interfraternity Conference.

Five founders established the fraternity’s first Missouri chapter in 2008 at UM-Kansas City. The organization, which now consists of 16 members of all ethnicities, strives for academic excellence, leadership and unity.

“On a daily basis, our brothers live up to the ideals set by our founding fathers,” UMKC Lambda Theta Phi President Tony Navarro said. “Our chapter is one of the most active fraternities on campus.”

UMKC’s chapter expressed their interest in helping establish a chapter at MU to John Gutierrez, Lambda Theta Phi Midwest Expansion Officer.

“We want to make our fraternity grow,” Navarro said. “We also want to expand opportunities to Latino males and students interested in Latino culture.”

Gutierrez said he researched MU’s demographics and realized Lambda Theta Phi’s potential.

“There are other Latino organizations on campus, but one of our personal beliefs is networking,” Gutierrez said. “As one of the largest Latino fraternities in the nation, we have that networking. Promoting networking and brotherhood are two things we wanted to bring to MU.”

When Gutierrez contacted Coordinator of Greek Life Dustin Page last month to ask about the process of establishing an MU chapter, he received positive response.

“Page was very open to the idea and has been very helpful,” Gutierrez said.

Page assisted the UMKC chapter with reserving a table Friday at the MU Student Center, where members informally talked about bringing Lambda Theta Phi to MU with interested students.

“Professors and students would come up to us,” Navarro said. “Everyone was very supportive. I felt very welcome.”

Navarro and others from UMKC’s chapter have not held an official meeting for potential members. They hope to help build an interest group for the fraternity at MU by keeping in touch with interested students and talking to others when they return to the student center on Nov. 11.

The interest group must have at least 10 students to register with MU’s Organization Resource Group. If Lambda Theta Phi were to become an official MU organization, they would work with the national headquarters to become recognized nationally. To do so, Lambda Theta Phi must hold two educational workshops, two cultural workshops, three community service projects, three fundraisers, two collaborative functions with another chapter, two collaborative functions with other organizations and two social functions.

After being an active chapter for one or two semesters, Lambda Theta Phi would be able to choose a Greek Life council with which to affiliate on campus.

“The national (Lambda Theta Phi) organization holds membership in the NIC and the Multicultural Greek Council, so they can join either IFC or MGC, whichever council they feel would serve their chapter best," Page said.

Gutierrez said the establishment of a Lambda Theta Phi chapter at MU is very possible in the next academic year.

“The guys I’ve talked to seem very interested,” he said.

Page reiterated MU’s interest in multicultural Greek Life organizations.

“We’re always looking to grow our Greek population, especially the MGC,” Page said. “Some chapters have left in the past due to a lack of members, so we’d love to see that area grow.”

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