Sigma Nu: Alpha Xi Delta’s “Alpha” Males?

Lombard College

By Ruth Goodman, Editor of The Quill of Alpha Xi Delta

[Editor’s Note: The Delta recently had an opportunity to assist Alpha Xi Delta Sorority research the historic connections between our two organizations.  The resulting story, published by Alpha Xi Delta in their Fall/Winter 2006 issue of The Quill, offers a unique glimpse into an interfraternal relationship Sigma Nu is proud to be a part of.  What follows are edited excerpts from their original article.]

When 10 young women, whom Alpha Xi Delta members now know as their Founders, attended Lombard College in the late 1800s, they were hard-pressed to find activities to keep themselves busy outside of class. The lack of social support was not unique to this Galesburg, Ill., campus. In fact, female students across the country were finding it difficult to locate social opportunities, especially when women were admitted to college and merely tolerated instead of being welcomed as an integral part of the student body.

A local sorority called I.C. Sorosis, which later became Pi Beta Phi sorority, had been permitted to install a chapter of its organization at Lombard in 1867, which brought the fraternity system to campus and expanded the number of social opportunities for women. This was a good beginning, yet not all of the women at Lombard were interested in, or chosen to become, Pi Phis.

Harriet Louella McCollum became a Lombard freshman in 1892, surveyed the social scene and longed for something more. Harriet envisioned a new fraternity that would encourage personal friendships, promote friendlier contacts with the entire student body and actively serve the college. She shared her idea with friends Cora Bollinger, Lucy Gilmer, Eliza Curtis, Frances Cheney and Almira Cheney. In early March, 1893, this fledgling group met to consider the possibility of founding a fraternity that realized these ideals.

The women of Pi Beta Phi and the men of Phi Delta Theta, one of the two fraternities on campus, were closely aligned, so the idea of another women’s group was enthusiastically welcomed by our men at the Delta Theta Chapter. In fact, Sigma Nu had been founded at Lombard just a year earlier, so Harriet and her friends eagerly talked with our men about how to establish a new group on campus.

Attempts by other groups to organize societies on campus had failed, so the young women made sure their organization was running smoothly before it was officially unveiled to the student body. On April 17, 1893, the group of 10, which now included Bertha Cook, Julia Foster, Lewie Strong and Alice Bartlett, met a few minutes before chapel time to pin on knots of double blue ribbon and long-stemmed pink roses, which had been smuggled into the room. With sparkling eyes, flushed cheeks and proud postures, the women entered the chapel after the faculty and students had been seated and sat quietly near the back of the room. After a moment of startled silence, our Delta Theta Chapter members led congratulatory applause, welcoming Alpha Xi Delta to campus.

Sigma Nu members wanted to do something nice for our new Greek sisters to mark this special occasion, so two of our brothers outraced two Phi Delta Thetas by five minutes to buy the remaining box seats for a performance of Othello, which was being presented at the auditorium on April 25.

 Faithful Friends

This outing was the first of many that the Alpha Xis and Sigma Nus enjoyed. An article in our February 1902 issue of The Delta stated, “The swellest social event of the season so far took place on Saturday eve, January 25, in the [Lombard] college gym. It was a dancing party given to the Sigs by our most faithful and loyal friends, the Alpha Xi Deltas. The gym was prettily decorated in light and dark blue, their colors, and the gold, black and white of Sigma Nu. Inviting cozy corners were arranged here and there, which of course, were always occupied. The music was excellent and everything was first class. At the last waltz the gym rang with the two frat yells. Words cannot express our appreciation of this party or tell of the delightful evening we spent.”

