For the past five years, several USC students have tried to generate interest in a fraternity for gay men, yet their attempts have failed because of a lack of publicity.This year, however, Nick Powers, a sophomore majoring in East Asian rea studies who identifies himself as gay, and Vincent Vigil, director of the LGBT student resource center, are hoping to produce more publicity to gain support for a renewed effort for a gay fraternity.Powers hopes to create a chapter of either Delta Lambda Phi, a national social fraternity for gay, bisexual and progressive men, Sigma Phi Beta, a fraternity for gay, straight, bisexual and transgender men or Delta Lambda Psi, a co-ed fraternity that aims to connect LGBT students to the surrounding community.Delta Lambda Phi is the largest and oldest of the gay fraternities. Its slogan is, “Founded by gay men for all men.” Though Powers said he hopes to create a chapter of Delta Lambda Phi, the steps required might pose too much of a challenge.“The problem with [Delta Lambda Phi] is it’s the most difficult to get a chapter because the requirements are so strict,” Powers said. “You have to have at least 10 founding fathers, set up bank account, get a mailing address — it might be a little too much for us to accomplish.”Sigma Phi Beta, whose primary goal is to teach queer men about leadership and confidence, is also a potential option but does not have as strict requirements for membership as Delta Lambda Phi. Moreover, it’s a community fraternity, meaning it’s open to those who aren’t students at USC.“All Sigma Phi Beta sent us was a sign-up sheet for the interest group,” Powers said. “It could be one person, five people, however many.”Powers feels as if pursuing a smaller fraternity such as Sigma Phi Beta or Delta Lambda Psi, which only has one chapter at UC Santa Cruz and has no colonization requirements, will be more productive in the progression toward creating a gay fraternity at USC.Powers said that because interest is currently low, they do not want to limit the fraternity to only LGBT members.“There’s only three people in our group so far, so we’re a bit inexperienced,” Powers said. “We’re not getting a lot of interest, so we don’t necessarily need a frat just for gay people.”Powers’ goal is to choose one of the three fraternities by spring break and have the application process completed by August.“We really want to have it soon, and we think that’s possible with Sigma Phi Beta,” Powers said. “Delta Lambda Phi just wouldn’t be possible right now.”If Powers were to start a new fraternity at USC, he and the founding members would have to decide which fraternity council — Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council or Professional Fraternity Council — their chapter would classify under.Powers said Sigma Phi Beta recommends its chapters join the Interfraternity Council at the school immediately, while Delta Lambda Phi leaves the decision up to each chapter. Delta Lambda Psi has not specified which council it prefers its chapters to join.Patrick Lauer, IFC president, said the councils have different requirement for new chapters.“Each council has its own expansion process,” Lauer said. “IFC has a bunch of requirements that have to do with chapter advisories, alumni support and a bunch of other factors.”Powers and Vigil are both working to publicize the possible enactment of a new chapter in order to prevent failure this time around.“Three years ago, California State University, Long Beach came to USC to talk to students about starting [Delta Lambda Phi]. It has always been talked about, but there has been no drive or momentum to finish it,” Vigil said. “This year, the students have been very consistent about meeting and trying to recruit. They’re putting more energy into it.”Vigil said he will serve as a guide to Powers and the other students involved by researching the different LGBT-related fraternities and talking to chapters at other schools.“I’m trying to recruit four to five students as a core group every other week as well as information sessions, reserving venues and trying to get the word out,” Vigil said.Powers said the previous attempts to form a gay fraternity were unsuccessful because people were not actively communicating with each other.“When we really started last spring, what failed was no one really knew how to organize the group and do this on our own,” Powers said. “We started to realize what’s really important now is to check up on each other every week to keep up to date with progress.”Powers said he feels the obstacles in bringing a gay fraternity to campus are worth it.“Personally, before college, I was turned off by the Greek community, but when I saw what it really was, I wanted to be a part of it,” Powers said.He hopes the creation of a gay fraternity, regardless of which of the three it is, will help to break down stereotypes and build a bridge between the LGBT community and the community at large.
