Pi Lambda Phi works to end prejudice

    By Sheena Williams, The Pace Chronicle

    In April of 2015, five men helped bring Pi Lambda Phi to the Pace Pleasantville campus in hopes of spreading the fraternity’s ideologies through hard work and dedication.

    Nationally, the fraternity was founded at Yale University in 1895 by three gentlemen that were originally denied to join other college Fraternities due to their differing religious and racial backgrounds.

    “As a result, they set out to establish a fraternity that was nonsectarian and that all men no matter their differing backgrounds has the equal opportunity to become a Brother and so Pi Lambda Phi is based on the recognition of Elimination of Prejudice as it continues to be,” Gerardo Gomez, current President of Pi Lambda Phi states.

    Junior and current active member, David Mulcahy explained what Elimination of Prejudice means to him.

    “Elimination of Prejudice is about equality amongst all people. Prejudice is something in every society and it’s prevalent in ours,” Mulcahy said. “It tears us apart and pit us against each other. Elimination of Prejudice, me personally, is about a better understanding of others and learning about each other. It’s about diversity.”

    He and his philanthropy is driven by the thought of creating a better future.

    “It’s about education and fighting ignorance and hate wherever it may be in order to bring out a society that’s best for everyone,” Mulcahy said. “Right now, for us personally, it’s about confronting the institution of power that keeps, especially people of color, down and white and male people above. There’s a power imbalance in this country and we need to address that. Everything that we do is colored by that vision of a better future for everyone.”

    Gomez explains that the Fraternity’s philanthropy is the elimination of prejudice and their goal is to contribute to civil discourse on topics that can be seen as sensitive to some in the efforts to raise awareness of the prejudices within our society by hosting programs and activities.

    Events hosted by the fraternity that are made to raise awareness and bring up conversations regarding prejudice include, the Wall of Prejudice which is a multi-day event where people get to write prejudices that they have heard or even have experienced.

    “At the end of the event, we allow everyone to break the wall to metaphorically eliminate prejudice,” Gomez says.

    There’s also the fraternity’s annual Walk A Mile which brings awareness to domestic violence.

    “While our brothers walk around the Alumni Quad in heels to represent that the pain the Brothers go through by walking/running around still cannot amount to the pain and abuse people in domestic violent relationships face,” Gomez said. “This event also allows us to break gender roles and challenge what masculinity looks like, that just because we wear heels does not make any of us less of a man; in fact, it makes us more of a man to be so comfortable with our definition of masculinity.”

    The brothers of Pi Lamda Phi have also created a new and fun event that raises awareness about prejudice called Smashin PrejudiceGomez explains that the fraternity approaches the topic with a light-hearted fighting game where they name the different characters with prejudices and have the participants beat them at a game to symbolize the elimination of prejudice.

    “This allows for a discussion where people who have experienced that specific prejudice can speak about their feelings and emotions about that particular prejudice and mention any personal experiences,” Gomez said.

    Not only are these events meant to educate the students of Pace about prejudice, but it is also a way for those interested in a fraternity such as Pi Lambda Phi that pushes the idea of equality to get to know the fraternity and its brothers better.

    Gomez commented that while Pi Lambda Phi has many values they follow and look for in future brothers.

    “Leadership, the courage to not back down from a challenge as well as teaching others while also inspiring their peers about their convictions. Progressive thinking, the attribute to have an open mind and is adaptable as well as accepting of change; they look for opportunities to grow and expand while acknowledging that they have a responsibility to do so,” Gomez stated.