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The following are my views on the 25/52 family.  I've altered it because I believe my initial version displayed a harsh attitude toward the females in Alpha Phi Omega. If  you have a question and you would like to have it answered  Go ahead and mail it to me at....
Jaybee at 124.com

Updated October 30th, 2001



Introduction
The Importance of the History
There will always be female membership
What is Ay-Phi-Que?
Why is Manhood supplement & development important?
The 25/52 Family
Female Alpha Phi Omega membership advice
Coexistence?





Introduction 

I pledged Alpha Phi Omega at Alcorn State University, and crossed Fall '80.

However, I did transfer to the University of Southern Mississippi in 1980.  And I will say that Ay-Phi-Que, or the all male chapters of Alpha Phi Omega is not a Black chapter Black Campus thing, like most would try to tell you.  Just because coed chapter are more prevalent with Alpha Phi Omega than non coed chapters,  it doesn't mean that the information that you have been given is the original information and that it is all the information.  As I would tell any member of any organization, your membership should be the beginning of your invsetigation into the organization that you have given your oath to.   Coed Alpha Phi Omega has been constantly changing Alpha Phi Omega and this aspect is the one aspect that the older members of Alpha Phi Omega both black and white and male and female agree on and is most disgruntle by.  I went to the 2000 National Convention in Philadelphia and sat next to the daughter of H Roe Bartle in the lobby and had an interest discussion.  She too, realized that Alpha Phi Omega has changed to become so accepting that it has been accepting what other organizations would reject.

I recognize The National Service Sorority of Gamma Sigma Sigma as my first sisters in Service. This Organization was form after a couple of woman who where dating members of Alpha Phi Omega, whom they later married, took interest in the service and friendship that was developed within Alpha Phi Omega.  Those girls, independently as they where, formed Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Sorority back in 1952.  And after the organization was developed the members of Gamma Sigma Sigma was doing service right along side of Alpha Phi Omega as sister of Alpha Phi Omega.  This information came first hand.  I was fortunate to attend the first Gamma Sigma Sigma Floating Founders Day Ceremony.  I had the honor of meeting Gamma Sigma Sigma founder, Marvyn Glover.  Marvyn spoke at the ceremony, she even recognized me as a brother.

In other discussions with Marvyn Glover, she told me who the President of Alpha Phi Omega was in 1952 at the time of the Founding of Gamma Sigma Sigma.  This shocked me because i didn't know.  And she just rattle it off like second nature.  She also told me that when Gamma Sigma Sigma was formed as a campus organization, the brothers of Alpha Phi Omega went to the national convention of 1952 during the summer.  There they met other brothers that had female groups on their campuses.  They collected contact information and brought this information back to the campus of Drexal University to their campus sisters.  Then Gamma Sigma Sigma contacted these other groups and
invited them to a meeting on the campus of Drexal.  Quickly they came together in October of 1952 and became officially a National Organization January 1st,1953.  Now, with the information being out of the bag of a organization with the attempt of being a sister organization of Alpha Phi Omega, another group had another idea and developed a campus organization that same year 1953 at Bowling Green University.  Omega Phi Alpha Sorority "to me" rejected the idea of Gamma Sigma Sigma and began it's own sister sorority concept.

I also recognize other entities within Alpha Phi Omega that has was developed to be associated with Alpha Phi Omega, such as Jewels, Phyettes, and  Omega Phi Alpha.

This fraternity has had it's up and downs, but with all the friends that has helped me over the years, I can truly say that it has been worth pledging back in 1980.  I didn't care that this organization had white and latin and oriental members.  I felt that this was a plus and this is what made this organization unique.  And we have to live every day of our lives with each other, this is a good way of finding out how to relate to one another.  This is what I believe is the reason why anybody joins.