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Chris Paul concurred.“No question,” he said. “That energy and intensity they brought into the game, I think they got the crowd back into it. We picked it up from there. We started going downhill, as Doc would say. And just finding guys.“Wes (Wesley Johnson) made some big shots. And then our defense. We got some runout layups and that’s what got us back in the game.”Paul led the Clippers with 21 points and 13 assists. DeAndre Jordan scored 20 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, Redick scored 16, Jamal Crawford 12 and Johnson 11.Johnson started 1 of 11. But he hit two big 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. The first came with 4:59 to play and brought the Clippers within 95-84. At the 4:27 mark, Johnson sank a 28-foot bomb to cut the deficit to eight (95-87).Johnson said he was encouraged by his teammates.“I mean, every time I came to the bench, they kept saying, ‘Keep shooting,’ ” Johnson said. “So I couldn’t be bashful.”Paul loved the mettle his team displayed.“We showed a lot of fight,” he said.Paul mentioned the defense. The Thunder scored only five points over the last 7:26. The Clippers outscored OKC 35-13 in the fourth quarter, during which the Thunder were forced into six of their 17 turnovers.Austin Rivers scored six points off the bench in his first game back after missing a month with a fractured left hand. His father praised the defense his 6-foot-4 son played on Durant when he was on him.Durant finished with 30 points, but shot just 12 of 27. Russell Westbrook scored 24 and Serge Ibaka scored 11 points and tied Durant for team-high rebounding honors with 11.“I just tried to get under (Durant),” Austin Rivers said. “You cannot stop a player like Kevin. You just try to make it as difficult as possible, and I feel like we were kind of getting punked a little bit in the first half. The whole team, honestly.”The Thunder outrebounded the Clippers 63-45.OKC coach Billy Donovan seemed peeved at his team, rather than complimentary of the Clippers.“I don’t think L.A. did anything drastically different,” he said. “It was turnovers, it was maybe not great shot selection, it was not getting back in transition, it was giving up 3s — everything that we were doing at such a high level in the first half.”Clippers starting forward Luc Mbah a Moute missed the game because of a left eyelid laceration. Jeff Green started in his place.The Clippers play at OKC two more times this month and they also play at Golden State and San Antonio. There are games at Dallas and Memphis and Houston and home games against Atlanta, Cleveland, Boston and the surprising Portland Trail Blazers. Tough, indeed.Doc Rivers shrugged it off.“I don’t have a lot of thoughts,” he said before tipoff. “(Clippers voice) Ralph (Lawler) keeps reminding me of it during our interviews. But, obviously, I don’t think much about schedules.“I look at rest and stuff like that. I don’t look at the opponent much. We have to be ready to play every night and I don’t mind that it’s a tough schedule. I think in some ways that could be good for us.”Then there is Griffin. He has not played since Dec. 25 because of a partially torn quad tendon and, more recently, a fractured right hand.Austin Rivers told reporters that the way Griffin looked at the morning shootaround, he appears ready.“He looked like he was normal out there,” the younger Rivers said. “He was shooting it like Blake shoots it, from that mid-range. He was rolling to the basket, jumping high. He looks pretty good.”Knowing his son had, in his words, “spilled the beans,” Doc Rivers said that Griffin is indeed just about there.“Blake’s close and he’s looking good,” the elder Rivers said. “I mean, honestly, watching him today I was like, in my mind, I’m thinking, ‘Well, we can use some of that tonight.’ ”Once Griffin has been given the green light by doctors, he must serve his four-game suspension for fracturing his hand on team equipment staffer Matias Testi. March could be the most important month of the regular season for the L.A. Clippers. They play 16 games — six against elite teams with better records than the Clippers — and several more against playoff-bound teams.The Clippers will get Blake Griffin back, which will be a big deal moving toward the postseason.The first test came Wednesday, and the Clippers passed with flying colors. Down by 17 points after three quarters, they roared back to take a 103-98 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder before a delirious sellout crowd of 19,304 at Staples Center.The Clippers went ahead for good on a three-point play by DeAndre Jordan for a 99-97 lead with 1:12 to play. Jamal Crawford then made a short bank shot with 38.6 seconds left for a 101-97 advantage. After OKC’s Kevin Durant made one of two free throws, J.J. Redick made two free throws with 5.8 seconds left to seal the Thunder’s fate.The victory moved the fourth-place Clippers (40-20) to within 1 1/2 games of third-place Oklahoma City (42-19) in the Western Conference standings. The Clippers were down 85-68 entering the fourth quarter.The comeback, which was the Clippers’ biggest of the season, began with the second unit on the floor to start the fourth quarter.“The bench,” coach Doc Rivers said. “That was the key. … I just thought Oklahoma played harder, more aggressive, downhill, for 2 1/2 quarters; really, three quarters. And then the bench came in and then they started doing it back at them.”