Drake University is home to the traditional social Greek fraternities and sororities, but there are additional opportunities for brotherhood on campus that may provide a different type of experience.
Drake is home to professional and service fraternities for many different careers and interests, including a music fraternity, pharmacy fraternities, a law fraternity, business fraternities and a community service fraternity.
Many of these fraternities have weekly meetings and regular events that they expect members to attend. The average professional fraternity expects members to attend meetings once per week that last approximately an hour. In addition to these meetings, the different fraternities will host networking, social and community service events for which attendance may or may not be required.
Alpha Phi Omega is one such fraternity. It is a co-ed, service fraternity that accepts all students who fulfill the requirements; they do not cap the membership at a certain number. They base the fraternity off of the cardinal principles of leadership, friendship and service, but focus more on the service aspect.
“I personally find the commitment to service that APO emphasizes to be most valuable,” said senior Molly Wilensky, president of Alpha Phi Omega. “It is inspiring to be around so many students that are also passionate about service. I also really like the leadership and friendship components because they add another dimension that establishes a community within the campus structure that also exists on a national level.”
Drake’s fame for its pharmacy program has caused the formation of several professional pharmacy fraternities on campus. With multiple options, students must make a choice between the fraternities in which they decide to rush and pledge.
Ben Proctor, a first-year pre-pharmacy major, is in the process of rushing Kappa Psi. He had to choose between Kappa Psi and the other pharmacy fraternities on campus, Phi Delta Chi and Lambda Kappa Sigma.
“It’s the people,” Proctor said. “They seem nice and really easy to get along with. I also feel like I can really build good connections and get pharmacy-related experience.”
Drake is home to one law fraternity: Delta Theta Phi. The Drake chapter of the fraternity is for undergraduate students, although, nationally, many chapters are located in law schools and are for law students. The organization hosts regular networking events with legal professionals, and the older students help the younger undergraduates with pre-law concerns such as the LSAT. Delta Theta Phi works closely with the Drake University Law School to assist its members.
Drake is also home to two music professional fraternities, Sigma Alpha lota, which received the Katherine Becker National Collegiate Chapter Achievement Award in 2008 for their commitment to fostering the music program at Drake and promoting music in the Des Moines community.
Drake’s chapter of the fraternity stood out from the nomination pool of 212 chapters across the country because of the workshops they planned within the Des Moines community and their efforts to fundraise to provide instruments to Des Moines Public schools.
The lone journalism professional fraternity at Drake is the Society of Professional Journalists.
Drake also has chapters for two professional fraternities of the business and public administration: Alpha Kappa Psi and Delta Sigma Pi. In addition to that, Drake has several business honor societies, such as Beta Alpha Psi, Beta Gamma Sigma and Kappa Delta Pi.
Lucas Shapland, a first-year actuarial science major, chose to rush Alpha Kappa Psi over the other business fraternities and social fraternities. This was a decision that many students interested in joining a professional fraternity have to make.
“I had more friends in Alpha Kappa Psi, and I got more information about them, so I only rushed them,” Shepland said. “I felt like I connected with the fraternity better than the social fraternities.”
Professional fraternities provide students with opportunities to network with professionals in their field and other students who share their career goals and to participate in professional development activities. Despite these academic and professional connections, the fraternities also work to build a community among their members.
As Wilensky explains, there is a reason why these organizations are categorized as fraternities.
“There is a long-standing tradition of APO’s existence as a fraternity, and the cardinal principles reflect the ways in which a passion for service is supplemented by fostering a brotherhood, rather than just a membership base,” Wilensky said. “We are different in the sense that we have specific rituals and traditions that define the membership as a group connected by more than just requirements.”