Lambda Theta Phi Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month – The Rider News

By juliatrain

Julian Nieves, a young finance student, joined the IOTA chapter of the Latin fraternity, Lambda Theta Phi, in the fall of 2021. He was immediately elected as the Vice President’s Apprentice, which meant he had the role, but was still learning the responsibilities. . This year, he is the chapter president.

Nieves’ father became a sibling in 1992 when he dated Rider. His father never pushed him to join him, but Nieves constantly heard stories about brotherhood because he grew up with his father’s brothers who came often.

When Nieves joined, Lambda Theta Phi were in the process of reshaping their identity into who they are today, which led to them winning “Chapter of the Year” last semester out of 14 other fraternities and sororities. .

“We have a lot of members who are really interested in fellowship and community service and that’s what we pride ourselves on… doing a lot of service and helping people,” Nieves said.

The fraternity’s national philanthropy includes working with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) and visiting different high schools to help prepare students for college and “empower the Latin man through scholarship, fellowship, opportunities and protection of identity and equality,” according to Lambda Theta Phi National website.

The IOTA Chapter’s philanthropic partner recently transferred to One Simple Wish, an organization that “grants wishes” for children in need. The first was located in Vineland, New Jersey, about 77 miles away, and the brothers wanted something more local, according to Kristopher Aponte, a sports media pundit.

The chapter has not yet worked with them, but they have made several $400 donations and are working to start volunteering.

“It’s pretty new, so we’re still putting the pieces together as we go,” Aponte said.

During the month of September, the chapter partnered with community service organizations, including Meals on Wheels, and collected clothes for a clothing drive with College of New Jersey Lambda Theta Phi Chapter. They also partnered with the Trenton area soup kitchen to volunteer and donated 100 ziploc bags filled with cutlery and plastic napkins.

“We have individuals who are dedicated to selfless service,” Nieves said. “Ultimately, all of our members are here for the community and the betterment of society as a whole.”

While the first half of Hispanic Heritage Month, which ran from September 15 to October 15, focused on services, the second half is filled with programs to celebrate and encourage Hispanic heritage.

While Nieves didn’t grow up celebrating his culture because he grew up in a predominantly white city, Andrew Shumny, a sophomore in business administration, was heavily involved in Hispanic culture. He grew up surrounded by Cuban and Peruvian traditions.

“I’m Latino, but I don’t watch Latino because I’m white,” Shumny said. “I’m Cuban and Peruvian, so I’ve always identified as white rather than Hispanic.”

Last week the fellowship held an event every day to celebrate the month and recruit members. They teamed up with the Global Social Studies Society to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, hosted a Hispanic dance party, filmed an Instagram Live to teach viewers how to cook Hispanic dishes, and ended the week at “Meet the Greeks” on 14, showing their new salute.

On October 29, the chapter will unveil the “Fallen Brother Project” to honor two fallen brothers. The neighborhood originally paid homage to them, but the chapter wanted to renovate it with a new bench, plaques and flowerbeds. They raised $6,000 with a total of 14 donations to purchase the necessary equipment. Each plate will bear the name of one of the two brothers as well as the letters of the fraternity.

Currently, the fraternity is raising $25,000 for a permanent scholarship endowed by Rider for anyone who joins this fraternity. The full amount will be retained by Rider and distributed each semester towards member tuition.

Donations can be made on the Rider University website.

Earnest L. Veasey