At Longwood University, citizen leaders give back to the community in many different ways. From picking up pieces of trash off the side of the road to donating old clothes and cans of food to places like Elwood’s Cabinet, student organizations like Alpha Phi Omega have committed to helping others through service that stretches across campus, the Farmville community, and the nation. Members of Alpha Phi Omega continue to dedicate themselves to community service during their recruitment season.
Alpha Phi Omega is currently the only national co-ed service fraternity at Longwood. Recently, the fraternity hosted a series of open houses as a part of their recruitment season for the semester. Most of the open houses took place in the organization’s chapter room in Wheeler Hall, but they have also been tabling in Upchurch University Center this past week.
When asked what kind of service projects the fraternity does, Lindsey Hottinger, a Senior member of APO, said, “In Spring 2021, we had over 30 different service projects. Some of those were recurring projects, others took place only one day, and some were collection projects. For example, we helped with maintenance work at Richlands Dairy Farm one Saturday; we sent Virtual Cards to children at St. Judes, and we volunteer regularly with two equine programs.”
One unique fact about Alpha Phi Omega is that members are allowed to create their own service projects if there was ever a certain cause, campuswide or nationwide, that people thought needed their help.
Apart from participating in charity, the organization also recognized the importance of friendship and traditions made with one another.
“When I first joined Alpha Phi Omega, I really didn’t know very many people at Longwood, and I had trouble breaking out of my shell. This brotherhood has helped me become a more confident leader, and I have gained some of the most amazing friends anyone could ever ask for,” Hottinger said.
She further stated, “Also, this brotherhood really is like family. We have a saying, “May you turn and face the world knowing that a brother has always got your back”. That really resonates with me.”
With the antisocial atmosphere that the COVID-19 pandemic created, lots of student organizations at Longwood, like APO, adapted new methods for increasing membership.
Hottinger explained how the fraternity managed last year: “We held open houses, chapter [meetings], and ceremonies virtually. Through the leadership of our amazing executive board, we were able to have a great semester even if things were different. Luckily, this fall, we were able to start going back to having in-person chapter [meetings] and events.”
Time also played a part in how Alpha Phi Omega evolved as a group, especially with new member classes coming in as upperclassmen prepared to graduate.
This being her senior year, Hottinger reflected on the memories the fraternity has given her: “I have so many fun memories of being with my brothers, doing service, or engaging in fellowship. Lately this semester we have started a new tradition of going to Waldys on a regular basis, and it’s such a fun way to spend time with the bros.”
As for the future of the fraternity overall, members have remained enthusiastic about the services done as well as the connections made with one another.
“While I enjoy doing all service projects, I think it is most rewarding when I can see the difference our labor makes...I hope this brotherhood can continue to grow. The more people we have engaged in service, the more of an impact that we can make in our community,” Hottinger stated.
There will be an open house on Monday, September 13, in the fraternity’s chapter room in Wheeler. For more information regarding the fraternity’s upcoming events, you can follow them on Instagram @longwoodapo.