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  #1  
Old 05-15-2009, 12:57 PM
88Lover
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Unhappy Losing Interest in Chapter but Not Fraternity

I pledged and was initiated this past semester (Spring 2009) and my experience so far has helped me confirm the love I have for service and in Alpha Phi Omega. My only issue is my chapter. I went into APO wanting to learn anything APO-related but my Pledge Ed had other plans and only taught the pledges XYZ chapter history but not the history of the fraternity. I was further infuriated by the fact that I expressed my concern about having a senior as a Big and how I didn't want a senior...and two weeks later, I receive a Senior who forgets I'm his Little the next day!! The tip of the iceberg was during one of the chapter meetings, where everybody but a friend and I stated that they saw APO as a special interest group/club It's becoming harder for me to stay interested in my chapter and wanting to build strong relationships with my chapter Brothers knowing that APO is just a club to them. I do have excellent relationships with Brothers outside my chapter and my love for APO has remained constant. Any Brothers have any advice or been in a similar situation?
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  #2  
Old 05-15-2009, 02:40 PM
naraht naraht is offline
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Originally Posted by 88Lover View Post
I pledged and was initiated this past semester (Spring 2009) and my experience so far has helped me confirm the love I have for service and in Alpha Phi Omega. My only issue is my chapter. I went into APO wanting to learn anything APO-related but my Pledge Ed had other plans and only taught the pledges XYZ chapter history but not the history of the fraternity. I was further infuriated by the fact that I expressed my concern about having a senior as a Big and how I didn't want a senior...and two weeks later, I receive a Senior who forgets I'm his Little the next day!! The tip of the iceberg was during one of the chapter meetings, where everybody but a friend and I stated that they saw APO as a special interest group/club It's becoming harder for me to stay interested in my chapter and wanting to build strong relationships with my chapter Brothers knowing that APO is just a club to them. I do have excellent relationships with Brothers outside my chapter and my love for APO has remained constant. Any Brothers have any advice or been in a similar situation?
I haven't been in this situation, but I do have some advice.

Try talking to either one of the advisors about the situation and/or the chapter rep from the section. Perhaps hosting an interchapter event would help. How far away to the nearest other chapter? It's impressive that in your second semester, you've gotten that many friends outside the chapter.

As for finding out about the national history, what would you like to know?


Sincerely
Randy Finder
APO National History and Archives committee.
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  #3  
Old 05-15-2009, 06:36 PM
Brother Joseph Brother Joseph is offline
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Yikes sounds like the chapter I came from.

First some things you need to remember. With regards to your big: yeah that situation stinks having a senior (who will probably be graduating) as your sponsor but sometimes that the way things happen. APO by its nature draws more pledges than other greek lettered organizations and this places stress on the pledge system sometimes making us make choices and assign roles that should never happen.

As regards to the other things you mentioned there are a few things you could do. First, if you want to learn about the history of the Fraternity what's stopping you. Pick up your pledge manual and read what's there. Some chapters have excellent websites with good fraternity histories as well. You could always talk to your section chair if this is a real interest for you they may have a sectional historian that could help you out finding information.

The part about regarding APO as a special interest group and not a fraternity does happen. This has been debated recently I believe on this site so you could check that thread out for information. Your best bet on this one is to make people change their minds by the way you act. If you start getting into the fraternity by going to conventions, serving on sectional boards (or higher) and generally become active outside your chapter people will begin to see there is more to APO than what you do on your campus.

My final advice is be proactive. Next year run for an officer position and work to change things from that position. If that's not feasible then work on side projects that will keep your interest and help others as well. Organizing service projects is always a good way to forget about problems, as is fellowship events. What I did when this was happening to me was write a chapter book. I went back collected old ictures and minutes and comiled them into a memory book for the chapter while I also wrote a handbook for active brothers. Whatever you want to do there is a place for it in the fraternity and you just need time to figure out your place.

Oh, and for the record there is no rule saying the brothers in your chapter will be your friends in APO. You need to be civil with them and treat them as brothers should but for many (at least in my experience) the best friends you make in APO are those from other places. My chapter was predominantly women who shared none of the same interests as I did and did not have the same feelings about the organization. As such I only talk to one or two of them since I've graduated. However, I do keep in contact with several brothers from other schools in our section. Just a small thing to remember.

Hope this helps a little.
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  #4  
Old 05-16-2009, 12:06 AM
Senusret I Senusret I is offline
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Originally Posted by Brother Joseph View Post
First, if you want to learn about the history of the Fraternity what's stopping you. Pick up your pledge manual and read what's there. Some chapters have excellent websites with good fraternity histories as well. You could always talk to your section chair if this is a real interest for you they may have a sectional historian that could help you out finding information.
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  #5  
Old 05-19-2009, 10:51 AM
emb021 emb021 is offline
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As noted, I see 2 issues with your chapter:

* emphasis of chapter history, and little or no info on national history

* view of APO as 'just another club' rather then a Fraternity (being co-ed in no way stops us from being a Fraternity).

It sounds like your chapter doesn't quite understand the National Pledging Standards, in which they should be covering National APO History, our National Organization, and such. Too often chapters don't do this, and we get alumni who have little or no connection with APO beyond their chapter.

The second issue is more difficult to fight, as its a general attitude/culture in your chapter than needs to be addressed.

However, as noted, there is a way to combat it: GET INVOLVED!! You don't like how the pledge program works? Become the pledgemaster and work to fix it (I did this in my chapter). There are a lot of resources out there, including at the National website that can help you do this. The second part is harder, as you'll need to get other like-minded Brothers involved to change your chapter culture.

Hope that helps.
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APO LM & TB
Chapter Advisor
Section 71 Chair

Last edited by emb021; 05-26-2009 at 02:03 PM.
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  #6  
Old 05-22-2009, 02:16 AM
AndrewPiChi AndrewPiChi is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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This is my opinion one of the growing problems in Alpha Phi Omega and one the reasons why I decided to leave

When you pledge, you pledged did give unfaithfully of your time and energy to your fraternity and chapter. Frank Reed Horton pledged that if he survived world war one he would help promote a standard of manhood that withstand the test of time by binding them to a fraternity to help keep young men out of trouble. By the principals upon which it was founded Alpha Phi Omega is not a club, its not a professional organization, it is not a resume builder, it is first a foremost inspired to be a fraternity to help college men get a better start in life. This is something I firmly believe in my heart that many have strayed. What was once a fraternal organization, proud and honorable has become in many cases nothing more than a club.

If the problems you have addressed show that your chapter considers the organization a special interest group or club, then it is the responsibilty of every individual to correct it.

Alpha Phi Omega was intended to forge a fraternal bond, if at any level this is lost than our founders vision is truly doomed.

It was out of these feelings that Alpha Delta, in some part, was founded. A growing disagreement with the course of National Alpha Phi Omega.
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  #7  
Old 05-22-2009, 06:39 AM
Brother Joseph Brother Joseph is offline
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Yes, it is a growing problem but since most of us do not have the option of joing an all male chapter I still feel the best course of action is to change the system from within.
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  #8  
Old 06-13-2009, 12:51 PM
TopFlightPsiPhi TopFlightPsiPhi is offline
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I agree with AndrewPhiChi and Brother Joseph.
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