Alpha Phi Omega
is a national co-ed service fraternity organized to provide community service, leadership development, and social opportunities for college students. Under the guiding principles of leadership, friendship, and service, Alpha Phi Omega provides service to the community by donating time and effort to various organizations and causes.
Alpha Phi Omega's primary focus is to provide volunteer service within four areas: service to the community, service to the campus, service to the fraternity, and service to the nation and world. In fact, Alpha Phi Omega is the largest co-ed service fraternity in the world. Since 1925, more than 500,000 members on over 375 campuses, continue to provide more service on more campuses than any other collegiate service organization.
"On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight."
Alpha Zeta Upsilon Chapter at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV)
In the Spring of 2008, UNLV staff members from the Office of Civic Engagement and Diversity (OCED), Sherry Early and Jacob Murdock seeing students’ passion in service, reached out to the Alpha Phi Omega national office to begin the process of having a chapter on campus. The advisory committee, with the addition of graduate student Amanda Griffith and staff member Sheri Beyer, then recruited and guided a small group of interested members and started the chartering process. The students consisted of Jeff Wherry as President, Hugo Calderon as VP of Service, Tamara Ioudina as SAA, Mark Adams as VP of Membership, Nina Cervana as Secretary, Zach Substanley as Treasurer, Jacque de Jesus, Robert Maxey, and Tyler Paugh. The UNLV Interest Group, as represented by Jeff and Hugo, made its first inter-chapter visit at the Section 1 Conference before the semester concluded.
Through the 2008-2009 academic year, the UNLV Interest Group grew in membership and created and participated in the needed amounts of fellowship, service, and leadership events to have a Petitioning Ceremony. The ceremony was held on March 7, 2009, and was attended and performed by brothers from neighboring chapters, including Regional Director Franklin Brodsky, Section 2 Chair Kent Lee, and newly-added scouting advisor Father Steve Hoffer, who pledged with Epsilon Lambda at Michigan Technological University.
The chartering process carried over to the following academic year of 2009-2010 and with it the changes of the roster. This included the graduation of original interested members as well as the gaining of a new staff advisor, graduate student Lindsey Johnson, who was a member of the Zeta Psi chapter in the University of Oregon. Positions in the executive board for the UNLV Petitioning Group also changed, which comprised of Nina Cervana as President, Hugo Calderon as VP of Service, Mickey Gamonal as VP of Membership, Andy Fanara as VP of Fellowship, Eileen Lyle as SAA, Matt Kimball as Treasurer, Kasey Kama as Secretary, and Susan Taylor as Pledge Educator. During this time, the group became more familiar with learning national policies and culture, created the first draft of chapter bylaws, and even emulated a pledge process. Another petitioning ceremony was performed in February 2010 to fulfill the remaining requirements, which included meeting participation percentages based on the active roster.
After a two-and-a-half-year process and with the unwavering support from the regional and sectional staff, UNLV Alpha Zeta Upsilon was chartered on May 1, 2010. The ceremony was held at the UNLV TAM Alumni Hall and was attended and performed by over 30 interchapter members, with UNLV staff member Nathan Hanke serving as the university representative. The event included the installation of the first official chapter executive board, with Kasey Kama serving as President. With the generous donation from alumni of the Epsilon Lambda chapter, the chartering members received their first official letters and commemorated the feat by having a picture taken with the university mascot outside the venue. The process may have ended with members singing to the Toast Song, but the history of Alpha Zeta Upsilon was just getting started.