In the 1990-91 year, Brian Crowe started a group on campus called the Gay & Lesbian Student Union. Most of their focus was on "ACT-UP"-style activism. They chalked messages on walls across campus (silence=death, etc.) and discussed how to better spread their message. Unfortunately, the fervor of their activism made the group very argumentative about how to best proceed. By the end academic year the group had splintered and disbanded.
In the meantime, Dawn Wallace had been wanting to take part in the group but was put off by the arguments. When she got word over Summer Quarter 1991 from the Student Activities office that GLSU had dissolved, she filed to create a new group called Lambda Union. She discussed the leadership requirements with her friends and the club emerged with its first three members - President Dawn Wallace, Vice-President Kevin Plessinger and Treasurer-Secretary Renee Lucas.
In academic year 1991-92 Lambda Union officially began and soon began to attract a small number of additional members. Activities were initially limited to presentations condom distribution (in coordination with the Dayton AIDS agencies and their representative, Bruce Brown) and discussion panels. During the Halloween season several members took up an invitation to attend a costume/drag party at Miami University (Dawn's girlfriend Dee walked into the MU Public Safety office asking for directions to the building and was pleasantly embarrassed that the officers knew about and seemed supportive of the event). On-Campus incidents of harassment of the more "out" members occurred but the WSU Public Safety office made it clear that harassment would not be tolerated, working closely with the students to handle the complaints. Lambda Union had a Staff Advisor but did not work closely with him. They also tried to work with Bruce Brown and the head of Student Affairs, Gerry Petrach. Membership fluctuated between six and ten members for most of the year.
Approaching the Spring Quarter, the tensions that had plagued the GLSU began to resurface within Lambda Union. Some members wanted to keep the group entirely as a support group. Others wanted to take the offensive and engage in aggressive activism. Bruce Brown advised the group that a solid support base would be necessary to keep the group operating smoothly but the fractions were too deep. Eventually the tensions (and off-stage personal-relationship issues between the members) took their toll and the membership scattered at the end of Spring Quarter.
Over the Summer Quarter 1992 Toby Pinkerton took over the presidency of Lambda Union and saved it from dissolution.