By Haley Cooper
New members are always being sought for Alpha Phi Alpha and Phi Beta Sigma, historically black fraternities with act chapters off campus.
Currently, there are only two active members of Phi Beta Sigma on campus and no active members of Alpha Phi Alpha at Ohio Wesleyan. There is an Alpha Phi Alpha chapter at Franklin University.
Senior Andrew Dos Santos, president of Phi Beta Sigma at OWU, said being a small chapter is rewarding despite being “a lot of work.”
“Because we are a small chapter, we get to know different chapters from different campuses,” he said. “I know my brothers from Bowling Green, OSU—the list goes on and on.”
Dos Santos said he joined Phi Beta Sigma because he had a friend from the track and football teams who was a member.
“After going to an informational session they (Phi Beta Sigma) hold on campus, you write down your name saying you’re interested,” he said. “They will contact you, then you make extra steps for the organization.”
Dos Santos said these extra steps are research. He said he had to research the “Divine Nine” African-American founded fraternities and sororities in order to make sure it was the organization he wanted to join. The Divine Nine consist of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, Omega Psi Phi fraternity, Delta Sigma Theta sorority, Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, Zeta Phi Beta sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho sorority and Iota Phi Theta fraternity.
Dos Santos also said most people don’t express interest because they don’t have a house on campus.
“A lot of people also think it’s (Phi Beta Sigma) for minorities, and it’s not,” he said. “If you like what we stand for, and you’re not a minority, you will get more respect from stepping out of your comfort zone. We are always looking for men of character and service.”
Dos Santos said once someone has expressed interest in one of the Divine Nine, they are not supposed to talk about it with others until the Probate Show, which is an exposition show for all pledges.
Dos Santos said Phi Beta Sigma stands out from other fraternities because they are constitutionally bound to a Divine Nine sorority, Zeta Phi Beta, which is not currently established at OWU.
The members from Franklin University were not available for a comment about their fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha.
In order to get into these institutions one must apply online and have an alumni sponsor them.
“An aspirant (a man seeking membership) may apply for membership into a College Chapter as an undergraduate student in good standing at a four year college or university,” the Alpha Phi Alpha website said.
“College aspirants can only join the Fraternity at a College or University where an active chapter is present.”
For OWU students, this would be Franklin University in Columbus. According to the Phi Beta Sigma website, they also have the same requirements for application.