Of course, as an Ay-Phi-Que we were shun by the some black Social Greek communities and accepted by others.  Those that did the shunning of course stopped looking at us as black individuals , but as blacks trying to be black.  What?!  It's just our nature just to be ourselves.  We do service in all communities, we step, we have our parties, we chant, we have songs, and we are excited about being in this fraternity. This excitement sometimes makes your never want to join anything else.  This is what I think some black Social Greeks regret. Not that we are all black, never mind that, just that we do not want to pledge anything else.  And that is the reason why do we create such excitement?  Survival.  Because this we took seriously.  But guest what, we were shun also by other chapters and members of Alpha Phi Omega.  For real.  We were too black.!  We look at Alpha Phi Omega as a fraternal entity and others didn't.  Even today, Majority of Alpha Phi Omega is ran more like a society than it is a fraternity.  Ay-Phi-Que hasn't changed.  It is still old in it's traditions, but unwavering in it's integrity.

I believe in the multiculturalism of Alpha Phi Omega because the standard of manhood stretches into every man on earth.   In Alpha Phi Omega, we have a priority in service to nation, the community, the campus and to it's members.  Most all social organizations on campus do look at manhood growth as a key entity in their fraternal program.  All fraternal organizations do service and promote manhood.  So what makes Alpha Phi Omega so different?  It was it's original purpose to supplement manhood development through service.  Other fraternal entities are now realizing that service should be in every fraternal program. Back to the top
 
 

The Importance of the History

To understand the efforts of the all male chapters you have to first understand the beginning of Alpha Phi Omega.  Why did Frank Reed Horton create Alpha Phi Omega in the first place.  To create a service to all mankind organizationally.  No, that was not it.   What he did want to do for mankind is settle or differences by means other than war.   Lets go back to the beginning for a minute.  Frank Reed Horton, a naval attorney, on the US Navel Ship the USS Whooperwill, during the first world war is watching young men constantly getting into trouble while on shore leave.  At that time during the war, young men may have gotten out of hand with the locals, as uncontrolled soldiers of war often without being thoughtful, do.  Raping, starting fights or just losing it mentally.   So you have a group of young men having to be responsible for their actions and paying for it by losing their civil rights.  And there is Frank Reed Horton.  Looking in a courtroom at young man after young man losing their civil right because of their negative actions.  This is where Alpha Phi Omega was born.  A thought came in Frank Reed Horton's head.  And he makes a resolution unto himself.  He states.....

"If I return alive to the United States, I will to my utmost to give young men the right start in life by holding before them a "standard of Manhood" that will withstand the test of time."

(The newer manuals has change this last phrase to say young people)  This is the embryo of what is Alpha Phi Omega today.  And after the War he went to an all male college, at Lafayette college, Pennsylvania.  Then he became a deputy scoutmaster, and saw the principles of manhood that he was looking for in the Boy Scouts of America.   And when Alpha Phi Omega became an organization in December 16th 1925, service was not apart of it's foundation.  It was the Alpha chapter of Alpha Phi Omega that took the responsibility to create service as Alpha Phi Omega's primary goal and that goal became the primary goal in May of 1926.  They also decided that the organization that they are creating be non secret.  meaning that this information is information that I could place out here for you to read.

Frank Reed Horton saw young sailors, (This is where the Viking mascot came from), getting into trouble. What kind of trouble could a sailor 17, 18, 19 get into. A lot of our youth today, are in families that are not all well educated and do not know how, and actually fear, the thought of trying to explain life to their sons.  Young underprivileged teenagers and those that did not have the fathers that could take the time help their sons grow.  Now that you know they need a vehicle for guidance in life, know that they also search for this almost by instinct . Some don't even know that this guidance is what they search for.  They seek answer for people they can relate to with the same growth hazards.  There are growth questions that are not asked in every circle.  There are gatherings of men, where women shouldn't be.  Women have there institutions of growth, and the basis for this fraternity is great for the humbling of young men.  But you have to take a long look at this organization and wonder:  Why aren't the men coming back to a mostly female chapter to join.  It's because they are searching for that standard of manhood, and it tends to disappear in a coed focused campus organization. Back to the top
 
