At first I wanted to join this fraternity because I thought it would be a “cool thing to do”, and as a college freshman I assumed that like myself, all Latinos in at CU were already a part of or planned to be a part of the only historically Latino fraternity on campus. I soon realized, however, that everyone has their own opinions on “fraternity life” a little too much MTV, and Old Skool has people under the wrong impression of what were REALLY ABOUT. We are not like the mainstream traditional frat’s who might not know the names of their 50 or so “brothers”, live in huge fraternity houses on The Hill, and have keggers every weekend. More importantly, it’s not just a student group, whose members come and go at their convenience. The brothers of our fraternity, at any time will unite for the betterment of our people, to help those in need, and to promote the value of higher education to our younger generations.
Sigma Lambda Beta International fraternity, SLB for short, is my family here on campus. Upon arrival to the university coming from a predominantly Latino school to a campus where students constitute a mere 14%, and about 6% or less of them being Hispanic I felt as if I didn’t belong here. So I joined the brotherhood of SLB, besides my dedication to my college coursework I gave the pledge process the rest of my dedication, time, and heart. For some, this could be the most mentally challenging process they endure, for others it’s only a game, the winners, well there the ones I proudly call my brothers, and the losers, well most of them will regret their decision to lose. My line began with four strangers, well except for one, who embarked on a journey to get to know one another, to know their brothers, but most importantly get to know ourselves.
Everyone is a little different in my fraternity, I’m sorry, I meant my family we don’t all have the same values, morals, views, politics, ethnicities, or concerns, but why should we? Our diversity is what defines us. And this is something you will have to learn for yourself.
As cliché as it may be we live by the maxim True Brotherhood Cannot Be Defined Only Experienced………I know my brothers will do anything for me, and I would do the same for them. Brothers have gave me money when truly I was truly in need, even lent me money to go to Cancun, been there when I needed someone to talk to, done me a favor without expecting something in return, lent me their car when I didn’t my own so I could go home to Denver to attend a funeral, woke up with me at 4am (on a school day) to take another brother to the airport, and sometimes even got into a fist fight with another brother and minutes later forgive each other. The list of what we have done for one another could go on for pages but truly these are irrelevant what really matters is our dedication to the success of one another, our community, and our various culture…
In the end, I realized besides continuing my education, despite the blood, sweat and tears, pledging the most honorable Sigma Lambda Beta was one of the most rewarding decisions I have made for myself in my college career. Without the fraternity, I truly don’t think I would have stayed in college. Por eso, even though you may not understand yet, some of us decide to burn our brotherhood in our flesh.
“We need to learn to live with one another as brothers, or we will die together as fools.” -MLK
Angelo “El Chaparro” Maestas
Captain of Los Revolucionarios #1 of 4
December 14, 2002 1:36:44 A.M.