Greek Life Spotlight: Phi Kappa Psi isn’t a stereotypical “frat house”

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Phi Kappa Psi (Phi Psi) strives to be different than the stereotypical college fraternity. They keep their grades up, hold community events and avoid the wild parties that frats are associated with in movies.

“We call ourselves a ‘fraternity,’ we’re an actual brotherhood,” clarified new president Jonathan Keen, a junior accounting major. “We’re more diverse and differentiated…We take all sorts of people from all different backgrounds.”

Phi Kappa Psi was around for nearly 150 years before a chapter was established at Rowan University in 2000. It originally started out as a colony with nine men in 1998.

In 2012, after just 13 years as a chapter at Rowan, Phi Psi was named “Grand Chapter” – an award given to one exceptional chapter out of more than 100 all over the country.

The Phi Psi fraternity motto is “The great joy of serving others.”

“[Community] service is a big thing in our fraternity,” said former president Adam Haines, a senior biology major with a pre-med concentration.

According to Phi Psi, they hold the second highest collective GPA of any fraternity at Rowan. Between volunteering and studying, there’s very little time for the brothers to procrastinate.

“You learn to time manage because you want to enjoy all the opportunities that we have to offer,” said new Vice President Joseph Miller, a junior mechanical engineering major.

Since many of the brothers study similar things, they help each other study for tests.

Next semester, Phi Psi will co-host an event with Rowan’s chapter of nonprofit To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA). The event, called “We’re Still Here,” aims to create awareness for people struggling with depression. Keen is also the treasurer of Rowan’s chapter of TWLOHA.

Phi Psi also works closely with Junior Achievement, a non-profit organization in Washington Township.

According to Keen, the organization initially contacted the Rohrer College of Business before he took it upon himself to bring Junior Achievement to Phi Psi. Every year, fraternity members go to local elementary schools to teach students aspects of business that they don’t get in regular public education.

In addition, Phi Psi raises money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Every year, they co-host an event on campus with Alpha Sigma Alpha where students can donate money called “Jail and Bail.”

“You can pay to have one of your friends put into our fake little jail, and all of the proceeds go to JDRF,” said Miller.

According to Miller, the fraternity helped Glassboro High School raise $3,000 to host an event on diversity two years ago.

“Not that giving back at a soup kitchen or helping out at a church is a bad thing, [but] I think a lot of fraternities get this mentality ‘let’s just plug and chug, do service for the sake of doing service to make us look better,’ which is something we try to avoid,” Haines said.

Their crowning achievement, according to Keen, is called “The Field of Dreams.” Phi Psi built a playground for disabled children and then spent the day playing with them, about two years ago.

“I think that was one of the most heartfelt things that we have done as a fraternity,” Keen said.

Phi Kappa Psi, like all fraternities and sororities, recruits at the beginning of every semester. To join, find their table at the organizational fair that is held at the start of every semester. They can also be found on Facebook, and on both Twitter and Instagram as @PhiPsiRowan.

Know a fraternity or sorority that deserves the spotlight? Let us know by commenting or emailing features@thewhitonline.com, and they may be featured in the Greek Life Spotlight next!

For comments/questions about this story, email features@thewhitonline.com or tweet @TheWhitOnline.

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