By Gabrielle Parisi
This article was originally published in Issue 8, Fiftieth Year of The Minstrel (February 4, 2016). Click here to view the entire issue.
“It has always been a dream of mine to be in a fraternity or sorority,” said junior Amanda Kaschak. Now she is pursuing that dream. Not only will she be a brother in a national service fraternity, but she will be the president of the chapter of Alpha Phi Omega (APO) that she is starting at DeSales this semester.
APO is not your typical fraternity like the ones that you might have seen in movies such as 22 Jump Street or Neighbors. The organization will not have a house on- or off-campus and will not host a “rush week.” As defined by their official website, “Alpha Phi Omega is a national coeducational service organization founded on the principles of Leadership, Friendship and Service.”
“Throughout your time as a brother, you are supposed to grow as a leader, and therefore better yourself. You become friends with your brothers, which will be a bond unlike any other. Finally, through our service we can positively affect the community,” says Kaschak. The board of the chapter of APO at DeSales consists of President Amanda Kaschak, Vice President of Service Leslie Meyers, Treasurer Brianna Dalesandro, Secretary Allison Krall, Vice President of Membership Ashley Hart and Vice President of Fellowship Erin O’Neill. Jamie Gerhart, director of the Center for Service and Social Justice, and Romar Lyle, solidarity coordinator and a resident hall director, will serve as advisers.
“As we are expanding, we will need to expand our board,” says Kaschak, “There is always an opportunity to get involved.”
APO does not discriminate against any gender, race or religion, so all students are invited to be a part of this up-and-coming fraternity. The initiation process is secret, but there is no hazing involved. Students interested in joining APO should attend a mandatory information session on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. in the Heritage Room in the DUC.
The first service project APO participated in, in conjunction with the Student Nurses’ Association, was to assist Be The Match in finding bone marrow donors this past Monday. On Friday, Feb. 5, representatives will be in the DUC helping to get sign-ups for the blood drive. Some of the other service projects that they plan to do include making dinner at the Victory House, volunteering for Special Olympics and running a team at Relay for Life.
Since the chapter is still young and only starting this semester, the board is open to suggestions for additional service projects in the Lehigh Valley area. Kaschak says that “[the chapter’s] goal is to complete ten service projects,” so she wants students to bring their ideas to the table.
Being a brother in APO not only means that you will grow closer with fellow members at DeSales. There are chapters in all of the schools that are part of the Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges (LVAIC), and the goals of APO are to work together with their fellow brothers from other chapters.
To learn more about APO and everything that the fraternity entails, visit their website www.apo.org. For more information about the chapter at DeSales, contact Amanda Kaschak by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.