The following year, Alpha Xi Delta’s first convention was held at the same time we held our fifth division convention in Galesburg. It seemed only natural that our two groups would get together for a reception and dance in the Lombard gymnasium, which had once again been decorated in the colors of both organizations. As noted in their fraternity’s magazine, The Alpha Xi Delta, Vol. 1, No. 1, “The reception was set for an early hour, 5:30, and soon after that time the orchestra commenced an attractive program of waltzes and two steps. At 9 o’clock, cars were waiting to take the merry crowd downtown to their respective banquets. The boys filled one car and the girls another, but by a seemingly prearranged plan the car the girls were in ran off the track and the gallant young men offered their seats. When the cars started again, they were filled with a mixed crowd of girls and boys who enlivened the trip with fraternity songs and yells. The Alpha Xi Deltas went to Spake’s banquet hall where an elegant banquet was served. The convention closed Saturday evening with a joint rally at the Sigma Nu house. College songs were sung and several songs composed for the occasion were rendered.”

Lending a Helping Hand

The Lombard Alpha Xi Deltas became increasingly interested in becoming a national fraternity and sharing their organization with women on other campuses. The women realized that expanding Alpha Xi Delta beyond Lombard would require a constitution instead of the few simple rules they had been using to function on a local level.

Chapter member Edna Epperson asked her father who, among his attorney friends, could be trusted to keep their plans confidential and help draft a nationalization plan and a preliminary constitution. He referred her to James J. Welsh, a Sigma Nu alumnus from Lombard. On April 17, 1902, their Alpha Chapter celebrated Founders’ Day by adopting the constitution that declared the organization a national fraternity. And, that constitution, with amendments, still guides their fraternity today.

Albert H. “Bert” Wilson, an iconic Sigma Nu alumnus from our Beta Iota Chapter at Mount Union College in Ohio, was gifted at (among other things) helping local fraternities and sororities affiliate with national organizations. Therefore, and not surprisingly, he was instrumental in helping broaden Alpha Xi Delta’s reach. Brother Wilson began his association with Alpha Xi Delta in 1902 when the S.L.C. Club at Mount Union petitioned for a charter to become Gamma Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta. Brother Wilson and Mary Emily Kay, a member of S.L.C. Club, sat on her front porch and helped write that successful petition. Mary was initiated into Gamma Chapter in 1902 and became Alpha Xi Delta’s fourth Grand President (now known as National President) in 1909.

Throughout the years, Alpha Xi Delta and Sigma Nu continued to establish chapters across the country, often finding themselves at the same colleges and universities. And, since Alpha Xi Delta’s founding, our two organizations have coexisted, or currently coexist, on 109 campuses.

Could Alpha Xi Delta have become a thriving organization without receiving help from the members of Sigma Nu? Given the strength and fortitude of their 10 Founders, the probability is quite high. Regardless, the next time you talk with an Alpha Xi Delta friend, or meet one of their sisters for the first time, tell her how proud you are that Sigma Nus at Lombard College were able to extend a helping hand.

This version of the article originally appeared in the Summer 2007 issue of The Delta.  

From Passive to Powerful

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Mike Dilbeck is the founder of RESPONSE ABILITY and speaks to audiences around the country about bystander intervention and courageous leadership. Brother Dilbeck is an initiate of Sigma Nu’s Lambda Epsilon Chapter at Texas Christian University.

Like many of you, I have been paying close attention to all the news regarding the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter at the University of Oklahoma. As someone who visits campuses and speaks to tens of thousands of college students each year, I often think I have heard it all. However, I wasn’t prepared for this. Maybe it was because I had just seen the inspiring footage over the weekend of the tens of thousands of people marching in Selma, Alabama. Maybe it was because of the tears I shed as I listened to our president’s remarks in front of that bridge. Maybe it’s because the actions were just outright abhorrent and, as OU President Boren swiftly and powerfully said, “disgraceful.”

Even amidst all of my personal feelings, I know this is not who we are as members of the national fraternity and sorority community. I know this is not what Sigma Alpha Epsilon is truly about. I know this is not what represents the millions of us committed to dignity and respect for all. However, this is an opportunity for all of us all to pause and reflect on why something so divisive and offensive can happen at all.

