Fraternity believes in lifelong friendships

By Michelle Esposito

This week’s House of The Week recently made its return after being off-campus for many years.

Alpha Kappa Lambda has been at NIU since 1964, said Jeff Steffen, president of Alpha Kappa Lambda. However, around 1972, the chapter closed due to financial reasons, Steffen said.

Steffen said Alpha Kappa Lambda came back on campus in the spring of 1990 when they were recolonized. “When Alpha Kappa Lambda was here it was a very strong chapter, which is why nationals wanted to recolonize,” Steffen said.

Steffen said an Alpha Kappa Lambda representative came out to NIU and chose 18 men after interviews to begin the chapter again. Although the representative interviewed more than 100 men, they chose only 18 to keep it small so Alpha Kappa Lambda would be stronger.

On April 11, 1992, Alpha Kappa Lambda received its charter, Steffen said. They now have 56 members.

Oliver Adam, a junior French major and a member of Alpha Kappa Lambda, said, “We’re still a small enough group where everyone knows everyone.”

Steffen said Alpha Kappa Lambda is looking for “clean-cut and well-rounded” individuals who are interested in scholarship, athletics, adapting well socially and involvement in the house. “We don’t want dead weight in our fraternity, we have none,” Steffen said. “Everyone is on a committee.”

Alpha Kappa Lambda is very involved, Steffen said. He said the house sponsors a blood drive, helps out at the YMCA and the VFW hall for casino nights and also holds raffles.

Alpha Kappa Lambda’s biggest fundraiser was last semester when the house raised about $4,000 for the Bob Jordan Fund. Jordan is a graduate student at NIU who needed a pancreas transplant, Steffen said.

Steffen said he agreed with the idea that a fraternity can keep you busy. Adam, however, said time management is a big part of it. “Being in a fraternity teaches you to budget your time, not waste it,” Adam said.

Steffen said there are a lot of benefits to belonging to Alpha Kappa Lambda, such as leadership, maturity, adapting socially and living with other people. “What you put into it is what you get out of it,” Steffen said.

Steffen said another benefit is the lifelong friendships you make. “There’s always someone you can count on,” he said.

Adam said the lifelong friendships were one of the reasons he pledged Alpha Kappa Lambda. He said there is a lot of unity in his fraternity.

“Nothing was given to us easy, we had to go through a lot being a new group,” Steffen said. “As we’ve grown and matured, so has the fraternity.”

Adams said that when the 18 signed the charter, it meant something because he was part of a beginning. “No other fraternity could offer the experience I’ve had,” Steffen said.

As for the future, the house is starting a new program called Partners in Active Process. In this program, several Alpha Kappa Lambda chapters will meet in Indianapolis in January for workshops and sharing ideas with each other. He added that this will allow its chapter members to get more involved.

“We are the fastest-growing fraternity around the country and this step will hopefully make Alpha Kappa Lambda one of the best in the country,” Steffen said.

“To us, Alpha Kappa Lambda doesn’t mean ‘Alpha Kappa Lambda,’ it means affiliation for life. Anyone who joins us should know that affiliation won’t end when you leave college,” Steffen said. “It’s a lifelong thing.”