Representation of the Latino Community Within Fraternities From 1970 – 2006

A final Project for LATS 3 by Elvio Polanco '24

Since 1842, Greek life within Dartmouth College has been a pillar of social life. According to the Dartmouth Greek Life website, members of these fraternities and sororities have sworn to uphold six principles: Scholarship, Leadership, Service, Brotherhood & Sisterhood, Inclusiveness, and Accountability. However, this pillar of social life has traditionally been limited to a select few students on campus. From the desegregation of fraternities to the overall treatment of the Latinx community at Dartmouth, this digital exhibit will analyze the lack of representation within Latino fraternities at Dartmouth College.

Throughout Dartmouth College's early history, many greek spaces were often filled with white, Christian born men. In order to maintain this monochrome portfolio, the brothers of each fraternity would “blackball” members of minority classes. This means that Fraternity brothers would make it extremely difficult for minorities to join their house. In March 1954, however, members of the student body council gathered together to end discrimination within fraternities. In order to do so, these members put forth a referendum against any written or unwritten clauses that disclude members of the Dartmouth community due to their race, religion, or national origin from fraternity activities. Although it was a close vote, the referendum was validated by the college – preventing any Dartmouth College fraternity from commiting such acts. This led many Dartmouth fraternities to abandon their affiliation with the National chapters that continued to enact discriminatory forms of pledging.

This uninterrupted bliss, however, was short-lived; many Dartmouth alumni and national chapter representatives began to protest the referendum, stating that the inclusion of minority groups into white, Christian fraternities is unwise and bad for Dartmouth’s name. The disputes sent a clear message to the minorities interested in Dartmouth's Greek life: we don’t want you here. Nevertheless, greek spaces became more diverse and, Lambda Upsilon Lambda, a Latino fraternity was established on June 8, 1997. 

Lambda Upsilon Lambda


La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Incorporated, is largely inactive as of 2022. However, LUL was a social powerhouse during its active time on campus. The fraternity often hosted events catered to the Latinx groups on campus. These events included annual celebrations, cultural empowerment through guest speakers, and most often parties with other minority fraternities (Alpha Phi Alpha).

LUL Strolling

At nearly every event, these members performed a “stroll” – a dance that is unique to each greek chapter. These dances represent strength and unity within the chapter.

A Lack of Representation at Dartmouth

Although LUL created a welcoming experience for the Latinx community, Dartmouth struggled to provide these students with sufficient attention. More specifically, the brothers of the Lambda upsilon Lambda fraternity struggled to obtain representation from the Dartmouth Administration.

In this article,  written in 1996 Lambda Upsilon Lambda explains how Dartmouth desperately needs more Latinx representation through bands and loud expressions of Latinx culture. The Lambda Upsilon Lambda fraternity recommended that Dartmouth invite a current Latinx band, “Dark Latin Groove”, to provide this representation. In this document, the fraternity laid out exactly what Dartmouth needed to do to invite this band; the fraternity also mentioned the benefits of this band’s appearance on campus and the approximate expenses required to enact this plan. Although this seems like an undeniable request, Dark Latin Groove is not mentioned anywhere in The Dartmouth – the college's student-run newspaper. Throughout this document, readers can clearly see that many Latinx community members were putting in tremendous effort to provide support and representation for their communities. 

In a complaint to the Dean of Faculty in 1996, the Lambda Upsilon Lambda fraternity explain how Dartmouth can better provide for the Latinx community, specifically within the lens of the Latinx fraternity. Here, the authors explain how they only wish the best for the school; however, Dartmouth is currently failing at providing a quality experience to its Latinx members. Many Latinx members come from very diverse areas, ones where they are already surrounded by a supportive, pre-existing Latinx community. That changes as soon as they come to Dartmouth. This fraternity mentions that Dartmouth students often feel isolated at Dartmouth. The brothers of Lambda Upsilon Lambda write that Dartmouth could do a better job and, in fact, needs to do a better job if they want to continue to be one of the nations leading institutions. One of the reasons Dartmouth is very special is because it is in a very rural area, but this may act as a massive barrier for many Latinx community members. Moreover, another concern the Lambda Upsilon Lambda fraternity mentioned is that they feel ostracized by other fraternities/sororities. The Latino fraternity mentions that the CFSC (Co-educational Fraternity Sorority Council) consistently performs micro-aggressions against them by consistently excluding them from meetings and events. Illustrated above are examples of exclusionary acts towards the Latino fraternity.

A lack of Latinx representation within the Dartmouth community is nothing new. La Alianza Latina, a student run organization made for the livability and unity of Latinx students, has also been excluded and misrepresented. La Alianza Latina and the Dartmouth administration have held multiple meetings from 1994-1997 in order to discuss the establishment of a Latinx student resource center. Although there were houses for spanish speaking students on campus such as La Casa, La Alianza Latina felt that La Casa misrepresented latinx students on campus as people from Latin America or Spain. This misrepresentation stood as a major stunt in the growth of the Latinx community and prevented many issues, specific to this community, from being solved. A resource center and a residence hall would finally come to be established in 2001.

Final Remarks

While the representation and population of the Latinx community on campus continues to grow, current latinx students can thank their predecessors for their perseverance and passion for the Latinx culture. 
Although much of this research was centered on the representation of the Latino community within fraternities from 1970 – 2006, further research is required to make a statement about the Latinx community as a whole, or of Latinas within Dartmouth college sororities.


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Lambda Upsilon Lambda to the Dean of Faculty, No time indicated, Box 10, Folder 11, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Papers. Specials Collections, Dartmouth College

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xbeba0903x. LUL Strolling. 2006. YouTube,