FULLABALOO | Student Org Spotlight: Gamma Lambda Epsilon Phi

Meredith Abdelnour, Arcade Editor

student org spotlight written on lightbulbsIf you’re getting deep into your sophomore year and realizing that you haven’t done anything with a student organization besides trying and failing to get boba from the Asian-American Student Union before it runs out, don’t fret! Many student organizations have flexible application requirements, questionable acceptance rates and vague mission statements. Gamma Lambda Epsilon Phi, a professional co-ed service fraternity, has just opened its application period and is looking for qualified students to be the next generation of changemakers. 


Gamma Lambda Epsilon Phi was established in 2019 to help struggling students with their futures. No, not elementary school students having a hard time with algebra — Tulane students having a hard time scraping together enough experience to put together a cover letter. “We really strive to provide a space where students who aren’t really passionate about anything can get an experience that will help them grow, and ultimately fill that giant blank space on their resume,” President Ella Smith said. Smith was inspired to start the organization after being rejected for a summer internship because her experience as a SexyCakes ambassador was not enough to qualify her. 


The organization’s most popular, and as of now only, fundraising effort is tabling on McAlister Drive. “It’s really about promoting exchanging valuable assets for consumer support,” Smith said as she flagged down another passing student by yelling about donuts for sale. “Right now this money is going towards our bonding events, such as our Wildest in the West mixer at Vybes Nation, but once we get around to it I’m sure we’ll give some to a food pantry or something.”


“Of course, with everything going on in the world, we’ve started a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, because it’s really important that we prioritize diversity in our organization,” Smith said. “So our committee includes not only students from Orange County, but also from Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Palos Verdes Peninsula.”


Although the pandemic has affected Gamma Lambda Epsilon Phi’s plans for the year, they’ve found ways to still provide an enriching academic and social experience for their members. “We really value the safety of our members and we’ve been really conscious of the current pandemic and its disproportionate impact on BIPOC in the New Orleans community,” Lily McDonald, the organization’s social chair, said. “That’s why we decided to have our formal at Bourbon Heat instead of Red Eye, so 400 sweaty college students will be swapping spit in an outdoor space with plenty of ventilation, instead of in a dark room.” 


“At the end of the day, we’re all a family,” Smith said. “We use each other to social climb, binge drink and sometimes pass out free things on McAlister. Like a family.”