The roots of ADP at RMU

Natalie DeBarto, Contributor

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With Greek Life at RMU growing rapidly, one new fraternity is making their time heard on campus. There are 25 men on campus sporting the Alpha Phi Delta Greek Letters that this campus hasn’t seen in a while.

APD is a national fraternity that has just colonized on the Robert Morris University campus. With 18 members and five new members, they are proud to begin the journey that will open doors for present and future RMU students.

“Greek life has increased by 60% in the past year,” said Greek life advisor, Scott Irlbacher.

With Greek life increasing rapidly, the campus is thrilled to welcome the new colony, and is excited to guide them through the process. Alpha Phi Delta should officially be able to charter on RMU’s campus in the fall of 2013.

The president of Alpha Phi Delta, Robert DeFrancesco has been planning to start this fraternity since his freshmen year. DeFrancesco is a fourth generation APD, with his younger brother following closely in his footsteps.

“My grandfather was a member and he encouraged me to start a chapter here,” said DeFrancesco.

Not only was his brother of Alpha Phi Delta, DeFrancesco’s great grandfather also started a chapter of APD at West Virginia University, and his uncle and brother are also brothers of APD, creating a total of five DeFrancesco men to be brothers of Alpha Phi Delta, two of them being founders on their campuses.

In the early 1900s, fraternities were discriminatory. Italian-American men were not able to join fraternities with other white, Christian men. Italian and African American fraternities were created instead.

According to APD’s national website, the fraternity was founded in 1914 at Syracuse University by 7 Italian-American men with a passion for their heritage and a love of brotherhood.

DeFrancesco is now starting the local chapter of APD- as an Italian American male, DeFrancesco is proud to be a part of an organization with Italian roots.

“It’s no longer just Italians though,” said DeFrancesco, “We actually only have 5 guys who are Italian.”

Never the less, he is still proud to be a founder of the local chapter of APD.

“I want to lay down the ground work,” said DeFrancesco. “We need to establish good connections and get a good group of guys.”

DeFrancesco started recruiting in the spring of 2012. APD started with 5 guys but managed to build their numbers up to 23 this semester.

“We’re looking forward to getting to know everyone, and having mixers, and being involved on campus,” said DeFrancesco.

Nine percent of the student body is now Greek, and this number is growing every year, and APD is only one of the reasons why.

“We excited to be here,” says DeFrancesco, “We’re excited to get involved and to be apart of the Greek community.”