There are many different ways to look at this incident and, rather than address the actions of the perpetrators, which most people will do, I want to explore the actions of another group of people involved: the bystanders. Anyone who was on that bus at the time of this racist chant and wasn’t participating in the activity is a bystander. Whether they wanted to be or not. Whether they chose to be or not. Whether they liked it or not. The simple fact is: when we see or hear something — anything — being done or said, we are a bystander.

What kind of bystander are you?

Now, here’s the question for them and all of us to ponder: what kind of bystander are we going to be? When we witness or hear anything that is inappropriate, offensive, unsafe, unhealthy, unlawful, dishonorable, or just plain wrong, we have a momentary choice to make. Are we going to stay silent, walk away, or laugh along? In other words, be a passive bystander? Or, are we going to choose to stand up, step in, and speak out for what’s right? In other words, be a powerful bystander? This is the choice we have — and we do make a choice, whether we experience making one or not.

We don’t know everything that happened on that bus this past weekend, but what has already become clear is there were both types of bystanders in reaction to the offensive and hurtful actions of a few. First, we know of at least one powerful bystander — someone who chose to take out their smartphone and record video of the chant. Then, hand that video over to someone who could do something with it to make a difference. By now, you already know that this video has gone viral and caused the SAE chapter being closed, all brothers moving out of the house, and the expulsion of two students. This action has also elevated the already-existing national conversation on race.

The reality is that we are expecting college students to do something that many will argue they are not developmentally ready to do.

As the founder of RESPONSE ABILITY, a program on bystander intervention and courageous leadership, I share various actions available to each of us in being a powerful bystander and intervening to prevent, end, or diffuse a problem situation. One of these actions is to do exactly what this bystander did — record video. This can be a powerful and safe alternative to direct, in-your-face confrontation to a behavior (which is also sometimes appropriate). They made the momentary choice to go beyond whatever fear they may have had and take some form of action to intervene. What this bystander did was brilliant and very effective. What this bystander did was demonstrate courageous leadership.

Which brings us to the other bystanders on the bus that evening. I want to believe there were more students who had a gut response that this chant was wrong. Granted, there will be more details to come out and we may very well find out that others did do something. However, my skepticism — even my own cynicism — doubts that anyone did. I fear that every other bystander that evening chose to be passive.

The reality is that we are expecting college students to do something that many will argue they are not developmentally ready to do. We are asking them to go beyond a deep-seated and real fear of standing up to their fellow peers and taking great risks in doing so. We are asking them to be bigger than they know themselves to be. Yes, we are asking this — not only of them, but of us all. Even though these students are at a distinct time in their lives, it takes something from all of us to do what we are not comfortable doing. There is nothing comfortable about intervening, regardless of age. Nothing! For many of us, this may be the greatest fear we have. Yet, none of this excuses us from tolerating the abusive, offensive, hurtful, and violent behavior we witness in our lives.

Are you going to give yourself permission to go from passive to powerful in order to be the man you have committed yourself to be?

To be clear, I am not telling you what choice you should make — this is up to you. My mission in life is to wake us all up to the opportunity we have to go past that which stops us in making the difference we are out to make. To empower us all to stand up, step in, and speak out for what’s right. To give us all permission to go from passive to powerful.

So, whether you are a college student, a parent, an employee, an employer, a spouse, a community activist, or any other role in life, you are a Sigma Nu. You are a man who has given your oath to the values of Love, Honor, and Truth. No matter how long ago it was when you were initiated as a Knight in Sigma Nu, you took a lifelong oath to uphold — and live by — these values.

Which brings us to my final question: are you going to live these values in your life at all times — or just when it is convenient and comfortable? Are you going to let these values guide you and empower you to stand up, step in, and speak out for what’s right — or turn your back on them and experience the shame and guilt from doing so? Are you going to give yourself permission to go from passive to powerful in order to be the man you have committed yourself to be?

