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Boy, I did stir things up a bit concerning my ideas of a organizational structure for All male chapters.  Let me first apologize for using this medium of APO-L as a forum for bringing my thoughts to whole of .  After reading your responses think what might be needed is to tell you what  is to an A-Phi-Q.  I  think some of you do do not know how we came to be.  This is something in which Randy Finder tried to explain.  He came close but was not all the way there.   And understanding may be what is missing.  Also, I will try to answer most of the questions people have had.  Again forgive me, but I feel this is very important to me.

Also I can not speak for all the all male chapters.  But I consider any male member that believes in the all male chapters an A-Phi-Q.  It isn't an all Black term,  just one that has derive there.

Please read if you will:

Part 1: What is the evolution A-Phi-Q
Part 2: Why All male.
Part 3: Chronological Significant Events
Part 4: Why Create Organization
 
 

(Part 1: What is the evolution of an A-Phi-Q)


 


Alpha Phi Omega started out as an all male fraternity and was one for about 50 years.  Of the almost 702 charters given by .  The earliest black chapter was Delta Phi Chapter 
of ,  at Johnson C. Smith University in 1947. 

We all know that  was meant to be all male.  And we know that it was designed with vision of carrying on the teaching of the principles of manhood that was attempted in the Boy Scouts of America.  Our founder wanted to create and organization that would decrease the irresponsibility among young men.  That was is initial vision of where he wanted to take this organization.   The several chapters along with black chapters in  recognized that need in their communities but ran into ridicule because of it's affiliation with the boy scouts.  If you are not in the skin that I'm taking about or at that time and place that I'm mentioning, it may hard for you to see a young man's feelings.  They are about to become adult men, and they are calling themselves “boy” scouts again.   Growth to manhood was a hunger in young men but especially in our culture where fathers worked constantly and didn't spend very much time with their sons. 

We saw a need for this organization within our own community.  Black men learning leadership, friendship and manhood through service through the community, was an ideal personality tool for young men that got out hand.  But it had to be harder and more masculine than the boy scouts if we were going to attract these young men.  The outside idea of Boy Scouts affiliation was a step backward in their manhood quest.  The black chapters had a harder time attracting young men. 

Alteration came, but some came without our input.  Omega Psi Phi was a highly recognized group on black campuses and they call themselves Que Psi Phi, calling the Omega, Que.  This and because we were not a student organization affiliated with some curriculum, student on campus tried to identify  and all they could think of was either the Boy Scout Fraternity or the A Phi Q’s . They could not call us Alpha's because, The Alpha's were referring to Alpha Phi Alpha.  So, the people on various black campuses named us, and they identified us as Ay-Phi-Ques. We just kept it. 

In Our History, there was mention of young sailors during World War I.  Franks Reed Horton states how they were running wild. This is where the mascot, Viking, came from. 

Also because our chapters was small we had keep all men interested and still do service so the brothers that joined would not only work and do service but they would appreciate what they have became associated with. Some chapters had membership fall out and we stop pledging members in the easy way.  It was too easy, and these same new members started not contributing, not devoting time, not taking  seriously after pledging.  Because the black chapters were smaller they could not stand to lose membership so quickly after becoming a member.  The pledge period was develop to help these young men to take  more seriously. Their devotion to the organization was tested and their pride in the organization grew.  Their pledge period wasn’t always keying on trying to be stressful.  They were being drilled on the history.  They knew it inward, out ward, back and front.  Because we read the history (at that time, because it has change since then) and the history made since.  It was clear as crystal what Frank Reed Horton was attempting to do.  If you look at the history, who would relate to young men getting into trouble?   More than likely, people from more affluent neighborhoods would not be able to relate to this because there is very problems of young men getting into trouble.  So young the young men made a hard fraternity out of their chapter of ,  because they knew that who ever read the history knew that being in  meant learn apart of Manhood.  I’m not say that you have to hard to be a man, I’m saying that we had to be.

But why do females exist more prevalently in mixed and most white chapters?   In 1976 the vote was to allow females to enter .  At that time there were several black chapters 
of  maybe near 50 chapters, in just the black chapters alone.  The numbers of chapters were not shrinking due to female entry, and not one of those 50 chapters followed most other chapters nationally in the swing to become coed.  This was mainly because of what we knew about what the fraternity, According to Frank Reed Horton, was trying to accomplish.  Manhood through Service.

Coed-ness didn't take hold on black chapters because their identity had been developed.  We were getting flack from others in our culture from being in a fraternity founded by non blacks, and look upon as blacks trying to be black.  We look at ourselves as being men. Men that knew that white people are going to be apart of our lives for the rest of our lives.  It was one aspect we put pride in.

So you have to say, what happen is that the brothers who consider themselves Ay-Phi-Ques, and also other brothers on various campuses, have taken the history of , and stood beside it.  Mainly because developing integrity is apart of developing manhood.  So you could say history and the purpose of this organization has divided the chapters to a certain degree. 

