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MIT student blogger Kim D. '09

Alpha Phi Omega by Kim D. '09

Leadership, FRIENDSHIP, Service

Professor Leeb, my 6.131 Professor, notices if we’re late. So I tend to walk rush from my 6.336 lecture in 10-250 to the 6.131 lecture in 34-101. I was moving quickly down the hall last Thursday, not paying attention to much around me, when suddenly someone said, “Hey, Kim! Want a roll?” And there was Xavier ’11, with a bag of Bertucci’s rolls. (Bertucci’s is a common source of pizza and rolls at MIT.) And that made my day.

Xavier and I know each other because I’m his Mommy, and now we’re Brothers too. Which might sound confusing, if you didn’t know about APO. APO, or Alpha Phi Omega, is a co-ed service fraternity on campus (Jessie ’07 has mentioned it before in her blog). Last spring I was the Membership Vice President, or more colloquially, the Mommy. As Mommy, I was in charge of recruiting new pledges and helping them go through the process of becoming Brothers in the fraternity. Xavier was one of my pledges, and he was really involved last semester during his pledge term, doing service and participating in meetings and social gatherings. So now he’s been elevated to Brotherhood, and I can be both his Mommy and his Brother.

Most people join APO because they’re interested in doing community service. And indeed, this is a fine reason to join. There are all sorts of projects, and if they aren’t enough for you or right for you, it’s easy to start your own. Some past projects that I can think of off the top of my head: pruning trees along the Charles River, building an amphitheater at a Boy Scout Camp, sending books to prisoners, performing a variety show at a nursing home, working with the National Braille Press, running the Ugliest Man on Campus charity competition, running a Book Exchange for students at the beginning of the semester, … A large part of the requirements to join, and to continue as a brother, are to participate in and run service projects.

But there’s more to APO than just Service. APO is based around 3 values: Leadership, Friendship, and Service. The Leadership part is fairly obvious, since people serve as Officers each semester, and people need to be leaders to lead service projects well. And the Service is central to the organization. But sometimes we forget about the third one. We might be too busy to go to APO study breaks, or hang out with each other. But even if that’s true sometimes, APO is still a community, and we’re reminded of it in unexpected ways, like another brother giving us a random roll between classes :)

Just another great group at MIT…

11 responses to “Alpha Phi Omega”

  1. mohit says:

    APO sound great….It’s definitely a group of which I would live to be a part….if and when I am admitted….

  2. cristen says:

    dude you took my post!!!! :O
    *hugs her brother*

  3. Roger says:

    I joined APO kind of by chance, not realizing what it was all about. (we’re talking 1963) I went to the Activities Midway, and seeing this group that “required” having been in Boy Scouts, I put my name down on a card, because I had been very active in Boy Scouts prior to my MIT days. The next week, a guy living in my dorm knocks on the door, and says he’s come to take me to the APO meeting. What? Now?? I have problem sets to finish. Steve Bless was insistent, so I went along with him. I never regretted it. APO was one of my main activities, and sources of Friendship, while I was at MIT.

  4. Shubhang says:

    The symbols definetly look much cooler than APO. A must join fraternity at MIT.

  5. Ivan says:

    Alpha Phi Omega seems pretty cool.

    Must be fun to do community service with so many people from your fraternity.

    I didn’t know co-ed fraternities existed, I thought the term fraternities meant it was males only.

    What was the last community service you participated in?

    What days do you guys usually help others, since it seems like there is so little time to do anything at MIT?

    @ Roger
    When did you graduate from MIT?
    I think you might have studied with or at least known my grandfather, Geraldo Abdo.

  6. Piper says:

    Are you mommying next spring, Kim? ’cause if not, I’ll be really confused on who my mommy is.

    I’ll just dump water on you both =D.

  7. Ashwathi says:


    APO sounds like an interesting group and definitely one that I’d like to be a part of when (umm..if) I get into MIT.

  8. deng says:

    thanks, I’ve been wondering about what the point of fraternities/sororities was (were?? nope was) raspberry

    but how often are the projects? and how often would most fraternity member usually participate?

  9. deng says:

    oh, and I did get the impression that everyone walked really fast at MIT when I visited a few weeks ago
    but ahh that’s really sweet with the roll thing ^_^

  10. kimd says:

    That’s great to hear… if you’re ever in the area, feel free to stop by APO sometime!

    The last service project I did was participating in a group performing songs, skits, and juggling at a nursing home in the area. My pledges actually organized it! I think the majority of our service projects happen on weekends, except for events like charity fundraisers and the book exchange, which involve taking shifts during the day.

    Nope, I won’t be the mommy in the spring. But you can still dump water on me smile

    The projects are pretty frequent, every week or two. The Service Vice President is in charge of lining things up. How much Brothers participate in them varies. The requirements on a pledge are to do 6 projects in the term.