When we do live from these values and make the choice to take an appropriate, effective, and safe action to intervene, I call this courageous leadership. And, I do truly believe in our ability to respond to any form of discrimination, sexual violence, corruption, cheating, bullying, hazing, and other issues by going beyond our shame and fear to demonstrate courage in momentary choices.

For colleagues. For family. For friends. For strangers.

In organizations. In business. In community. In life.

If you would like to empower yourself — and others — in making this kind of difference, I invite you to join The Revolution for Courageous Leadership by visiting our website. Here, you will get exclusive access to valuable and free resources, including the recently-published eBook, “The Manifesto for Courageous Leadership.” Mike’s personal website is mikedilbeck.com.

Mike Dilbeck

Chris Graham on Memorizing the Long Creed

Sigma Nu Leadership conference

Division Commander Chris Graham (Lamar/Stephen F. Austin) recites the Creed on stage at College of Chapters 2014.

 

Division Commander Chris Graham (Lamar/Stephen F. Austin) recited the “long Creed” of Sigma Nu at both College of Chapters and Grand Chapter in 2014. The staff of The Delta spoke with Brother Graham and asked him about the story of how he came to memorize the Creed and what it means to him.

After I was initiated, one of the first things I did – using the old merchandise form – I bought a copy of the long Creed, the short Creed, and a copy of A Serpent, A Rose and A Star. I framed the long Creed and hung it on my wall not long after I was initiated. The Creed was always something I was impressed with – the elegance and beauty of it.

Graham first saw the Creed recited in long-form at College of Chapters by then Division Commander Joe Cannon (North Texas). The experience was an inspiration to Graham who began to memorize the Creed while an undergraduate.

Fast forward a year or so before I graduated, I was living in the fraternity house between my sophomore and junior years. In the house we had the long Creed hanging on the wall in our room of honor. One evening I was there cleaning the room and I sat down and read the Creed. I realized that I had about a third of it memorized, without ever really trying to memorize it. Then I said, “I want to do this for me.” I never intended it for anyone other than myself.

Before I graduated college, I had the whole Love section memorized and I pretty much had the Honor section memorized. I would stumble with it but with those two sections I was close to having half of it.

After graduating, Graham set aside the Creed. During this time, Graham began his career and got married. Tragically, Graham’s young wife was stricken with cancer and she passed away not long after their marriage.

After she passed I sank into a depression or whatever you want to call it. You try to find a reason to get up every day. It wasn’t long after that I became Chapter Advisor at Lamar. I watched these young men reach out to me and engage me to be involved. I realized Sigma Nu was very important to me at that time because it was giving me something to live for. I don’t want to sound so morbid but it gave me a purpose beyond just getting up and going to work. It was just another extension and a reason to keep moving forward. And it truly reminded me of what was in our Creed, the concept of brotherly love, truly being there for others.

So I started reading the Creed again and really decided I wanted to finish memorizing it because it gave me such peace and solace. So within a few years I pretty much had it. I only recited it to myself as it was a personal thing, and I never saw myself being in a position to recite it for someone else until there was a death of one of our chapter’s charter members.

Graham was approached by the family of the deceased brother and they asked for some token of appreciation that could be provided during the service. Graham offered to recite the Creed at the wake which the family accepted. Additionally, the Funeral Ritual was performed just for the family prior to the burial service.

It was the first time I ever recited the Creed for anybody other than myself. As I was saying it, it was emotional because I knew who I was doing it for: the family, in honor of their father and husband who was such a great Sigma Nu and inspiration to me. I realized that I really did know it but I knew it because of what it meant to me.

After reciting the Creed at the funeral, Graham was approached by Zeta Psi (Lamar) to recite it at their formal. This started a series of recitations that included the charterings of chapters at Oklahoma, Stephen F. Austin, and Houston. Finally, Graham was approached by then Regent Charlie Eitel to recite the Creed at College of Chapters and Grand Chapter. At both conventions Graham recited the Creed before hundreds of Sigma Nu brothers.

