So I can't sleep and find myself lurking on Greekchat and came across this section on Phi Iota Alpha which has no postings by brothers. I figured I'd be the first Fiota to do so, lol. Below is just a little bit of info on who we are and some of our history(condensed). I know I like to research other orgs from time to time in order to stay informed. Hopefully this can be an adequate intro as to what FIA is about in the event anyone comes across this post.
95% of this is copy and pasted.
La Familia of Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc., a Brotherhood composed of undergraduate, graduate, and professional men internationally; established on December 26, 1931 is the Oldest Latino Fraternity in Existence within the United States. We dedicate ourselves to the empowerment of Latino community. We provide intensive social and cultural programs geared toward the appreciation, promotion, and preservation of our Latin American culture.
As an organization whose roots stem back to the late 1800’s, we cherish and live by the ideals set forth by our forefathers. In this manner, Phi Iota Alpha distinguishes itself from other Greek Letter organizations. Our organization prides itself in the ability to motivate people, develop leaders, and create new ways to unite our community.
We challenge ourselves in supporting and developing a strong network for the advancement of our people. To this end, each member swears loyalty not only to himself but also to a greater cause, his people, and Pan-Americanism.
Phi Iota Alpha’s history can be traced back to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York in 1898. A group of students, inspired by five great Latin American leaders, we call "The Five Pillars", founded a secret organization for Latino Americans, “La Union Hispano Americana” (UHA). This was the first association of Latin American students ever founded in the United States. This organization expanded, however due to the secrecy imposed upon its members, not many records were kept.
In 1916, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Pi Delta Phi was also founded aligning themselves to the objectives of UHA. In 1919, at the University of Southern California, Phi Lambda Alpha was also established with similar goals to UHA and Pi Delta Phi. On June 19, 1921 these three organizations fused into one, adopting the UHA constitution, the emblem of Pi Delta Phi and the letters of Phi Lambda Alpha.
Previously on 1904, an organization with similar goals as Phi Lambda Alpha was founded under the name “Sociedad Hispano-Americana” at Louisiana State University. In 1912, this organization changed its name to Sigma Iota and became the first Latino American fraternity.
“La Sigma” expanded very rapidly to Europe, Latin America, and the Continental US. 1931 became the most significant date in the history of fraternities for Latino Americans. On December 26, 1931, Phi Lambda Alpha and Sigma Iota, after several years of negotiations, merged and became:
PHI IOTA ALPHA FRATERNITY INC.
In 1932, to expand the richness of our cause, Phi Iota Alpha developed "La Union Latino Americana" dividing Latin America into twenty-one zones, (each being represented by a Greek letter). The US became number twenty-two, represented by "La Fraternidad."
Phi Kappa Alpha -Cuba.
Phi Sigma Alpha -Puerto Rico.
Phi Tau Alpha -Mexico.
The outbreak of World War IIgreatly hindered the growth Phi Iota Alpha in the United States. After the war the Fraternity drafted and implemented a new expansion strategy. As a result, the post war period saw positive internal growth for the Fraternity. In the early 1950s, Phi Iota Alpha eradicated any remnant of its political agenda. With only a few chapters, the Fraternity continued to pursue it's mission. The Fraternity was again incorporated as a national organization on January 9, 1953, when the Secretary of State of New York accepted the incorporation of Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity.
The 1960s were very challenging years for Phi Iota Alpha. The effects of the Vietnam War and the '60s counter-culture created an anti-institutional atmosphere amongst many college students. In addition, this drastically reduced the enrollment of Latin American students in American universities. This in turn hindered potential membership to the organization. As a result, by 1968, after many years of struggle, the only active undergraduate chapters were at LSU, and at RPI. The chapter at RPI became inactive in 1973 with the graduation of its Secretary General. The Secretary General took with him the chapter's official fraternity documents. By 1976, the last active brother from the chapter at LSU graduated, thereby marking the closing of the undergraduate chapter at LSU.
From 1977 to 1983, the Fraternity witnessed a period of inactivity at the undergraduate level. Some efforts were made to re-establish Phi Iota Alpha at the undergraduate level, but these efforts were not successful. In 1984, a group of men at RPI, guided by Phi Iota Alpha alumni brothers , finally revived the undergraduate spirit. Since 1984, our Brotherhood has expanded throughout the United States.
- THE OLDEST LATINO FRATERNITY IN EXISTENCE
- Colors are: Gold, Navy Blue, Red and White
- Mascot: The African Lion
- NickNames: Phiotas or PhiA's
- Highest Grade Point average and graduation rate amongst Latino Fraternities.
- Undergraduate chapters spread across the United States.
- Five Pillars: Don Benito Juarez, Don Jose Marti, Don Bernardo O'Higgins, Don Jose De San Martin Y Don Simon Bolivar.
- We are a non-strolling organization.
- Fraternal Flower: Red Carnation
- Creed: Fuerza, Integridad Y Amistad
What is a FIOTA?
FIOTA: a highly recognized person part of the oldest existing latino brotherhood, Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity Inc. Characteristics include academic excellence, the ideals of a gentleman, the talents of a prodigy and the values of a brother [ see also perfection, suave, dedication]