University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Colony
Julio Maldonado began his college career at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater. He was on a football scholarship for about two years, before transferring to the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. There, he saw his longtime friend, Alfredo Mercado Jr. One day, the topic about starting a Latino fraternity came up, and both agreed to do it. They wanted to make a difference in the community, and felt that nobody else on campus was doing so. The pair set out to recruit more guys. Their initial group grew to about fifteen men, but ended up with six after having met a few times. The group of six did their research and narrowed it down to three organizations. They reached out to and spoke to all three, but only one actually came to UWM to visit them. That one was Omega Delta Phi. A few Omicron founders went to visit the interested group in Milwaukee. Since then, the six young men never looked back. The interested men appreciated the time and interest showed from the ODPhi members to help them start up. Moreover, they identified with the sacraments, and really liked the mascot, as well as the colors. They worked to meet all the requirements set forth by the organization. Omicron chapter was very hands-on in helping them begin the founder’s program. Julio Maldonado, Alfredo Mercado Jr., Gabriel Lemus, Melvin Chacon, Carlos Conejo, and Mario Ramirez, who were also part of SHPE and the Latino Student Union, took on the challenge and were very successful. They had the support of Delta Psi Chi, who was starting up themselves. Also, the group’s official advisor, Dr. William Velez, as well as the school senate, was very supportive in their efforts to establish ODPhi. Dr. Velez and the school senate assisted with their academics, writing letters of recommendation, and helped fund some of their trips. Omicron founder, Antonio Flores was their prospective member educator through their founder’s program in 1997. On November 21, 1998, Alpha Zeta chapter was officially founded. With 65 brothers crossed to date, Alpha Zeta has hit a few bumps along the road. But their alumni have been coming back to help out as much as possible during this phase. “We are heading towards the right direction and hope we can succeed in molding the true leaders of tomorrow,” said Maldonado.