People have asked me “Why?” and I always say that it was an inspiration to me and it still is today. There have been days where I have had the most rotten day and I’ll turn off my radio and just recite the Creed on the way home from work. It relaxes me; it reminds me of why I’m a Sigma Nu and the great things our fraternity stands for. I’m pleased that I have had the opportunity to share it with others and at College of Chapters and Grand Chapter.

To have so many students come up to me and tell me that I have inspired them reminds me of why I am a volunteer. I want to give back, I want to inspire those young men, just like I was inspired as a young man to be something more, to be better than just average. It was just one of those things that came into my life at the right time that I’ve been able to share. And it’s been an honor to be able to share, on whatever stage whether it be at a small chapter gathering or Grand Chapter. It was just something that I am honored that I have the ability to do and to share.

 

 

On Knighthood

Sigma Nu Leadership conference

By Drew Logsdon (Western Kentucky)

There is one particular facet of our great Fraternity’s Ritual that I have always loved. Unfortunately, it is not something I often see discussed. This might be because the term itself, “Knight,” harkens back to a much different era than the world we live in today. Our members, Knights of the Legion of Honor, do not go riding around on horses brandishing swords or serving noble lieges.

Today our world has no need for the knights of a bygone era. However, it is in desperate need of the modern embodiment of knighthood. As Knights of the Legion of Honor, we are not nobles. We are not automatically granted honor, titles, or knighthood as a birthright. Instead, we are products of a society that provides individuals the opportunity to make themselves what they want.

The QuestAs Knights of the Legion of Honor, we have earned our title through the virtuous choices we made. The Legion of Honor ensures that those who have been granted the title of Knight have lived (and take an oath to forever live) the values of Love, Honor, and Truth. The Legion of Honor also jealously protects its reputation. Our Fraternity dictates that those who sully the values they swore to uphold have their knighthood removed. As was discussed at the recent College of Chapters, honor that is guaranteed is not honor at all. We, as Knights, hold ourselves to our oath and strive daily to exemplify our values; for this great privilege is not guaranteed.

As previously stated, we do not serve a liege in the traditional sense. However, we do serve each other. I carry my knighthood for my brothers today, those before me, and those yet to come. We are required by oath to serve our Legion of Honor and to never besmirch its honor or glory. This goes far beyond the typical example of “My brother, right or wrong.” It means that I am committed to conduct myself as my fellow knights would expect me.

But what does all of this have to do with the need for knights today? Look around us. Intolerance of minds, shallowness of soul, a gaping abscess of buffoonery, and a lack of care for the world we live in continue to plague our society. Our Legion of Honor is not the only solution. To believe it is would be to ignore the size of our problems. But our Legion of Honor is most assuredly a part of the solution.

We are Knights of the Legion of Honor and we will honor our commitment every day.

My fellow Knights will become doctors, aid workers, teachers, professors, nurses, soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, policemen, volunteers, pastors, priests, entrepreneurs, husbands, and fathers. They will be clad in the heavy commitment of our common oath and guarded against the ills around them by the strength of our values. They will carry the sword of action and compassion to not stand idly by as those around them suffer against injustice or warrantless transgressions.

We do not ride around on horses. We don’t wear armor into work. Nor do we rest comfortably in a falsely guaranteed notion of honor.

We are Knights of the Legion of Honor and we will honor our commitment every day.

And upon our final days we will let them say that we ever bore without abuse, the grand old name of gentleman with the assurance that those ahead of us will honor our mighty Legion of Honor.

Rescuing Our Ritual

Dedication marker in spring snow

By Travis Galloway (Washington)

Something really set me me off the other day. While researching for this article, I made the mistake of entering “fraternity ritual” in the Google search bar. I was expecting to find a convenient Wikipedia page with a general history of fraternity rituals, their inspiration and evolution; how naïve that turned out to be. While a few of the top results pointed to brief histories of specific fraternities’ rituals, those are not what caught my eye. Rather, I was bombarded by headlines like “College Hazing Stories,” “Horrible College Hazing Rituals,” and “Deadly Frat Rituals are Banned Thanks to Technology.” And that’s just on the first page of results.