 

There will always be female membership

I Spoke to a Brother that was able to attend a sectional that a coed chapter hosted.  And they invited Lucius Young to speak.  During his discussion,  he attempted to remain neutral on the subject of females membership within Alpha Phi Omega.  But when ask about females in the organization and all male chapters and what was his thoughts on it, he stated that he had no problem with female in Alpha Phi Omega.  But he also mention that they should remain separate entities.   I totally agree with this.  Why?  Only because the traditions of all male chapters have done much more through out history than just service.  Service is important.

However I will say, that there will always be coed chapters within Alpha Phi Omega.  The brothers of the all male undergraduate chapters should know this, if they don't already by now.  However, there are still plenty of older men that have yet to speak their minds on the subject.  Mostly because they have successfully avoided the confrontations with female members.  This is not hard to do because most coed members look at fraternal membership as a social thing that was done while in college.  So on the grand scheme of things, there is a great chance that you can walk by an member that was once in Alpha Phi Omega, with a shirt on and they will not choose to identify you.  That episode in life is over for them.

But the greatest tragedy of Alpha Phi Omega is the lack of support to all male chapters.  I once actually read that I individual stated that he will not be in favor of anything to support all male chapter.   In the all male chapters of Alpha Phi Omega, not only would we would like to keep what we have, but also would like for what we have to grow.   So if we have to create our own support, then that is what we must do.  This written message, the APQGSS web site, the Ayphique-GammaSig Cookout Weekend, The Sk-Oop! newsletter, and the 25/52 family is a product of what the single gender chapters have done to support itself.  That is the small number of single gender chapters on both the Alpha Phi Omega side and the Gamma Sigma Sigma side.

Young people now are confused because most think that the all male chapters are members against coed chapters, and that coed is something that is the opposite of black.  This is a view that is not correct.  This is not even about females or their membership.  They think that because the 25/52 family doesn't reach out to them and try to include them in their activities.  When a female transfers to an all male campus, they create tension amongst the brothers because they will create membership interest and place the brothers in a situation that causes to lose their all male status and manhood focus.  Because they know that they can not decline her request to be apart of that chapter.  While the National Office allows all male chapters to decide their membership they will not support any form of discrimination.  To which I agree, and I know the young men agree to as well.  But this places them in a situation to where they will be forced to accept females membership in their chapter.  And because of this animosity develops.   Here you have an all male chapter attempting to become all male and a female attempting to accepted by them.   But on the bright side, if a femaleAPO comes from another chapter their is no animosity.  Undergraduates at all levels can communicate.

As of late, this understanding creates no animosity and relations between all male chapters and coed chapter can be created.  Their is no love lost to those that wish to be in this fraternity.  Because some have joined Alpha Phi Omega because of the service, not because of their interest in becoming a member of an all male chapter. Back to the top
 
 

What is Ay-Phi-Que?

All Brothers of Alpha Phi Omega are not all Ay-Phi-Que, only male members that chooses to be Ay-Phi-Que.  An Ay-Phi-Que is or was member of Alpha Phi Omega that supports the Ideas of all male chapters.  Now this doesn't mean that you have to be from an All male chapter to be an Ay-Phi-Que.  Coed Chapters are not the product of the world of Ay-Phi-Que.  This only means that Ay-Phi-Que was not originally for female membership.  At that National Convention in 1976, none of the Ay-Phi-Que chapters voted to have a female membership.  Why is there a difference?  It is because Ay-Phi-Que is a traditional term used by all male chapters.  Do you know today, if you have all the intentions in the world of creating a coed chapter of Alpha Phi Omega and mentioned that you wanted to start an Ay-Phi-Que Chapter, you would soon run into a brick wall be it male or female.  That's because the past has related Ay-Phi-Que to represent the all Male chapters mainly on predominately black chapters.  Not necessarily on all black campuses.  Because when we helped young men on other areas much more than just service, we took what we had to heart.

