APO Service Fraternity

In college during the early to mid 90’s I was a member of Alpha Phi Omega. During pledge week I went to many social fraternities and really did not care for what I saw. I did end up pledging but dropped out in my neophyte semester. I felt they were more interested in my money rather than me as a person and never felt like I belonged.

One day in the student union, I noticed a flier for APO. The first thing that jumped out at me was that it was co-ed. I felt that I was accepted for who I was and that I belonged there. I also liked the service part and found it much better than anything I did with the social fraternity I was in.

Recently, I’ve joined Facebook, and several APO people have friended me and mentioned alumni related events. As much as I enjoyed being a part of APO, I am very bothered by its association with the very bigoted Boy Scouts of America. I truly despise what the BSA has become now that they have essentially been taken over by the mormon church.

I realize they are a private organization, but they do get a lot of undeserved government support while discriminating against gays and atheists. Because of this, I no longer feel I can support APO. While I enjoyed my time there unless they break their ties with the BSA or the BSA rejects its hateful policies I no longer want anything to do with the organization.

Hmm. I tried to be an APO member, but I failed.

I’m not sure I understand your position, though. Wouldn’t you have to “have nothing to do with” a lot of organizations, since the Boy Scouts are associated with quite a few? Heck, doesn’t in mean you’d have to leave the US, as, otherwise you are paying taxes that may go to support them?

To me, it makes a lot more sense to judge not on who they associate with, but who they actually are. And you pretty much admit you like what they actually stand for.

I was in APO at the University of Oregon. I liked it. It gave you something to do and a vague feeling of good-heartedness. I got involved as the secretary and I think it looked good on my resume (better than nothing anyways.) At my school, APO was very liberal and were constantly trying to disassociate themselves with the Greek houses. We usually referred to ourselves as a “co-ed service organization,” quite a mouthful, I know. I’m not a huge fan of the Boy Scouts myself, and agree their policies are pretty despicable, but it’s not like any members of APO that I knew were bigots–quite the opposite. As a queer person, I give you my permission to support APO without hurting my feelings. :smiley:

I was in APO in college and am a life-member.

My question is how involved are they still with scouting? I get their newsletter and, unless I’m missing it, never see any mention about the boy scouts.

The only involvement we had with scouts when I was in it at college was that we volunteered at a scout camp a couple of days working on some landscaping as a service project. Other than that, it was pretty much a bunch of lip service of how we had our roots in Scouting and that was it.

Was your chapter more involved with the scouts?

APO (Alpha Rho, Kean Pledge Class, Life Member) and Scouting share a common ancenstry (many of the APO ceremonies mirror Order of the Arrow ceremonies; being a Boy or Cub scout was at one time a requirement for memebership), they are not officially related in any way. How much an APO chapter is associated with Boy Scouts today is each chapter’s decision. When I was active, Boy (and Girl) scouting was a portion of our service program, and there was a group within our chapter that championed scouting and educated about the prior relationship, but we had no formal relationship with BSA (in fact, most of our scouting work was with Girl Scouts). Some chapters had little to no scouting relationship, while others directly sponsored scout troops. YMMV.