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Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

Alpha Phi Omega celebrates rush week with service events

GVL | Sara Bagely

Alpha Phi Omega (APO) is a co-ed service fraternity known nationally for its mission of community service. The Grand Valley State University chapter, Alpha Zeta Iota, is holding their rush events for the organization. 

The rush events are for APO help potential new members get to know the organization and the the current members better and see if the organization would be a good fit for them.

Anna Cavalier serves as the current vice president of community service for the fraternity and said the organization stands for “leadership, friendship and service.”

“Those are our three main principles that we try to uphold as a fraternity and a service organization on campus,” Cavalier said. 

During rush week, the fraternity held an informational meeting for prospective new members, as well as two other events: “paint and plant”and mental health support letter writing. Cavalier said rush week isn’t quite what people might think of in comparison to other Greek organizations. It’s recruitment process has fewer interviews and bids than other Greek Life organizations and instead is more community and conversation-based for this fraternity. 

“Rush events are just a couple weeks in the first semester to gain new members and get our name out there as a club and to get prospective new members,” Cavalier said. “Our events that we do have planned are just like a little example of some of the events that we do host throughout the year. We do host service events during the rush period, fellowships and some fundraisers as well.” 

Jillian Falzone serves as the secretary for APO and said she loved the idea of Paint and Plant. 

“Personally, I really like plants, and I think it’s a good way to meet people, especially new members. I think it would be something that they would be wanting to go to,” Falzone said. 

As an APO member, Falzone said her favorite events with the organization help to serve people. She said her favorite projects are “homeless dinners” which she said is something the organization does often. The members “make dinners and pack them in brown paper bags and hand them out to the homeless.” APO also often partners with food pantries and ministry organizations in Grand Rapids such as Dégagé and Mel Trotter with any leftover meals they might have after the event. 

The homeless meals event is quite popular among several members of APO, including GVSU senior Becca Hamilton. Though this is only Hamilton’s second semester as a part of the organization, she said she loves it so far. 

“It’s awesome. I love that I can manage it with my schedule. I love that I get to spend time with my friends and also spend time doing things for the community and the university as well,” Hamilton said. 

Another member, Jessica Spudowski said APO has given her lots of opportunities. 

“My favorite part of APO is doing community service with my friends, where we can all get together and find events and help people out,” Spudowski said. “I’ve been in other clubs with community service, but APO is the most helpful, and they have a ton that you can do.” 

Spudowski said her favorite project has been Project Night Lights, an initiative taking place in downtown Grand Rapids on the second Wednesday night of each month outside Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. On this night, families and patients come to the windows with flashlights and exchange goodnight gestures with people lining the streets, holding up phone flashlights and lanterns in an act of community and solidarity. 

Lizzie Ankrapp serves as the rush chair on the APO e-board. As the rush chair, Ankrapp organizes many events for the fraternity, especially during this time of year.

“My favorite part is being able to create my own events and getting to do multiple different events, like service, fellowship, fundraising, kind of getting to do it all in one two-week period,” Ankrapp said.

Ankrapp helped put on the Mental Health Support Letters event, which took place on Sept. 14. She said she found the website Letters Against Depression and decided it would be a good opportunity for their organization to contribute to the community and open up the conversation about the importance of mental health.

APO encourages all interested students to get involved and says the organization is a welcoming and friendly place.


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