By Christina Burden, Contributing Writer. Published April 1, 2011
Every Tuesday night by nine ‘o clock I’ve climbed the seamlessly endless flight of stairs to the third floor of Old Main. I take this weekly journey in order to see my family, because that is what the members of Alpha Phi Omega have already become to me- family. I cannot say that I was expecting it last semester when I pledged, before I realized that one of the main components of APO is friendship.
At that point, I really only knew that I was joining McKendree’s service fraternity. Service is one focus of the organization; they provide opportunities to help with local and national organizations. Many of these events also count towards the Center for Public Service hours that students may require for scholarships. Alpha Phi Omega gives students an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others, which really appealed to me.
It did not take long however for me to realize that the organization I was pledging was about so much more. Each meeting is dedicated to leadership, friendship, and service. Members experience so much personal growth through the organization. There are opportunities for leadership courses, office positions, and plenty of events to be planned.
Another incredible aspect of Alpha Phi Omega is brotherhood. As an organization that values becoming and staying close, a variety of events happen on a regular basis to provide social experiences for the members. Things like trips to Sky Zone, or fairly frequent dodge ball games give members opportunity to see each other outside of the typical APO setting. While games and discussions at meetings allow members time to laugh and really get to know each other.
It is my second semester in APO, and I have never once felt hazed, ignored, mistreated, or left out. I have made new friends, while making a difference. The first time I ever trekked up that staircase was the best decision I ever made. When I got to the top slightly winded and nervous, I became a part of the most diverse family on campus, which I wouldn’t trade for the world.