On Monday, members of the Florida A&M University Upsilon Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. looked on as maintenance workers chopped down the organization’s lone tree, in front of Jackson Davis Hall. Bearing the words “Omega Psi Phi,” the tree was cut down due to the damage from recent weather. This is the second time in less than a year that the fraternity has endured such a blow.
In Sept. 2007 the first tree had the shield of the fraternity painted on it, and was cut down after lightening struck it. This September’s rainy weather damaged the remaining tree as well.
“The tree was dead and began to lean,” said Felicia Barnes, Coordinator of Clubs and Organizations. “It had to get cut down before it fell.”
Royle King, 22, a fourth year broadcast journalism student from Dallas and current Chapter President, said members of the fraternity noticed yellow caution tape around the tree, but officials told them it may or may not be cut down.
King also noted that the organization asked the university if they could have a plot or put benches in the spot where the trees were located, but haven’t received a definite answer regarding either. He said the fraternity needs a symbol to let the campus know about their presence.
The Office of Student Activities said they will try to assist the fraternity with this process.
“Student Activities will try to do what they can to help the organization,” Barnes said.
Since the trees were both removed for the safety of students, there wasn’t much that members of the fraternity could do. At the time of press, there was no word on whether the plot or benches places were approved.
For now, Omegas can only rely on students seeing them gathered on the steps of Jackson Davis to make sure that their presence is known.