Ay-Phi-Que should not be a black or white thing, it's simply terminology used and adopted by the chapters that existed on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).  Prior to joining, every prospective young man is informed of the history and ethnic origin of the fraternity.  Impressed with such, we chose to adopt the principles based on the fact that men of all racial backgrounds were allowed membership.  Even in a time when segregation still existed, regardless of it not being a NPHC affiliated organization.  Since there are two Os in the Greek Alphabet omicron and omega; the term Que is used for omega due to its symbolic appeal and reserves O for omicron.   The term was originated within the black greek lettered community.  When the voting to become co-ed was made in 1976, all of the predominately black chapters and many of the all male white chapters detested the motion of going co-ed.

The philosophy of an Ay-Phi-Que in Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity is that Ay-Phi-Que: 1.) Represents the contingency and legacy that our all male chapters will remain all male;  2.) believes that all male chapters should be able to be produced; 3.) and believes that our sister sorority should officially be Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Sorority.  While all Ay-Phi-Ques should respect the membership of females into the organization of Alpha Phi Omega, attend conferences, do service with them as well, they are able to maintain the all male chapter status on their respective campuses by the National Office. Back to the top
 
 

Why is Manhood supplement & development important?

When you have a young man boasting on how they treated a young female negatively, you have to have a mature man right there to let him know that it wasn't cool.  Or when you have young men do not claim there own sons because they are scared of the responsibility, they need to get man to man encouragement.  I've seen young men dog out younger women.  There exist rapist.  There are young men not caring about their future or not knowing the way to plan for it.   It gets worst, I know young men that don't no how to balance a check book, and never needed to know why they ever should.  And there are more and more single family single parent homes with only the female present.  And why is she there?  Females mature faster than men.  I've known this to be true for sometime.  You see it in college and even high school.  Young men, feel they don't have to grow up.  Young women have to grow up quick.  Life for them can spiral down extremely quick.  So they have to become aware quickly.

How has this organization help?  First of all, it is a fact that most young men are not attracted to become members of a sorority.  And young men are coming from homes that do not communicate any growth skills.  Public communication is low.   So a lot of men get brought up by their neighborhood, surroundings and fellow men.  Their hunger is a hunger that you never see as females.  Young men give an nature and undivided attention to older men that they respect.  They listen with ears wide open.  But when females are around they talk more and listen less.  Young men around females want to feel like they already know everything.  And young females around men are attracted to men that seem to know more about life than they do.  This is not bad at all.  Because young men desires are to be desired and admired by the opposite sex.  Not to be in the same teaching session unless it is about school and not about life.  Also they know what the difference between what can happen in a fraternity and what you can look like in a sorority.

So you say "Well that could still go on in a coed chapter!"   Not in some areas.  Look and the chapter that is 95% female.  It is too Crushingly obvious that young men is not attracted to this chapter.  So you have a double stunt in growth.  No interest in Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity and no interest in the Manhood development of Alpha Phi Omega.  How many young men do you know that is in your culture, that you know that will benefit from giving service to the community that is not giving service because they are not in your organization?  I know an entire chapter of members in a coed chapter of Alpha Phi Omega which everybody is married to the other.

Well with a 95% percent female chapter and no Gamma Sigma Sigma Chapter, the 25/52 family does not exist on that campus.   So you should not have to ask about why the separation between a coed chapter of Alpha Phi Omega and a Gamma Sigma SIgma sorority chapter.  When you have two predominate female service organization on campus, even if it was femaleAPO/femaleGSS, it doesn't do what a true allmaleAPO/allfemaleGSS can do.  You have to know that there will always be competition for everything on a campus where the coed chapter is predominately female and the Gamma Sigma Sigma chapter is there.  If you want to know how the true love of the Gamma-Sig/Ay-Phi-Que relationship exist and you are a female Alpha Phi Omega member, become a Gamma Sigma Sigma member as well.  It's a whole different world than the games plays at Alpha Phi Omega conferences.  But on the other hand the 25/52 Family Chapter will support  each others event, help recruit,  and even take up for another family chapter when ever they need them. Back to the top
 
