T H E O F F I C I A L M A G A Z I N E O F P H I I O T A A L P H A F R A T E R N I T Y, I N C .
FALL 2008
History of the
Greek System
Phi Chapter
UNT Latino
Heritage Month
Alpha Eta Co-Host
La Gala Latina
Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
49 East 41st Street
Suite 449
New York, New York 10165
Fall 2008
Phiota! 1
Saludos Mis Distinguidos Hermanos
First and foremost, I hope this letter reaches
everyone and their family in the best of health and
well being.
Over the past year we have seen many improvements within the brotherhood, however this is only
the tip of the iceberg. As we continue to improve
internal operations, strengthen our financial foundation, increase membership services, continue to
expand and focus on community relationships, it
should noted that there is still much work to be
done to live up to the ideals of our pillars. These
improvements will serve to better our brotherhood, improve the communities we serve and to
continue to build on the greatness that is Fi Iota
This magazine is such one of those improvements
to our brotherhood. The magazine will serve as a
communication medium to inform the brotherhood
and our supporters of Fi Iota Alfa initiatives. It
will be a testament to the ideals of our pillars, to
the ideals that have kept Fi Iota Alfa alive and well
for over 75 years as the oldest latino fraternity in
Our members spread through many generations,
many professions, many walks of life but as I am
often remind by our brothers who were inducted
over fifty years ago, all Fiota men are men of
quality, man of professionalism and they are the
latino leaders of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Contribute to this magazine; submit your articles so
we may keep our brotherhood and the community
aware of our happenings and our contribution to
the Pan American ideal.
Semper un Fiota,
Jason “Promesa” Nicolau
Executive Director
Phi Iota Alpha
National Management
Jason Nicolau
Executive Director
Edwin Berroa
Director of Operations
4 National Management Highlight
Feature Article
-History of the Greek System
Omar Lopez
Director of Marketing
Jose Pizarroso
Director of Human Resources
Francisco Lugo
Director of Undergraduate Affairs
Alberto Elvira
Director of Information Technology
Phiota! Magazine
Steven L. Garza
Editor in Chief
Please send all letters,
comments, and articles to:
[email protected]
Deadline to submit for next issue: January 23, 2009
Midwest Province
Southern Province
Phiota Sports
Union Foundation
-Phi Chapter Anniversary
-La Gala Latina
-UNT: Latino Heritage Month
COVER IMAGE:Taken by Ernie Martinez during the
Music Ed Show at UNT.
Do you want to have an image taken by you as the next
cover? Submit your image to [email protected]
The PHIOTA! is a quarterly professional magazine based on the ideals of the pillars of Fi Iota Alfa. It is the official publication
of Phi iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the oldest existing latino fraternity, establish in December 26, 1931 at Troy, New York, with its
roots beginning at 1898. All articles express the opinions of the authors, and not the fraternity, unless stated otherwise.
Phi iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc., 49 East 41st, Suite 449, New York, New York, 10165
Fall 2008
Phiota! 1
The History of the Greek System
By: Francisco P. Muñoz
The modern college Greek system is original to These new Greek letter organizations, who
the United States. The elaborated and extensive Greek carried on the ideals of Phi Beta Kappa, started at Union
system we enjoy today evolved from the ideals of trust, College, Schenectady, New York, with the foundation of
honesty, integrity secrecy, and respect, of college students Kappa Alpha Society (1825) who enjoys the distinction
as they intended to united under several common guiding of being the first Greek letter general college fraternity
principles. The most prominent guiding principles: with continuous existence to date. Sigma Phi Society
love for wisdom and fellowship have motivated college (1827) and Delta Phi Fraternity (1827), complemented
students to form ever-lasting bonds until.
