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Fraternity lacks undergraduate members but still retains presence

Despite the 10 to 15 students interested in joining every year, the Omicron Delta chapter of Omega Psi Phi exists at the University of Miami with no undergraduate members.

“We are about quality over quantity,” Brett Jones, the last undergraduate member of this chapter said. “We are always looking for qualified candidates.”

Jones graduated last fall and is now attending Nova Southeastern University.

According to Lavar Jamison, the advisor for this chapter, UM usually has three to five members in Omega Psi Phi. Historically black colleges sometimes have chapters with 20 to 30 members.

Despite currently having no undergraduate members, this chapter still has a presence at UM because of the work of neighboring chapters and the graduate chapters.

The city of Miami has two graduate chapters, one for both the north and south. Florida International University and the University of Miami’s undergraduate chapters flow into the Pi Nu Graduate Chapter.

These graduate chapters continue to have an interest in the undergraduate chapters.

Jones said he will continue to run programs to keep Omega’s presence on campus, but the graduate members tend to be more involved in community projects in the city.

These members also have a continuing interest in the undergraduate chapters’ members.

“Our fraternity has a hands on process. We track our members’ process,” Jamison said. “I still track Bret to make sure is doing well in class at Nova.”

“This is a lifelong organization,” Jones said. “It is just not for undergrad.”

While at UM, Jones was responsible for running Omega functions on campus that included study halls and a forum called “Chivalry is Dead and Women are the Ones that Killed It.” Neighboring chapters helped him with these tasks.

“There was a lot of work on campus, but there was always help,” Jones said. “We would rather have one person do the work of 10 than 10do the work of one.”

Selectivity

Omega does not allow freshmen into their organization as they want these students to develop an identity at their new school before entering the fraternity.

“We can’t make men. We can mold them once they enter the fraternity,” Jones said. “We don’t want our members to find themselves within our group, but we want them to already know who they are.”

Although Omega Psi Phi was started to enhance college life for black males, it has had diverse membership. It has had white, Chinese, and Hispanic members.

August 26, 2009

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Ed S. Fishman

News Editor


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