FAQ: Starting a Chapter

What is Expansion?

Expansion is a term that we use to describe the growth process for Delta Lambda Phi Fraternity. Although Delta lambda Phi would like to give our fraternity experience to every undergraduate student who fits our values, we are not in a race for size. The Fraternity will expand only to where we are able to support a chapter. 

How do we become an Interest Group?

Simply contact the Office of Expansion so that the Fraternity is aware of your group. You will be provided with a document called the Colonization Standard that further explains how you can transition from Interest Group to Colony.

What’s the level of commitment during the Interest Group stage?

Interests groups are informal, and you are not officially committed to the Fraternity during this stage. However, in addition to spending time together socially, Interest Group members should carefully consider their eventual involvement with the Fraternity, what it means to them, and whether they are prepared for it.

How do we become a Colony?

An Interest Group must meet certain requirements before it can be recognized as a Colony of Delta Lambda Phi:

  • At least 8 actively interested members.
  • A formal Colony Petition must be submitted to the Board of Directors for approval. This document outlines your intention and desire to affiliate with Delta Lambda Phi.
  • A non-refundable fee (split among the members).

Once approved as a Colony of Delta Lambda Phi, you will work with the Office of Expansion to begin the Colonization process.

How is a Colony different from a Chapter?

Colonies are recognized as Chapters-in-training and participate in most Fraternal activities, including recruitment, pledge education, fundraising, community service, road trips, social activities, Regional Conferences, and National Conventions.

However, Colonies do not have the same privileges as full Chapters. Members of a Colony who have completed their pledge education do not undergo an Initiation, and are instead granted “Colonist” status. Colonies receive a great deal of guidance from their Mentors and other members of the Fraternity Office during this period. A Colony gains full privileges and Initiates its first Brothers at the end of the Colonization period at an event called Chapter Chartering.

How long does it take to go from Colony to Chapter?

At a minimum, a Colony must successfully educate three (3) pledge classes, usually one per term. This means that the minimum amount of time spent as a Colony will be around 18 months. However, Colonies are expected to demonstrate sustainability, growth, and good leadership during this time. If the Board of Directors has concerns about the Colony’s strength at the end of its third pledge class, it may decide that an extra semester or two of Colony status is necessary.

What if I’m an upperclassman? Won’t I graduate before Chapter Chartering and remain a Colonist forever?

A Chapter Chartering is a very special event. The Fraternity goes to great lengths to ensure that all eligible Colonists receive ample notice of the Chartering, and thus can make arrangements to be in attendance. More importantly, while Chartering is a powerful goal for many Colonists, it is not an end in itself. In fact, far from being an end, Chartering marks a new beginning for the group. It is far more important to get the most out of your time in Delta Lambda Phi, whether as a Colony or Chapter, instead of fixating on one particular deadline. In short, fear of graduating before Chartering should not be a factor when deciding to form or join a Colony.

Are there fees?

As previously mentioned, submitting a Colony Petition requires a fee (spread among the prospective Colonists). There is also a similar fee associated with the Charter Petition. In addition, the Fraternity assesses annual dues. The exact amount paid in dues depends on a number of factors and varies from year to year, but is usually around $200 annually.