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Fraternity promotes diversity, awarded

The brothers of Lambda Sigma Upsilon work to promote cultural diversity and awareness at Georgia College and elsewhere around the nation. Two brothers in particular have been awarded for their efforts. 

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Left to right: Edwin Mendoza, Luiz Jimenez, Camilo Baez, Antonio Barajas, Joseph Coleman display their matching fraternity letter jackets. The fraternity ties students from chapters across the nation into a familial relationship

Antonio Barajas, junior economics and modern languages double major and president of LSU, recently gave a presentation on Hispanic family values at a Hispanic Organization Promoting Education conference. He was the only presenter from outside the metro-Atlanta area.

“Basically, it was showing the values of Hispanic families and how you can use that to your advantage,” Barajas said.

The main points of his presentation centered around using the way a person is raised and bilingualism as an advantage in every day life. He is involved with HOPE because he wants to help improve the lives of young Latinos everywhere.

“I would say nowadays that one in every five Latinos graduate high school, so we definitely want to change that,” Barajas said. “As LSU, we want to help with that.”

Javier Becerra, senior biology major and LSU public relations chair, was given the Flagg Social Justice Legacy Award for his efforts in social justice education.

He founded the Elysium chapter of LSU with Camilo Baez and Joseph Coleman on April 16, 2010. Becerra is a former president of LSU, a member of Gamma Beta Phi honor society, and began a mentorship program at an alternative school called GNETS of Oconee.

The award is given to students, faculty, staff and community members who have gone above and beyond to promote social justice and diversity.

Becerra began the fraternity because he felt there was a lack of Latino males on campus.

“I felt the need to increase the diversity on campus and also promote the Latino culture on campus,” Becerra said.

Because of the recent negative attention on the “GCSU Memes” page, LSU wants to help recover the image of the school.

“If we have all these fraternities together and do events, that shows unity amongst the school and amongst Greek Life here,” Becerra said.

Computer science and general business major Joseph Coleman also spoke about LSU’s commitment to diversity on campus.

“We want to try to educate people about the differences in different cultures,” Coleman said.

Barajas made it clear that although the fraternity is a Latino fraternity, it is not Latino-exclusive. He said LSU has brothers from many different backgrounds. Barajas said that is why he decided to join the fraternity.

“It’s just a big family that goes across a nation,” Barajas said.

Becerra also shares a feeling of cohesiveness between LSU brothers.

“I’m graduating this May. I’ll be a part of this for life,” Becerra said. “It’s not something that I’ll forget as soon as I graduate.”

LSU’s national philanthropy is HIV/AIDS awareness. One of the founding fathers of the fraternity passed away due to HIV complications.

“We felt like it was a way to pay respect to him and also to help spread the word about a disease that’s very serious and damaging,” Coleman said.

Future plans for the fraternity include starting a scholarship that will help a local students pay for college.

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