SVSU’s Alpha Kappa Lambda (AKL) colony officially became the fraternity’s newest chapter on Friday, March 16, receiving the designation Gamma Upsilon. They are now one of 40 active chapters or colonies for the fraternity headquartered in Carmel, Indiana, and founded in 1914.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the hard work and dedication that we have put in over the past three years officially coming together and actually happening,” said Dylan Langlois, a junior exercise science major and the AKL vice president. “It wouldn’t be as special as it is today without the brothers I’ve been surrounded by working together to get where we are.”
On Friday night, there was a ceremony to honor the occurrence, with guest speakers Bryan Crainer, the Associate Dean for Student Life and Leadership Programs, and Jeremy Slivinski, the AKL executive director at the national level, who flew in from Indianapolis. Both spoke on the significance of AKL’s impact on and off campus. Following the speakers, chapter President Gabe Kasper, who also serves as a Valley Vanguard reporter, accepted the charter.
Brothers from the Eastern Michigan University chapter attended initiation and helped with the ceremony.
“It’s such a cool feeling to know that we are starting a legacy here on campus,” Langlois said. “We want to set up a situation where future brothers can enjoy it just as much as we have.”
While colonies are on their trial period, nobody can be initiated into full brotherhood in order to ensure that members meet the national criteria. Members were elated with excitement at the prospect of becoming chartered and official brothers of the AKL community.
“I feel so much more connected to all of the brothers of AKL across the country,” Langlois said. “It’s one of those feelings where you don’t realize it’s actually here yet, it really is surreal.”
AKL’s charter came after a long, arduous process, through philanthropic work and modeling the proper behavior in order to meet the criteria to be chartered. Criteria included members being in “good standing,” which is when all standards established by the constitution, bylaws, standing rules and statements of policy are met for an extended period of time. As a result of meeting or exceeding expectations as a colony, they were able to officially become a chapter.
“The men of AKL are awesome to work with; they are both scholars and leaders here at SVSU,” said Sandy Haddad, the fraternity and sorority life coordinator in the Office of Student Life. “They have achieved numerous things over the past year such as excelling in homecoming competitions, hosting the Glo-Hard party during Welcome Weekend and getting first place in Greek Week.”
This will only be the seventh organization to officially charter at SVSU, and the first one to appear this decade, highlighting the rarity of this occurrence on campus. The brothers of AKL decided to host a banquet with a special dinner in order to commemorate the special event.
“This was my first experience witnessing a chartering on campus, and it was really awesome to be a part of it,” Haddad said. “You could tell the event was so special to all of them, and could just see the pure excitement on all of their faces tonight.”
All members, and those who have been surrounded by the brothers of AKL, were excited for the special event on Friday night. To most, receiving the charter just signaled the official start of AKL’s previously felt impacts on campus, impacts the brothers plan to continue making for a very long time.
“This is just the beginning for them, and I’m excited to see the mark they leave on this campus now, and in the future,” Haddad said.