Efforts are being made on Wittenberg’s campus to establish Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity based on the three cardinal principles of friendship, leadership and service.
Alpha Phi Omega is a coeducational national service organization that provides its members the chance to develop leadership skills through service projects on their campuses, in their communities and across the nation. Since being founded in 1925, more than 400,000 students have chosen to become a part of the organization, according to the Alpha Phi Omega website.
The service fraternity was brought to Wittenberg after founder Kristen Quimby, ’16, was approached by members of the University of Dayton chapter, who asked her if she would be able to drum up interest for membership among Wittenberg students.
“After hearing about it, I think that it’s a great thing to add to our campus,” Quimby said. “You don’t have to be a member of the Greek community to join, and members of Alpha Phi Omega still gain the full aspects of friendship and service that they would in a sorority or fraternity at Wittenberg.”
Because the backbone of the organization is service, the fraternity will incorporate four levels of service: on Wittenberg’s campus, within the Springfield community, within the fraternity itself and nationally.
The organization’s founders plan to work with the Developmental Disabilities Center of Clark County by helping out with mixers that the disabilities center hosts twice a month. Also, Alpha Phi Omega helps out with Super Service Sundays, and other Wittenberg service events, signing up to be group leaders for Wittenberg’s Make a Difference Day.
“Since we are working with the Springfield community as well, I think it’s a great way to get Wittenberg out there, and out of the Witt bubble,” said Christy Baldwin, ’16, president of Alpha Phi Omega.
Additionally, because the fraternity is co-ed, students will have the opportunity to interact and build friendships with other students with whom they may not have previously had the opportunity to interact, according to Baldwin.
To promote such friendships, Baldwin said that the organization will host events to allow people to get to know one another, such as getting smoothies at Tropical Smoothie, decorating Christmas cookies and making cards for veterans.
In order to become a chartered fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega must have 25 interested members; so far, 15 Wittenberg students are members of the organization. Weekly meetings are held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays in the Alumni Room.
“I’m hoping that this is something that everyone will eventually know about,” Quimby said. “People will know the letters and understand that they represent a group who is making a difference on this campus.”