Members of Pi Delta Psi dance during their probate on Feb. 27, 2010 near the UMC fountains at the CU-Boulder campus. Pi Delta Psi is the first Asian-interest fraternity at the school. (Photo by Joe Nguyen/AsiaXpress.com)
Pi Delta Psi becomes Colorado's first Asian-interest fraternity
After two-and-a-half years, L.I.N.K.S. earns full fraternity status
By Joe Nguyen, AsiaXpress.com
March 4, 2010
CU-Boulder student Kiyoshi Kogi stands with his fraternity brothers during Pi Delta Psi's probate on Feb. 26, 2010 near the UMC fountains at the CU-Boulder campus. Pi Delta Psi is the first Asian-interest fraternity at the school.
BOULDER – Nothing could ruin the probate for Pi Delta Psi, the University of Colorado's newest fraternity, on Feb. 27 at the UMC fountains on campus.
Not the frigid temperatures, not the delayed start, not even the insensitive heckling from a passerby. The 10 young men had waited two-and-a-half years for this.
And this was their moment.
Decked out in black shirts and pants, white suspenders, red ties and JabbaWockeeZ-esque white masks, the members of Colorado's first Asian-interest fraternity performed a 40-minute presentation introducing themselves to the campus community.
"We're a cultural fraternity," Pi Delta Psi President Josh Libid said. " ... We're Asian-interest, but you don't have to be Asian to join. It's basically creating understanding so people can get along better.
"Helping people know their roots and history."
Their journey began in 2007 as the Asian-interest group, L.I.N.K.S., or Leadership Integrity Networking Knowledge and Strength. Libid has been with the group from the beginning and remembers the struggles they endured early on.
"It started out so disorganized and small ... we didn't know where we were headed," Libid said. "To look back today and see Culture Shock (their annual multicultural talent show) – we've got a huge event now, we've got a good rep among all the organizations."
The group reached out to the national Pi Delta Psi fraternity and from there, worked to meet the various criteria to becoming a chapter. Maintaining consistent interest, however, proved difficult at times.
"There were a lot of members who joined and then quit," said Pi Delta Psi Vice President Joon Kim.
But the group received support from other Pi Delta Psi chapters around the country – including many members who came out for Culture Shock and the probate – as well as from Sigma Psi Zeta, the Asian-interest sorority on campus.
"Without (Sigma Psi Zeta), we wouldn't have held our fire to really push through and establish ourselves," Libid said.
The fraternity now looks ahead to their other projects for the year, including working with a mentoring program for kids and helping March of Dimes. Kim hopes their fire will continue to burn as they go forward.
"We're the first one (Asian-interest fraternity) in Colorado, we're the first one in CU, we just hope that we will remain strong and focused," Kim said. "We also like to see if this sparks interest in other places, too."