What is Alpha Phi Omega?
Alpha Phi Omega is a national co-ed service organization founded on the principles of Leadership, Friendship and Service. We provide members with the opportunity to develop leadership skills as volunteers on their campus, in the community, to the nation, to the organization, and to the world. With more than 400,000 members on over 375 campuses, Alpha Phi Omega continues to provide more service on more campuses than any other collegiate organization.
We are an organization dedicated to serving mankind and developing ourselves to become leaders and friends to humanity. To those ends, we create our own democracy. We develop our brothers to become excellent leaders and creative team members. We open our hearts and minds to people and show that the newest generation of adults do care about the community.
The purpose of this Fraternity shall be to assemble college students in a National Service Fraternity in the fellowship of principles derived from the Scout Oath and Law of the Boy Scouts of America; to develop Leadership, to promote Friendship, and provide Service to humanity; and to further the freedom that is our national, educational, and intellectual heritage.
Chi Chapter Beginnings
The twenty-second chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, the Chi Chapter, as founded in November 13, 1931, in a small ceremony, with Dr. H. Roe Bartle, the Supreme Grand Master of Alpha Phi Omega, in attendance. Robert Hall Lamott, a sophomore majoring in Psychology, served as president of a founding class composed of seventeen members. There were Edmund Carmody, Malcolm Donohoo, Donald Dotson, Jay Dresser, Henry Hare, Palen Keith, Richard Killen, Robert Lamott, Philip Lukei, John Luebsen, Joseph Maguire, Frank Ohly, Lloyd Pack, Jack Requarth, Edward Saxton, Charles Skutt, and Leonard Stone. One of our advisors was the the president of the school, Ernest Moore.
During the first few turbulent years, many of the chapter records we lost. Most pre-WW!! records of the Chi are unavailable. Because of WWII, many chapters of Alpha Phi Omega became inactive. However, after the war, many members tried to re-charter lost chapters and continue to serve the community. The following is a partial history of Chi.
In the 1970s, times were a changing in the nation and in Alpha Phi Omega, In 1976, women were officially allowed into the fraternity when our national bylaws were amended at the National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. Previous to this time, females had been sneaking into Alpha Phi Omega in many chapters, including Chi, by using their first initial and last name on applications for membership.
In 1978, the chapter was deactivated. Legend has it that the only members left at UCLA in 1977-1978 were a couple of uninterested in recruiting more members. When they graduated, the chapter went with them.
In 1993, Kappa Chapter brother Dave O’Leary began sponsoring the rechartering of Chi Chapter. By 1996, Francis Alcantara’s efforts for UCLA students to continue their dedication to serving others led to the official formation of a petitioning group for Chi Chapter. As a petitioning group, Chi attended the 1996 National Convention in Phoenix, Arizona.
In 1997, Chi Chapter was formally rechartered. The founding Executive Committee consisted of Gregory Barnes, a junior English major, as President, Gordon Kwan as Service VP, Stacie Ishida as Membership VP, Jennifer Yamamoto and Porndej “Palm” Rushatakankovit as co-Fellowship VPs, Sirintorn Rushatakankovit as Administrative VP, and John Chen as Finance VP. The advisors included Christine Chan, Glenn Ige, and Kanta Sircar.
The rechartering initiation was held on February 1, 1997 in 2209A Bunche Hall with delegations from Gamma Gamma, UC Berkeley, and Alpha Delta Theta, UC Riverside present. 31 members and advisors became part of the rechartering class. The rechartering members included Heather Banh, Greg Barnes, Mary Chan, Ken Chang, David Chen, John Chen, Maggie Chen, Christine Chiang, Terence Hayter, Emi Hosaka, Joanne Huang, Troung Huynh, Stacie Ishida, Gordon Kwan, Carolyn Kwok, Rose Lee, Christine Niho, Hoang-Thi Pham, Diana Rivera, Porndej Rushatakankovit, Sirintorn Rushatakankovit, Jennifer Yamamoto, and Clarissa Yu. Francis Alcantara had already graduated by the time Chi Chapter was rechartered, but was later recognized with Honorary Membership.
Chi Chapter had been the fastest chapter to recharter by taking only one year to reactivate from partitioning group. Gamma Gamma played a significant role in the formation. Alpha Delta Theta supported by attending all events. Bonds had been forged at the 1996 Nationals.
The history of Alpha Phi Omega then is a story of Leadership, Friendship and Service. Since the founding at Lafayette College in 1925, more than 255,000 students have participated in this nationwide Brotherhood. From a single chapter in 1925, this National Service Fraternity has grown to 717 chapters.
Following the chartering of Beta Chapter at the University of Pittsburgh, three more chapters were chartered in 1927–Gamma at Cornell University on February 17, Delta at Auburn University on November 8, and Epsilon at Northeast Missouri State University on December 13. And with the chartering of the sixth chapter–Zeta at Stanford University–on May 19, 1928, Alpha Phi Omega in its first four years had spread from the East to the South to the Midwest and all the way to the Pacific Coast. The Fraternity has continued to grow, having chartered more chapters than any other collegiate organization.
In the very early years, decisions of the National Fraternity were made by mail. The first actual assembly of delegates in convention was in St. Louis, Missouri, March 1 and 2, 1931. By that date the Fraternity had grown to 18 chapters. Seven of the chapters were represented at the convention by a total of 23 students and advisors.
Thirty-eight biennial National Conventions have been held (two were skipped in 1942 and 1944 because of World War II). A special Constitutional Convention was held in 1967.
At the 1931 Convention, the presiding officer was Frank R. Horton. He had served as Supreme Grand Master (National President) from the beginning of the organization until that time. The convention elected Dr. H. Roe Bartle to succeed our Founder as Supreme Grand Master.
For years, Alpha Phi Omega state conventions were held. Today chapters are grouped in “sections” and “regions.” There are 54 sections in 11 regions across the country. Sectional and Regional Conferences are a very important part in our Fraternity operation. They foster good fellowship and helpful exchange of ideas for the advancement of our service program.
At the 1976 National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, the delegates voted to open the ranks of full membership to women, thereby making the Alpha Phi Omega experience available to all students.