By Emily Williamson:
Hardin-Simmons has several Greek clubs on campus, one of them being the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) Eta Chi chapter. This club is a national service fraternity which emphasizes community, friendship and leadership through service.
APO has approximately 500,000 members nationwide, standing as the single most represented coed fraternity in the country. The HSU chapter’s president is Carolynn Thompson, a senior biology major from Schertz. This semester, APO has been involved in campus events such as a movie night with McMurry University and several pledging events despite COVID-19.
“Since COVID-19, it has been a hard transition for everyone, but APO has made it important for us to still help within our campus and the community,” Thompson said. “So far we have been able to help out [at] the Abilene Animal Shelter, some of our members help with Beltway Park, and on campus… taking meals to students who are quarantined on the weekends.”
Not only does this club allow its members to serve, but it allows them to develop leadership skills. This emphasis on personal and community growth through service and volunteering is one thing that makes the club so unique.
“The values of APO, ‘leadership, friendship and service’, are the focus of the club’s personality,” Thompson said. “To have our members of Alpha Phi Omega be committed to bringing together college students in a national service fraternity in the fellowship of principles derived from the scout oath and the law of the Boy Scouts of America…”
The way that APO expresses these values is what Thompson loves the most about her club.
“[I]t’s not only a brotherhood that is shared for our campus and community but it has also given me the opportunity to step up and step into the world of service, create long-lasting relationships and provide opportunities for members behind me wanting to embrace those skills,” Thompson said.
For students who are interested in being part of a service-oriented club, APO is a fantastic option. Becoming a member involved attending some mandatory pledge events, induction, and initiation. This club is different from other Greek clubs because there are opportunities to become a member in both the fall and spring semesters.
“The pledge process is easy-going and we want students of all backgrounds to be encouraged to join,” Thompson said.
Follow APO on instagram @hsu_apo or reach out to Carolynn Thompson for more information about joining.