Is this what we have done to ourselves, our fraternities? Is this the price of maintaining a secret ritual? Are we known only for what we have done to bastardize our rituals? These are just a couple of the questions that surged into my mind. I hope you are as upset as I am.

As fraternity men and sorority women, we have a tendency to think of our rituals as archaic books of secrets. Inspired by men and women who have long since passed, we bring them out of hiding only a few times each semester. And usually, we don’t do it because we want to; we do it because we feel compelled. To many of us have a tendency to dust off The Ritual for the Candidate and Initiation Ceremonies, and perhaps for chapter meetings and the occasional Affirmation of Knighthood Ceremony. But the ceremony ends, The Ritual goes right back into hiding, and we don’t think about it again until the next ceremony. Robes, candles, ribbons, badges, perhaps blindfolds, and a lot of talking by a few officers: this is what most of us remember.

DSC_1044If we expect to be taken seriously as an organization that seeks “to develop ethical leaders,” then we need to do a better job of acting like it. If we are going to keep complaining that Greek-letter organizations get too much bad press, we need to stop simply talking about how we encourage great development opportunities, ethical leadership training, and adherence to a core set of values; we need to start doing it. If you are as frustrated as I am by the headlines I mentioned earlier, then you need to help me reclaim our Ritual.

Toward the end of the Initiation Ceremony, our Ritual challenges each Knight to “strive to live and die in Honor…that in life and death men may truly say of him: ‘He ever bore, without abuse, the grand old name of gentleman.’” That last part is inspired by a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson, written while Tennyson was mourning the loss of a very close friend, Arthur Henry Hallam. To paraphrase, Hallam was an excellent man, above the “churls” and “charlatans” who claimed the “name of gentleman” but did not deserve the distinction of such a title. So, what are you doing to live up to your commitment to live and die in honor? Do you deserve to bear the “grand old name of gentleman”?

I’m not going to try to define “gentleman.” Plenty have tried, but I believe that the word has a certain “it” factor, as in “you know it when you see it.” Here is one way to help you “see it”: over the next few weeks, pay attention to your behavior and the behavior of those around you. Each time that you notice yourself or one of your brothers or candidates do something gentlemanly, take note of it. Each time you hold the door open for somebody; each time you help someone pick up something they’ve dropped; each time you help an elderly lady across the street, add a note in your phone or on a piece of paper. Make a conscious effort to be a better man, and you’ll feel good about it. Challenge your brothers to be more considerate of others, to try to make someone’s day, every day. Keep track of gentlemanly behavior, and recognize brothers who excel at your chapter meetings. During National Ritual Celebration Week, use the hashtag #NRCW to acknowledge excellent brothers who live according to our Ritual.

We are all too accustomed to calling each other out for our shortcomings, but we need to do a better job of encouraging excellent behavior rather than chastising our flaws. By making a conscious effort to acknowledge our brothers who “excel with honor,” we will encourage the development of transformational habits. These habits, in some small way, will help us rise above the tide of mediocrity, selfishness, and conceit that have diminished the credibility of our Ritual, and by proxy, our organization. Brothers, join me in rescuing the reputation of fraternity and sorority rituals everywhere by living up to the aspirations of ours so “that in life and death men may truly say of [us]:

[We] ever bore without abuse the grand old name of gentleman.’”

Sigma Nu Leadership conference

UC Davis Sigma Nu Co-Founds Latin American Film Series

Juan Paul Varela2

Juan-Paulo Varela (UC Davis), co-founder of the Crisol Latin American Film Initiative.

