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Jamari Chalmers, senior in communications, and DeMarcus Edwards, senior in marketing and management, pose for the photo. Chalmers is the president and Edwards is the vice president of AlphaAlphaAlpha the only black fraternity on campus. Jessica Greninger

Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity reactivates on campus

After 23 years of inactivity, traditionally black fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha has returned to Pitt State’s campus. 

The reactivation process was a collaborative effort over four years between alumni of the fraternity and interested students. The students approached the university with the hope that the fraternity could resume activity at Pittsburg State. 

“We originally started to show interest in bringing back the chapter on campus about three to four years ago,” Jamari Chalmers, senior in communications and president of Alpha Phi Alpha, said. “And that’s when we had to talk to Jason, our campus advisor and, some other people who had connections to get the word out.” 

Chalmers and other brothers participated in the recent Student Organization Fair and focused on education and registering students to vote. 

“Our campus advisor Jason Kegler helps us and lets us know about different activities that are going on campus so that we can get involved and show other organizations that we are a compromising group, that we can work efficiently with other people,” Chalmers said.  

The first official members of Alpha Phi Alpha were welcomed into the fraternity in spring 2018 after years of planning.  

“… This was a process that we started exploring back in late 2014, early 2015,” Kegler, assistant vice president for student life, said. “It’s been a long process, but the young men committed, and their hard work has paid off for them. It has been a process.”  

The fraternity, while historically black, is open to students of all ethnicities and encourages anyone at Pittsburg State to reach out for information about their recruitment.  

“It’s very exciting being back on campus,” Demarcus Edwards, senior in management and marketing and vice president of Alpha Phi Alpha, said. “It took a lot of hard work to bring the chapter back on campus. A lot of paperwork, a lot of meetings, a lot of waiting. To see our dream come true is really great.”  

During the semester, the chapter is holding awareness seminars to let others know about their mission. 

“We’re looking to do fundraising for donations and to spread awareness,” Chalmers said. 

Alpha Phi Alpha has one program on the horizon dedicated to helping the elderly and the disabled provide for themselves and their families.  

“Younger brothers step in and help and … make sure that they’re set to go out and be able to let their voices be heard,” Chalmers said. 

One of Alpha Phi Alpha’s goals is to stress the importance that students and the community voice does matter. The chapter is planning on participating in events on campus like Yell Like Hell with the Black Student Association (BSA). 

“We plan on doing many more collaborations I believe for Yell like Hell that’s coming up. We love to collaborate with the BSA,” Chalmers said.  

The fraternity brothers have traveled to attend leadership seminars and conferences. Alpha Phi Alpha secretary Nathaniel Simmons is currently in Toronto, Canada participating at the fraternity’s leadership conference.  

“I think, from that experience, he is going to come back and we’re going to hit the ground running with some awareness events for the organization,” Jason Kegler said.  

Kegler also said that his goal is to transition the members into leadership. 

“The young men are very bright and ambitious, and I think that they can be successful leaders within our university and within their own communities after graduation, and my goal is to help them see and develop that devotion,” Kegler said.  

The brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha send their thanks to all the faculty, staff members, alumni, and current students who helped in reactivating the chapter. 

 

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