the formation of the Union Triad, since all of these
Since in the 18th century, all colleges were small were founded at Union College. In the following years,
and religiously oriented, the curricula centered on Greek fraternities spread and multiplied as groups were formed
and Latin. Although some colleges offered studies in the in secret to avoid the suspicion of the faculty. Sororities
Natural Sciences, the Classics were the main components followed the path with their founding at Wesleyan Female
of most courses and the subjects of most social discussions. College in Macon, George of the Adelphean Society in
Electives courses or current issues did not constitute any 1851. Most sororities remained local for more than 50
part in higher education. The faculty preferred students years before adopting a Greek name and expanding.
mind more concerned with academics and religious The Civil War ended the early expansion but at the
entities rather than current or contemporary events. conclusion there was a increase in the number and type of
Student organizations, without faculty approval, were students attending college. As a direct consequence many
unacceptable and highly discouraged. This repressive more fraternities and sororities were founded in the more
and restrictive environment, induced students to form accepting environment. In 1862, the Morrill Act, created
fraternal groups to address the needs not being met by land-grant colleges which also diversified the curriculum,
their academic institutions. Hence, what we know as adding agriculture, engineering and the sciences to the
the fraternity, sorority or Greek letter organization was traditional classics, theology and liberal arts.
Also, with the introduction of such an act, the
The first Greek letter society was formed when a faculty had to adjust to new ideas amongst the student
student was denied admission into a William and Mary’s, at body. As a result, social and fraternal organizations
Williamsburg, Virginia, literary society. In those days, these become more popular since students’ self-government
literary societies were the only accepted form of student was then permitted and encouraged. The Greek system
organizations. They were concerned with faculty approval expands rapidly but the original guiding principles
and their events consisted of debate on literature, oratorical remain consistent in the foundation of new organizations.
contests and some early forms of student government. These However, from 1859 to 1899, another element is added to
groups were named after Greek names such as Ciceronian, the Greek system-socialization. This period of growth and
Caliophian, and Philopeuthon. One group, PDA, rejected expansion extends to 1899 which marks the beginning of
a young superior Greek scholar named John Heath who new era for Greek letter organizations.
then along with four friends, organized a society of their From 1900 to the present the Greek letter
own, using Greek letters to name it Phi Beta Kappa. They organizations developed into a well-structured institution.
met in secret in the Raleigh Tavern’s Apollo Room and With few exceptions, the fraternities and sororities founded
formed challenges to keep out those who would report within this particular time frame, were influenced by the
their meetings to the disapproving faculty. They honored prejudice and discrimination based on race, religion,
three things: high moral ideas, scholastic achievement, sexual orientation, and political ideology. The first
and friendship of one brother with another. These qualities predominantly Black fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha (1906),
spread from college to college, with chapters of Phi Beta was founded at Cornell University, due to the denial of
Kappa appearing at Yale in 1780 and Harvard University entrance of African-Americans into traditional college
in 1781. While Phi Beta Kappa changed in the 1800’s to an fraternities. As a result, several other “Black Greeks”
academic honor society, they passed on the fraternal idea organizations, were founded including: Kappa Alpha
to students all over the country.
Psi Fraternity (1911), at Indiana University, Omega Psi
2 Phiota!
Fall 2008
Phi Fraternity (1911), Howard University, and Phi Beta
Sigma Fraternity (1914) Howard University. Similarly,
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (1908) Howard University,
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (1913) and Zeta Phi Beta
Sorority (1920) where founded at Howard University;
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority (1922) was founded at Butler
World War I (1917) and the Great Depression
(1929-48) decreased the membership in many Greek letter
organizations nationally. Many chapters enlisted together
and many fraternity houses were used by the government
as military housing. There were also a lot of disappearing
of chapters as the enrollment in higher education was
drastically reduced. However, despite the hard times the
United States faced, two large Latin American fraternities,
Sigma Iota Fraternity (1904) Louisiana State University
and Phi Lambda Alpha Fraternity (1919), University of
Southern California, managed to merge to form the first
International Latin American fraternity, Phi Iota Alpha
Fraternity (1931) Troy, New York.