There are also chapters are still white, mixed and international chapters that are all male.  And they do get along well with each other.  But at this point, they have to get along with the now coed chapters in this fraternity.  But  was still growing in black chapters.  My chapter was Alpha Alpha Lambda.  It started in 1980. 

(((It wasn't until several years after  allow women in this fraternity  ‘about 1986’ that majority placed a new rule into affect.   Now not only do you have to have females in your chapter, but now any new chapter or reactivated chapter had to be co-ed. ))) 

Well this halted the growth of all male chapters black or white.  A vote that would not have passed in 1976.

But that still left a loop-hole.  What if a new chapter was created co-ed and then the tendency made it become all –male. All the females graduated.

(((In 1998, it was decided upon, that if a new chapter became coed they would have to remain co-ed for some time.)))

 I have to apologize to all the brothers that wanted all male chapters to exist.  Because I actually believe that the strong desires of the black chapters wanting to stay all male is tightening the noose around the state and growth of the all male chapters today.

Last loop hole.  Today, if a female wanted to be in a coed chapter she would have to go to the nearest coed chapter.  Not bad, considering we have near 400 active co-ed chapters.  But, the other side of the coin.  What if, a young male had a desire to be in an all male 
chapter of ?  Look at the miles he would have to cross to get to the next all male chapter.  There is probably less than 25 chapters for him to seek what he has read in our history concerning manhood growth. But today the interest is even high enough to cross that hurdle for a while But how long if even that option is left.
 
 


(Part 2: Why All male?)


 




Being an AyPhiQues is not really the issue.  The issue is the future of All male chapter be it White, Filipino or Black.  But I think I need to tell you what  means to me first, as an Ay-Phi-Que.

If you look into the organization, and you know what Frank Reed Horton was really trying to accomplish.  You know he saw young men.  But not only that he saw young men getting into trouble.  Now if you really look right here and ask yourself how does that affect me, you will find that it really doesn't.  Most of the readers of this list serve probably never been in the amount of trouble that these young men got in.  Why? because look at the families you came from.  Well off, both considering parents, even in the middle class most –not all- of you probably had a life that directs you in the right path through life.  As an AyPhiQues, I saw the intentions of this fraternity, to stop young men form getting into trouble through service.   Being a single parent student, and seeing the acts of people I knew were getting into trouble, I was drawn to this organization.  I 
saw  as a cure for the jail time that these men who even had fathers that had teaching less fathers. 

The embryo of , the initial vision that was the first thought where the creation 
of  was first placed in motion, is where we differ.  You see, we teach the men the history of Alpha Phi Omega and let them know why  exist today.  That's why at one time AyPhiQues had over 40 chapters active.  We engineered a way that would draw men within our culture to come to  and find pride in it.   Service was the key.   Not hazing, not being social, not just stepping.   But service.  We pride ourselves as being different because we were part of a White Founded organization, and we were ourselves, we didn't have to become white, or act white.  We were able to be who we wanted to be.   And that was to be accepted in our own culture despite being in a white founded fraternity.  It was the principles and the history in which those principles came about and how it relates to our culture, that made this organization attractive in our eyes.

But I try to see things from the coed perspective as well.  And see an organization with more fun than the average organization.  Service justifies this fun, which is not a bad thing.  I can even see how what Frank Reed Horton created can become boring to a group of men that had no major problems with discipline; and created service project; and did not have very many social activities.  The girlfriends were already taken my the wholesomeness of the fraternity's purpose.  It was a natural tendency for females to wish to join .

But why didn't it interest the men of AyPhiQues to have this need for liveliness within their chapters.  The men knew what the initial vision was.  And to want that would be to go against everything they have been taught.  Standard of Manhood, Men of  may we always be, Brotherhood through Service, Giving Men a Better Start In Life.  The pledging among AyPhiQues Men everywhere was not as stressful on every campus amongst black campuses.  That was not the sole purpose of most of the black male chapters.  But even on some campuses I can admit that they needed some guidance as well.  But because  did not have any Alumni Chapters that had the interest of AyPhiQues some of the chapters went out of hand. 

But manhood development is what we were attempting to reach.  But, the wide attraction of most men to  is not there anymore.  Especially the man, that is either caring about his manhood development or doesn't have a need for that because he gets it elsewhere.  You see, the young men that Frank Reed Horton saw running wild was not those men that came from well raise families, they were 17, 18, and 19 year olds that probably never had any strict upbringing.  And I'm willing to bet that Frank Reed Horton had a better upbringing than those men at that time.  This wildness caused them to go the way of losing precious civil liberties.  If you have to sketch a person that would fit this description today, it would have to describe those same men that are not being attracted to  today.  The type of men that barely got into college, not the ones that had college already paid for.  Those men that are in the co-ed side of this fraternity probably have great parents.  Very few of those men probably have only one parent.  And if they do have all of the above, they are mostly like already in another fraternity as well.

Now. Where does all male chapters fit in today.

