Published on August 5th, 2018 | by Jelena D0
Leadership, Friendship, and Service in a Co-Ed Service Fraternity
College selection is important because different students have different educational needs. This also applies to a college student’s extracurricular activities. Fraternities and sororities are not typically known for being openly accepting or diverse: usually each Greek group on campus selects a certain type of individual.
Greek life is not for everyone-in fact, on most small campuses, the majority of the student body remains independent, or without a membership in a fraternity or sorority. Although these students have decided against going Greek, they still find a need for extracurricular activities that may focus on social events and activities.
Alpha Phi Omega is a co-educational service fraternity open to all students. The organization has a strong scouting background and anti-hazing policy and actively discourages fraternity-related drinking.
The principles behind Alpha Phi Omega make it unique. Alpha Phi Omega (or APO as it is known by brothers) was founded in 1925 on the campus of Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. Since its founding, Alpha Phi Omega has embraced tolerance and diversity.
Frank Horton, founder of Alpha Phi Omega, found hardship in war and believed that such conflicts could possibly be overcome by a greater understanding. He therefore chose to focus his fraternity on service-on the good of the community. On these standing principles, APO went on to include women among their ranks (though all fraternity members are still referred to as ‘brothers’) and become officially dry so that the fraternity could focus on service and make all feel welcome.
Most members of Alpha Phi Omega are proud to be in such a unique organization. APO offers advanced leadership training and opportunities. Alpha Phi Omega provides students with very fulfilling service opportunities and looks great on a resume. Generally, there is less pressure in Alpha Phi Omega, particularly during the pledge period. Brothers don’t expect pledges to sell themselves to the organization, instead, the pledge leaders instill faith in the organization in the pledges.
Alpha Phi Omega emphasizes three main categories: leadership, friendship, and service. The fraternity offers several leadership positions in each category, as chapter president, and beyond. Each category has a vice president responsible for overseeing that particular value and its implementation in the chapter’s activities. Brothers are expected to take a lead when others need assistance, spend time with other brothers and help them, and participate in a focused amount of community service.
APO is also a support group for brothers. Many chapters organize study sessions for fellowship time, allowing brothers to tutor one another.
Chapters of Alpha Phi Omega differ from school to school. Some chapters tend to party outside of their APO activities; other chapters are known for their geekiness and/or diversity. Some schools treat APO chapters as a regular fraternity; some schools’ Greek organizations separate Alpha Phi Omega from social groups entirely.
APO alumni, as lifetime members (dues during and after school are minimal when compared to other organizations), enjoy travel discounts and amazing networking opportunities. Lifetime membership is a one time fee to be paid after graduation if the student chooses.
Famous members of Alpha Phi Omega include Jim Lovell (Apollo 13 Astronaut), Bill Clinton, Tim Allen, and Senator Tom Daschle.
A chapter of Alpha Phi Omega may be found on many campuses, but if a campus does not have one, the fraternity is very supportive of new chapters. Typically, schools are more receptive to new chapters for this group as it is service based and condones alcohol at fraternity events.