 

The 25/52 Family

More and more young men are dealing with the state of Alpha Phi Omega and still joining a coed chapters.  Why?  Alpha Phi Omega gives them no other choice if you ar not on an all male campus or school.  However there are young men who chooses to be in coed chapters.  For most of them, focus on only is only on service and the social potential.  They care less about Gamma Sigma Sigma and think even less of the effects coed Alpha Phi Omega has had on Gamma Sigma Sigma.   They think that Alpha Phi Omega is a coed organization because that is how it is depicted in the new pledge manual.  It still is an fraternity that allows coed chapters to exist.  Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity will always be Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity.  It will never be Alpha Phi Omega National Coed Service Fraternity unless it changes it's national charter.  That is the what the original organization charter stated, and if they drop the fraternity name, my personal opinion is that somebody might attempt to pick it up.

There is legislation that has been created by individuals within Alpha Phi Omega that doesn't know what Ay-Phi-Que means and has created rules that makes it harder for new any new group to become an Ay-Phi-Que group.  Today, if you are a new group desiring to begin a fraternal group with Alpha Phi Omega and would like to be Ay-Phi-Que, you first must become a coed group.  That's right.  The goal of Alpha Phi Omega is to reflect the campus not the group of interest.   This is not right, but this is what we are left with.  And you have to say that this decision is a decision design to help Alpha Phi Omega grow, but by the expense of Gamma Sigma SIgma losing service minded females interested in their membership.  Look at it like this, if the integrity of the 25/52 family was not there, you would have even less interest female in Gamma Sigma Sigma.  Not that Gamma Sigma Sigma doesn't create it's own interest.  It's just that they have two things working against them when it comes to Alpha Phi Omega.  One is that Alpha Phi Omega is more widely known, and the other is that there are more females in Alpha Phi Omega than there is Gamma Sigma Sigma, and having males and females in an organization makes it more of an attractive entity than a sorority to females that are on a campus of everybody doing their own thing.  You meet people of the opposite sex almost immediately in coed organization than you would any other coed entity.   Not in a church, or even in a coed dorm.  It's like going to a high school coed class.

So we are left with the 25/52 family.  A family that is in support of single gender chapters.  Since bringing the 25/52 family into the limelight in 1997 we have been able to stop losing chapter after chapter.  The 25/52 family is a product of the all male chapters and consist of the males of Alpha Phi Omega and the females of Gamma Sigma SIgma.  To female APO's members, the family existence should not change who you want to be.  Because I know the women of Gamma Sigma Sigma, does not want anyone that feel that they are force into becoming a member of their beloved organization.  And the growth of the 25/52 family is a help for them as well as sisterhood and separate brotherhood.

This family works and it works very well in a council driven culture.  When you have a council of different organizations who are not in your corner and only think of your organization as a entity beneath their own, it helps to have another organization, totally separate and on the same campus.   I bring reality to independent individuals to let them know that greek is greek only in letter, not in organization.   Because it has two organizations that are rightfully in support of the other.   Alpha Phi Omega was created first and then like from rib of Adam, Gamma Sigma Sigma was created from the inspiration of service that Alpha Phi Omega was doing.    So when you join a coed chapter, to an independent individual, the downgrade and condescending talk that a you are not a fraternity, appears to be right on target.  But with two single gender organizations in support of the other, on the same campus, their is less doubt to their legimatcy.  And when something condescending is mentioned, it appears to be more of a slam than accuracy and makes the slamming organization look negative for going there. Back to the top
 
 

Female Alpha Phi Omega membership advice

Alpha Phi Omega has meant a lot to me over the years.  And I seen plenty of things that was not in favor of the all male chapters.  Very little have I seen went in favor of their existence even in legislation.  I mention that because when you legislate against issues that only concern all male chapters, and those chapters are not present, it tells me that they are not a prime entity anymore.  And then if you want to go back to the beginning of Alpha Phi Omega,  we can not even duplicate Frank Reed Horton's efforts, In making a chapter the way he did with all men unless it is of an all male campus.  Why, I don't know.   That got to be deep, to go over your own history with an eraser.