The chapter on predominately black campuses, had to fine a way to attract young men.   And if you know the black world then you know that “hard” mentality that we have to have.  We cant be on campus dress in a boy scout uniform and say “hello brother” , and call each other bigs and littles.  It aint happening.  Not saying that's what is being done today, but you get my picture.  The co-ed concept of this fraternity no matter what you see in your chapter today, is not what is going to draw the bulk of the men on campus.   You have to really really reach to men especially if you have a high number of females in it.  And if you do have no males in it, then look how far you came from Frank Reed Horton’s Initial vision of saving young men. 

But a positive of the concept that the all male chapters have is that they will attract men.  These men doing service is a whole lot better than them being in a fraternity that doesn't do that much service.  The camaraderie between men can also help be the father that a father could not be.  That is men do say things around men that they would not dare say around a female.  Whether it is confiding or teaching, that type of relationship is necessary tool in life, because not all families are functional.
 
 


(Part III: Chronological Significant Events)


 




There is sort of an ethnic or mental cleansing going on right here within our own fraternity.   Right now, any ideas of this fraternity that are not the ideas of the whole are being cleansed from this fraternity.   This is the inner feeling of all men associated with all male chapters. 
 
 


1925:
Frank Reed Horton creates an organization geared towards the growth of young men to manhood through service.

1947:
The first black chapter of  was created at Johnson C. Smith University
 

1974: 
Title Xi  was created to make that all Federal Funded and State institutions can not discriminate on the bases of gender.

1975: 
Or before.  UCLA gets suspended because it was discovered that they were sending in pledge names of females to become members.  They were sending in first initial last name.

1976: 
The 1976 Convention voted to admit woman into .

1980: 
My chapter was born.  I was a charter member to an all male group at Alcorn State University.

1986: 
All male chapters were made sterile and could not reproduce from an interest group, or an inactive chapter. 

1993: 
The Southern Illinois University all male chapter gets suspended because of what they said was false accusations of hazing violations and in order for their to reactivate they would have to be co-ed.   They did not and ended up creating a new organization Phi Rho Eta, from FRH, standing for Frank Reed Horton. 

1997: 
Lamar University's co-ed chapter became all male with the graduation of the last female.

1998
The National Convention now votes to seal each chapter that is coed. If you are co-ed you have to remain co-ed and you can not become all male.  (Also, any brothers caught branding themselves will be spanked on site, and your whole chapter will be sought after for hazing violations because they allow this individual to think this way.)  Well, I'm kinda paraphrasing that last part. 
 
 
 

(Part IV:  Why Create Organization?)


 


If you consider the different views of , we are separate right now.  Actually, despite the effort to remove unlike chapters, un-forcefully, all male chapters are managing to stay around.

Now if you care the least bit about what Frank Reed Horton was trying to accomplish, why not give young men organization.  Something where rules are created to help them now hurt what they have accomplished on their campuses.   You can not say that Frank Reed Horton would not have wanted this to happen.  Because this was the very embryo of why  is.  The very first birth of thought which formed .  The very first thing,  where  came from was the thought that Frank Reed Horton stated.  He wanted to organize young men.  He hated what he was seeing, as a counselor- young men getting into trouble.  And then  was about be an embryo of thought.  He stated “If I return to the states alive, I would first, do my utmost to give young men the right start in life by holding before them a Standard of Manhood that would withstand the test of time.”  This is the very beginning of .

I know that very words of Frank Reed Horton have been changed to say that he said ‘young people’, that wasn't what my pledge manual stated.  It was changed to 'young people'. That really should never have happened.  You should not be able to change the past to suite the present especially when it’s the words of your founder.

This is why all male chapters want to exist today.  To at least carry on what this man wanted to do.  Because there is still a need for young men to be guided to service and developed a side of humility that they may get later or might not ever get. 

Why not give them organization?  It will not hamper to juggernaut of coed chapters, my god, there are near 400 chapters of  all over the United States.  You have a near four hundred-chapter heardstart.  Do you really think that all male chapters will blow up to be greater than that?  If you do, then we are sitting on a gold mind for the budget of .  Let us charge double for everything that all male chapter have to go through to become a chapter and chapter members.  Just kidding.  Fear of all male chapters growing has to be a fear of coed chapters not really being a good idea.   Something I really do not believe since there has been a number of chapters becoming co-ed since we started admitting females.
 

Having yet a another group under the name of  is not impossible to conceive.  And organizing  on the All male side would give good explanation to outsiders why is there a difference today in the different types chapters.   Since the all male chapters can not grow and most of all executive officers are for National Coedness, all males chapters have been left without representation.   Like young sailors wild and without organization.

Why would you consider this if you are pro coed?  Because you are in , and you believe in freedom, service and in the way this organization began.  Because you believe the creation of a organization for men is a sane action and that Frank Reed Horton is a sane man for doing such.  And to not consider this would be to ignore what Frank Reed Horton accomplished himself.  And to duplicate anything that he has done has to be -like.
 
 

Please make any responses to my email address or to APO-L
 
 

Jesse "JayBEE!" Bridges
President
"Brothers of the Rising Sun, Atlanta Chapter"
Alumni
Alcorn State University
Alpha Alpha Lambda Chapter
Fall, '80
jaybee3@netscape.net
 
 



Freindship, Leadership, Service


 


 


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