EPSILON OMICRON (Oklahoma State) -- Alpha Tau Omega is known as the leadership development fraternity because it shapes men with its emphasis on scholarship and brotherhood.
Benjamin Robin, the ATO president, said the relationships built are centered on more than just what is happening in-house.
“We know each other very well,” he said. “We try to encourage each other to get involved in things other than just the fraternity.”
ATO stresses school as an important part of leadership. The house’s grade point average is the highest among all the OSU fraternities and earned them the Interfraternity Council’s award for academic excellence last spring.
“What else are we coming to college for than to get good grades and get a degree?” Robin said. “We have really pushed to focus on guys with 2.8, 2.9, 3.0 and 3.1 [GPAs] and get them up to a 3.5 or a 3.6 [GPA].”
The fraternity does not require members to study. Instead the house does not plan activities between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m and reserves rooms in the Edmon Low Library on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This makes it easy to study, which motivates its members to get earn high grades.
“Many of the guys are interested in making their grades better and getting help there,” Robin said.
ATO was founded in 1865 on Christian values, he said, but it does not discriminate based on religion.
“We certainly trace our roots to the teachings of Jesus Christ,” Robin said. “But we’re not just a Christian fraternity; we signed a guy this last pledge class that was Muslim. So welcome all faiths.”
The house’s Christian values focus on making the community and themselves better. Gatorfest demonstrates the fraternity’s commitment to charity. The event is a three day long competition among sororities to win money and prizes. It raised more than $3800 last March, which went to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minn.
The OSU chapter won the True Merit award from the national fraternity two years in a row. The award recognizes the chapter for its overall excellence.
“Oklahoma State has a history of a very great Greek system,” Robin said. “The ATO group of guys takes it very seriously when we start to talk about values and integrity.”
ATO is constantly recruiting; it offers bids year round. Interested students can then pledge in the summer.
“[To pledge to ATO] is probably the single best decision I have made ever,” Robin said. “The opportunities I’ve had can be traced back to ATO.” *Original article available here: http://www.ocolly.com/features/article_6a9f5808-078c-11e2-9328-0019bb30f31a.html