I have nothing against Alpha Phi Omega females.  I speak to them fairly often.  My love for Alpha Phi Omega makes me understand theirs.  And my greatest advice to you if you are a coed female, is to not let Alpha Phi Omega become the only organization that you join while your in college.   I say go ahead and continue to be in this organization that does service and be a chapter that does service.  But when you desire to learn something that has sisterhood teaching, consider joining a sister organization.  Some females have problems dealing with other females.  Alpha Phi Omega is not designed and was never meant to help you deal with that aspect of life.  So do join a sorority too, It doesn't have to be Gamma Sigma Sigma.  Only if you would like to be apart of the 25/52 family, white or black or indian or latin, because the family supports all races.  Do it while you can, while your still in college.  With Gamma Sigma Sigma, It only takes a semester and 15 girls to be a colony, and other sororities have different requirements.  And if you are already graduated and do not intend on going back to school, then let be suggest being an honorary or being apart of an Alumni Chapter somewhere.  But what ever you do, you shouldn't let this coed organization rob you of sisterhood and give you only the opportunity of being just a brother of a fraternity. Back to the top
 
 

Coexistence?

Female Alpha Phi Omega coed members see the 25/52 family and see how it is formed and what makes it work.  Here you feel like you belong because it just feels right.  The traditions fit, and the men who carries those traditions will hold on to them an leave because of what they know to be real.   However, the reason why Gamma Sigma Sigma is not on some of the campuses is that when Alpha Phi Omega began to allow coed chapters, on campuses that had both entities there was no more support from it's brother organization of Alpha Phi Omega and Alpha Phi Omega became it's competitors going for the same people.  They stopped having functions together, with was attractive to many people.  And in most cases an active NPHC members with sisters and brothers is too large of an attraction especially when then are being recruited from within our organizations.  And im sure also certain there are several other reasons for the disappearance of Gamma Sigma Sigma, but Alpha Phi Omega has to be the common thread to most reasons.

Today many people use Alpha Phi Omega. T hey join to show they can do service; to become a part of something, to have an organization on their resume; to try and belong to a group, to wear the colors; to meet females/males; and there a few that are genuine.   I remember a story on one campus where Alpha Phi Omega was the largest fraternity on campuses and they had some of every other "Social Greek" coming through as members of Alpha Phi Omega.  They fell apart up because the President married the secretary, and left with all the money, and they became divided because to two dominant "Social Greek" Organizations was playing power games.

Notice there is not a Gamma Sigma Sigma Chapter in Southern Louisiana at all.  However there are two coed chapters of Alpha Phi Omega. Gamma Sigma Sigma chapter of Dillard University was the last chapter in Louisiana.  They were all by themselves for miles in each direction.  If there was a family on campus then you would have support directly on campus.  Coed Alpha Phi Omega chapters seldom give membership support to Gamma Sigma Sigma anywhere.  Mainly because they are both attempting to attract the same members.
 

The 25/52 family is and will always be the male brothers of Alpha Phi Omega and the female sisters of Gamma Sigma Sigma.  It is the only place we have left.   However, on the coed playing field we as men of Ay-Phi-Que must move forward and get beyond our isolation of this element.   Because if we are ever to advance ourselves, or even have a voice to be able to make it known our desires you have to come to the reality of situation.   You must go to Regional and Sectional conferences and even the National Convention to make it known.  You can't step back and hope things change.  You have to be the one to express your feelings and let them know how you want your chapter to be.  Much love to all! Back to the top

JayBEE!
 
 


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