Date dashes, Rush Week and the Greek alphabet are not a part of the social scene at Western, but few students know that the campus does harbor its own Greek system of sorts. Western’s Greek system taps into different facets of fraternity life than those often portrayed on in movies and the media.
Alpha Kappa Psi was founded at New York University in 1904, and women were admitted beginning in 1958. This fraternity, which became co-ed in 1958, is a professional business fraternity. Their vision statement is: Alpha Kappa Psi is recognized as a premier developer of principal business leaders.
Lamba Lamda Lamda was founded in 2006 at University of Connecticut, where students wanted to reinvision what a fraternity could be. The organization’s founders felt a little put off by the Greek system when they were students, Lamda Lamda Lamda Delta Chapter President Scott Bushey said. They found that academic achievement and community service was secondary, and that the sororities and fraternities were more centered around partying and living a negative lifestyle. They wanted to do something about it, and they started their own fraternity – Lamda Lamda Lamda.
Alpha Kappa Psi
“What sets us apart from any other club on campus is that we are a fraternal organization, but we are professional,” said Monica Marchak, president of Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity at Western.
AKPsi conducts themselves as a business fraternity, and its members describe it as running a business, Marchak said. Western, along with University of Washington, Washington State University and Central Washington University, all have AKPsi chapters that are a part of the Northwest region.
“I’m getting the best management experience I could ask for,” Marchak said. “[I’m] basically leading a group of 45 students that have no payment incentive, but we have to put on events and get things done that the organization asks for.”
AKPsi puts on a certain amount of professional, community service and brotherhood events during the year with current members and alumni, Marchak said. Relay for Life is one of the annual events they partake in; “Team AKPsi” always has a tent there, Marchak said.
Recently, AKPsi started an alumni event to help keep current members and alumni from all chapters stay connected.
“When you graduate from Western and you’re a member of AKPsi, you stay connected,” Marchak said. “You become a part of the huge alumni base, and we love to stay connected with our alumni.”
The event, which took place in Seattle this year, included dinner, games and plenty of networking opportunities.
AKPsi is often confused with being a social fraternity and that joining would be similar to the “frat life” portrayed in the media and movies, but AKPsi could not be more different, Marchak said. The business fraternity focuses on professionalism.
“We don’t focus on drinking; we focus on gaining a group of best friends with similar career objectives and similar professional objectives,” Marchak said. “When you join, we tell our pledges, ‘You’re gonna gain 45 new best friends.’”
The admittance process to AKPsi is called “pledging,” which can be compared to the interview process for a job. The business fraternity encourages students of all majors to pledge, not just those from the College of Business and Economics, Marchak said.
Leadership is emphasized in AKPsi, and, any student who wants to put leadership on their resume would benefit from being a member, Marchak said.
Being able to try things and fail in an environment where peers can help and promote learning and growth in a safe place is a great element of AKPsi, Marchak said.
Lamda Lamda Lamda, Delta Chapter
Lamda Lamda Lamda is currently working with the Associated Students to become Western’s first social fraternity. During the process of obtaining this recognition, Bushey has found a resounding message coming from many of Western’s students.
“We’ve found the prevailing sentiments of this campus to be overwhelmingly anti-Greek [system], which is quite a shame,” Bushey said. “Unbeknownst to most people, we do have a Greek system at Western, and have had for some time. This, however, is mostly relegated to honor societies and a business fraternity, with more concerns of networking than social events.”
Though the members of Lamda Lamda Lamda have nothing against the already established Greek organizations at Western, it’s high time a social fraternity is established at Western, Bushey said.
Lamda Lamda Lamda intends to be Western’s first social fraternity founded by Bushey and four others; they are the “Father Class,” meaning the first people to be inducted. The national organization has five chapters primarily in the North Atlantic region, and the Western chapter is the first on the West Coast, Bushey said.
“We don’t like the word ‘frat,’” Bushey said. “We feel like it has some very negative connotations, and we try to down play the image that ‘frat’ happens to conjure up.”
During the Enlightenment Period in the 18th century, the social fraternity began as an organization that was dedicated to classical learning and rigorous devotion to studying, Bushey said. That is the image Lamda Lamda Lamba is trying to project.
Greek life at Western breaks out of the stereotypical norm that many people associate fraternities and sororities with. Lamba Lamda Lamda and AKPsi strive to differentiate themselves from such preconceived notions.