NIU fraternity chartered after lengthy absence

By Dave Heaton

The Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity was chartered Saturday after twenty years of absence from the NIU campus.

The chartering of the fraternity as a full chapter at NIU took place Saturday at the Clocktower Resort in Rockford.

Matt Spencer, public relations representative for Alpha Kappa Lambda, said previous to being chartered, the fraternity held colony status, so they didn’t have the full rights and independence of a chapter.

“This is the most exciting time for us. Some guys have been working since the spring of 1990 to achieve chapter status for AKL at NIU,” Spencer said.

To achieve chapter status, Alpha Kappa Lambda had to meet the requirements of its national fraternity by performing various community services, performing philanthropic and athletic activities and meeting academic standards.

“We are an academic fraternity,” Spencer said. “We focus more on academics than on social activities.”

Alpha Kappa Lambda member Steve Parsons said that in 1972 the fraternity (then a full chapter) took out loans to construct a new house. The house was built to lodge 60 people, Parsons said.

“Alpha Kappa Lambda’s budget depended on the house being filled to capacity,” he said. “But they (the chapter) couldn’t get 60 people to live in the house, so they were unable to pay off the loan.”

It was because of these financial difficulties that the fraternity left NIU in 1972, Parsons said.

David Graham, the fraternity’s national chapter consultant, said the requirements for chartering call for the membership of the colony to be one person more than the campus average.

“The colony needs to establish a fraternity education program that thrives on academics,” Graham said. “They must be very involved in community and philanthropic activities, and they must conduct fundraisers for either local charities or the national charity, which aids victims of cystic fibrosis.”

Dawn Sturma, NIU Greek Affairs activities adviser, said, “As far as I know the members of Alpha Kappa Lambda have been doing a fine job. They have been very active in the Interfraternity Council and have partaken in many philanthropic activities.”