Founded to increase the appreciation of Latin American arts and culture, the Crisol Latin American Film Initiative will offer Spanish language cinema and a variety of artistic mediums that highlight the similarities between Latinos and their non-Latino peers. The Film Initiative, co-founded by Brother Juan-Paulo Varela (UC Davis), will host its inaugural run over four weekends beginning Saturday, March 14 through Friday, April 3, 2015. All screenings will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Varela serves as the program director, while co-founder Karem Orrego, a fourth year film student at the University of Utah, serves as executive director.

When asked why he co-founded the Film Initiative, Varela said he wanted to create a platform through which Latin American arts and culture could be both appreciated and critically examined in the context of shifting demographics in the United States.

“Crisol is an olive branch similar to the fraternal love that we as Sigma Nus experience–we want to extinguish tired stereotypes and elucidate a modern Latin America in juxtaposition with the United States,” he said.

The Crisol Film Initiative is expected to attract an audience of more than 1,200 people over its first four weekends and an additional 600 during its second screenings in late April. Such prominent attendees for the opening reception will include University of Utah administrators, including the dean and several department chairs of the College of Fine Arts.

Likewise, Utah State Senator Luz Escamilla and Utah State Representative Angela Romero will attend the closing reception along with leading members of Salt Lake’s arts and culture community at the Urban Arts Gallery in downtown Salt Lake.

Founded to increase the appreciation of Latin American arts and culture, Crisol will offer Spanish language cinema and a variety of artistic mediums that highlight the similarities between Latinos and their non-Latino peers.

Founded to increase the appreciation of Latin American arts and culture, Crisol will offer Spanish language cinema and a variety of artistic mediums that highlight the similarities between Latinos and their non-Latino peers.

To accomplish Crisol’s mission, Varela has actively engaged both leading individuals and organizations within Salt Lake’s political, artistic, and cultural spheres over the past six months.

The Sundance Film Festival, held in Salt Lake City, helps create a receptive attitude towards artistic endeavors but also creates a competitive market for funding and recognition. As such, Varela and the team at Crisol have worked diligently to gain the necessary support to make Crisol a reality.

Following a successful inaugural run, Varela hopes to continue the Crisol Film Initiative as an annual event.

Alternatively, the team at Crisol is weighing offers from two of the leading arts festivals in Utah to merge Crisol with their events. In either case, Varela is excited with his opportunity to promote the arts and enhance the quality of life in Utah through the production of the Crisol Latin American Film Initiative.

Recently used Sundance Film Festival venues will play host to film screenings as well interactive art performances in partnership with the University of Utah’s prestigious Ballet School.

Second screenings will take place in the weeks after the Initiative’s closing reception at the Sorenson Unity Center.

The first film will be screened on Saturday, March 14th at 7:00 p.m. at the Post Theater on the University of Utah’s campus.

For more information, visit the Initiative’s website and Facebook page.

Delta Alpha Brother’s Band Releases Video

Brother Al Rodriguez’s (Case Western) band The Midnight Slander has released its debut music video. The Midnight Slander, which formed just over two years ago, features Rodriguez on bass, Mike Gray on the drums and keyboard and Dave Conner on guitar and lead vocals. One of the band’s signature elements is Gray who plays both drums and keyboard during live shows.

“When we first got together, we really liked the ideas and songwriting and music coming from a three-piece set-up,’’ told Mike Gray to Cleveland.com. “So before the first show, we asked ourselves, ‘Do we need a fourth person?’ and I half-jokingly said, ‘I’ll just cover it.’”

According to Al, the band “plays a mix of southern rock, piano pop, and funk that ensures for a fun and memorable experience.”

Speaking about his chapter brothers, Rodriguez said, “I don’t think I’ve played a show in the past year and half that hasn’t been attended or promoted by brothers who want to see me do well.  It is truly a humbling feeling to have such a backing.”

Rodriguez informed us that the band was signed to Spectra Records in 2013. The new video for “The Long Way Home” is a collection of live footage and shots of the band while on tour.

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