Fraternity strong despite little campus recognition

The letters APX are seen on trees and T-shirts all around campus, but very few people outside the Florida A&M University School of Architecture know what the Greek letters represent.

Alpha Rho Chi Fraternity, Inc. was founded in 1914 and is the only national professional and social fraternity for architecture and allied arts of which men and women can be a part.

Last week, FAMU’s Sheshait Chapter of APX held its annual Rush Week.

During the week, members of the organization hosted a series of activities designed to inform students about the fraternity before the induction of new members.

“(APX) is a great organization,” said Kellie Graham, 25, APX president. “We’ve had a series of events this week to let students know what our fraternity does and how students can benefit from membership.”

The fraternity members kicked off their rush week with a program called Enlightenment.

“What we basically do during Enlightenment is give students the history and purpose of the organization,” said Graham, a graduate architecture student from Gainesville. “This is when everyone gets to come out and meet us and see what we’re all about.”

Since its inception in 1994, the Sheshait chapter has been committed to focusing on the aspects of professionalism, mentorship, networking and fellowship.

Each year, the organization strives for growth by hosting various events on campus and servicing the community.

Other activities held during the rush week included a game night, where students and prospective members had the opportunity to interact with the members on a more personal level.

There was also a professional development seminar, designed to help students excel in their discipline.

“We are a professional organization, so we really like to focus on promoting fellowship throughout our discipline,” Graham said.

Fraternity members said the perks of membership include networking opportunities and the opportunity to experience growth.

“I joined APX for brotherhood and to get to know the people I would be working with,” said Greg Johnson, a forth-year architecture student from Little Rock, Ark. “We spend a lot of time with each other because architecture is such a demanding field. Its good to really know the people you work with.”

Members of the fraternity said they enjoyed rush week because it is a great way for them to receive recognition on campus.

“It’s cool because we don’t get much recognition outside of the architecture building,” said Johnson. “Hopefully, things like this will help.”

Although the Sheshait chapter may not receive much recognition on campus, they certainly receive national acclaim.

“We definitely stand out because we are the only chapter at a Historically Black College or University,” Graham said.

The chapter also received national attention for hosting the largest job fair in the history of the fraternity. “We have a lot of contacts with professional companies,” said Johnson.

Rabanni Muhammad, adviser to the Sheshait chapter, said he sees the difference between regular architecture students and those in APX.

“The brothers tend to be more relaxed and cooperative,” Muhammad said. ” In terms of professionalism, they have more internship, scholarship and job placement opportunities.”

Muhammad said members of APX are often times more prepared to enter the workforce because of the architectural advice and guidance they receive through the organization.

“This week’s events were good in terms of exposing students to the organization and giving them insight into Alpha Rho Chi,” Muhammad said.