Leadership fraternity receives award

By Kayla Reeves

Baylor’s Theta Nu chapter of Alpha Tau Omega has been recognized as one of the top four fraternity chapters in North America this year.

Alpha Tau Omega is a leadership development fraternity founded on Christian principles, Oklahoma City junior Cody Anderson, Baylor ATO chapter president, said.

The North-American Interfraternity Conference chose Baylor’s ATO chapter to receive the Chapter Award of Distinction for 2012.

A winning chapter is “highly functioning, in compliance with North-American Interfraternity Conference Standards, seeks to educate others about the benefits of a values-based fraternity experience and works to maintain a healthy relationship with their inter/national organization,” according to an North-American Interfraternity Conference press release.

North-American Interfraternity Conference standards include guidelines for recruitment, the requirement of at least a 2.5 annual cumulative GPA for the chapter and a 2.3 GPA for each new member, and annual reports to the NIC.

The Theta Nu chapter was recognized as a top ATO chapter in the nation in 2011, and “has achieved a 3.33 chapter GPA in addition to logging over 2,500 service hours in 2010,” according to an North-American Interfraternity Conference press release.

Although fraternities usually have GPA and service requirements set by their school or the national organization, the Baylor ATO chapter’s are a slightly higher, Derek Tonkin, faculty advisor for ATO and information security analyst for ITS, said.

Anderson said while Baylor has a GPA standard of 2.5 to be considered active, the fraternity requires a 2.65 to be active and 2.75 to be in an executive position.

Opportunities for members to earn service hours come when the fraternity hosts Bed Races for the Make-A-Wish Foundation or works with Delta Delta Delta on Spaghetti Not-So-Formal for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The fraternity also does local projects with Mission Waco and Habitat for Humanity, Tonkin said.

Apart from their service and grades, ATO takes pride in creating leaders and wants everyone to take important roles, Tonkin said.

“Everybody should hold a chair position or serve on a committee at some point,” Tonkin said. “We don’t want anybody just along for the ride.”

The award celebrating the fraternity’s work will be presented April 22 in Washington, D.C., at the North-American Interfraternity Conference Annual Meeting.

Anderson will attend the event on behalf of his fraternity.

“It’s a big deal,” he said. “There are 75 NIC fraternities and ATO alone has about 120 chapters. If every fraternity has 100 chapters, that’s 7,500 chapters, and we were one of four chosen.”

Anderson said the award comes as a result of the hard work of many Baylor ATO chapter members.

“I give recognition and credit to all the guys who came before me, because they really put in the hard work to win the award,” he said.