The UTSA chapter of Omega Psi Phi wasted no time establishing a high standard for the national fraternity. On Nov.17 1911, the Omega Psi Phi fraternity was founded at Howard University in Washington D.C. by Dr. Ernest Everitt Just, Dr. Edgar Amos Love, Dr. Oscar James Cooper and Professor Frank Colman. School teacher Jamel Hastey introduced the national fraternity to UTSA in 2003. Five years later on Feb. 1 2008, the Alpha Lambda Delta chapter of Omega Psi Phi was born.
Over the summer, fraternity brothers traveled to the 78th International Grand Conclave, a national fraternity meeting, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where a chapter of the year is announced annually. At the past summer conclave it was announced that the 2010-2011 chapter of the year was awarded to the Alpha Lambda Delta chapter at UTSA.
Willyam “BJ” Winston, a senior communications public relations major, vice-basileus of Omega Psi Phi and 2011-2012 Mr. UTSA attended the convention to see the UTSA chapter receive the award. He explained that the award was especially important because there are 750 chapters eligible for the award. Out of the possible winners, chapters that typically receive the award have been active for multiple generations. The UTSA chapter is only four years old.
Winston explained that Omega Psi Phi differs from other fraternities on campus saying, “not only do we socialize and do community service, but we’re friends from top to bottom and very approachable.” Omega Psi Phi holds high standards for its members by looking for future brothers who hold already established Omega Psi Phi ideals, have a 2.5 GPA and 36 credit hours.
Cardinal ideals of Omega Psi Phi include manhood, scholarship, perseverance and uplift. According to Winston, “these are principles we (Omega Psi Phi) carry in everyday life, on campus and throughout the community.”
Winston explained that in order to be considered for the award, the local fraternity must “turn in a packet with a list of events with a write-up on each event. These write-ups are then compared to other chapters to determine which one deserves to be chapter of the year.”
It’s not surprising then, that the Alpha Lambda Delta chapter won chapter of the year, as they credit the creation of an extensive list of events. Their philanthropic activities include programs such as “Assault on Literacy,” which collects books for school children; “Magic While You Wait,” a program similar to Big Brothers Big Sisters which mentors young students; a “Stuff the Bus” initiative to raise school supplies; a construction project that builds local playgrounds; and a clothing drive for the homeless.
Omega Psi Phi also aims to better the lives of students on campus by giving advice to male freshman, encouraging their members to attend religious services, hosting a “Protection of Womanhood” event that teaches young men how to respect women and, most notably, organizing their annual “Stop the Violence” event, which invites students and police to an open forum about police brutality.
The fraternity endeavors to focus on implementing their motto: “friendship is essential to the soul.” When the Omega Psi Phis aren’t busy with their charitable efforts, they host events such as dating game socials, mixers with sororities, light hearted student nominated awards and an annual banquet to honor their brothers.
Omega Psi Phi strives to uphold their legacy as an award-winning chapter by remaining a hard-working fraternity that exemplifies high personal standards. Most importantly, however, the brotherhood will remain a close-knit group of friends.
Omega Psi Phi engages in a broad range of philanthropic and social activities. One of their most well known event is the “Stop the Violence” forum held every spring that entertains a discussion between students and UTSAPD on police Brutality.
To see a full list of Omega Psi Phi’s events, visit www.paisano-online.com