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Alpha Phi Omega focuses on service
Emily Wemhoff
Antelope Staff
Photo courtesy of Jamie Yendra
Tracy Shafer and Jamie Scott, both members of Alphi Phi Omega, help sort and pack food for the Prairie Land organizations. Prairie Land is one of many service activititse that members of APO volunteer their time to help others in the community.

We’ve all heard of coed residence halls and coed intramural sports, but a coed fraternity? Is it possible?

Yes it is. In fact, right here on campus a national service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, (APO)  provides the same services as a regular sorority or fraternity.

Nationally, APO has more than 17,000 members on 366 campuses. Currently 21 members make up the APO group on the UNK campus,  and even though they don’t house together, they still have what it takes to be recognized as a fraternity. There is leadership, there is friendship, and there is substantial service.

Jamie Yendra, a senior business management major from Gibbon has made many friendships throughout her years in APO but believes the biggest impact has been the service she has done for others.

“I have gained the satisfaction of knowing that we have served many people, not only on our campus, but in the Kearney community and surrounding areas.”

Anyone can join APO, at anytime. There is no such thing as recruitment week, and there aren’t any “bid days,” but each member participates in a pledging process to become an active member.

“It is hard to seek service opportunities on your own or do them alone. APO provides the opportunity to work together and serve others,” Yendra said.

According to Dr. Kimberly Carlson, APO advisor, APO provides opportunities to all students irrespective of sex, race, age or other factors.

“The group of individuals that are a part of APO are the most caring, giving and selfless people I know. I find it to be very humbling to watch how much they give of themselves, just to help others, with no monetary return,” Carlson said.

APO has numerous projects and events going on throughout the year. Some of the projects planned for this year include adopt-a-highway cleanup, Honey Sunday, ringing bells for the Salvation Army, Campus Kitchen and making door decorations for local nursing homes. This year, APO will be hosting “Trick or TP” in partnership with other campus organizations and residence halls.

“It will be one of our biggest projects of the semester,” Yendra said.

The local Nebraska Aids project has a food pantry that is getting low on toiletry items.  APO will be there. At 2 p.m. on Oct. 24, Alpha Phi Omega will be hitting the streets of Kearney, collecting items to be donated.

Meetings are held every Thursday in the Nebraska Student Union at 5:30 p.m. Any student may become a member of Alpha Phi Omega, even if he or she is involved in another fraternity or sorority.

“You make APO what you want and devote as much time as you have. We know students are busy with school and work, and we allow for that,” Yendra said.

“Students should join because doing service makes you a well-rounded individual and gives you a sense of giving and accomplishment that you can’t achieve by any other means,” Carlson said.

For more information about Alpha Phi Omega, contact Aimee Adams at adamsam@unk.edu.

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