The growth of the college system after World War
II (1945) would fundamentally change the Greek system.
Many students, matured by the hardships of economic
turbulence, became more serious about their studies, more
intolerant of juvenile hazing rituals, and more interested
in social change. Indeed, the increase of students of
color, first generation students (children of immigrants)
and women were significant factors in shaping the Greek
system. In addition, a larger, more impersonal university
environment had developed that increased the need for
the personal contact and relationships of a small group.
During the 1950’s the Greek system went through a
process of evolution which definitely changed the college
fraternity to a more social group. However, such change
would not last long since the next decade proved to be
detrimental to a large portion of the Greek system.
During the 1960’s, the United States witnessed
many trends of radical social movements which ultimately
changed the frame of mind of college students. In addition,
several other social changes negatively affected the Greek
system. The “ME” generation, the emphasis and focusing
of the individual as the center of society, bred a strong
sense of “anti-institutionalization” or “anti-establishment”
which include a sentiment of “anti-Greek.” The Vietnam
War reduced the enrollment of college students, thus
decreasing the interest in the Greek system. The Civil
Rights Movement also proved to be more important
than joining a greek-letter organization for many college
students. Consequently, many fraternities and sororities
disappeared due to low membership and low popularity
of the Greek system. The 1970’s became the years of
reconstruction for many organizations, since membership
in fraternities and sororities diminished dramatically to an
all-time low. Conversely, the birth of other Latin American
Greek letter organizations, Lambda Theta Phi Fraternity
(1975) Kean College, New Jersey and Lambda Theta
Alpha Sorority (1975) Kean College, New Jersey, began
a new phase in the development of the “Latino Greeks.”
In the 1980’s, following these two organizations,
other fraternities and sororities formed to diversify the
alternatives within the modern Greek system in colleges
and universities: Lambda Sigma Upsilon Fraternity (1979)
Rutgers University, New Jersey, Lambda Upsilon Lambda
(1982) Cornell University, New York, Lambda Alpha
Upsilon Fraternity (1985) , New York, Sigma Lambda
Beta Fraternity (1986) Iowa State University, Iowa, Nu
Kappa Alpha Fraternity (1988) Cal Poly, California,
Omega Delta Phi (1990) Texas Tech University. The
Latina sororities have developed in a similar fashion with
many commonalities as the fraternities: Chi Upsilon Sigma
Sorority (1981) Rutgers University, New Jersey, Sigma
Lambda Upsilon Sorority, (1987) SUNY Binghamton,
New York, Sigma Lambda Gamma (1989), University
of Iowa, Iowa, Omega Phi Beta Sorority (1989) SUNY
Albany, New York, and Sigma Iota Alpha Sorority (1990)
SUNY Albany, New York. Since the early 1990’s, efforts
amongst all of these organizations have been made to form
the “Concilio National de Hermandades Latinas” (CNHL)
was the first attempt to solidify the impact of “Latino
Greeks” at the undergraduate and national levels. In 1998
the National Association Latino Fraternal Organizations
(NALFO) was establish, it was not till 2001 it merge with
CNHL to form the only national umbrella organization
for Latino fraternities and sororities, known today as
The 1980’s and 1990’s have seen changes in
the Greek system as fraternities and sororities have
faced different student issues: racism, the rising cost of
education, multiculturalism, and political awareness.
Many organizations have characterized these changes in
the Greek system as a return to the basics, a return to the
original guiding principles of the Greek system. Many
Greek letter organizations are reaching back to their roots
for moral and value based organization and guidance.
In addition, fraternities and sororities have expanded
their horizons, attempting to be active in change on
campus, being involved in philanthropy, maintaining a
close atmosphere for members, providing social events
on campus, maintaining alumni involved, and fostering
leadership. Today, the modern fraternities and sororities
serve as training camps instilling a great sense of social
responsibility and personal success, through professional
and personal growth.
Fall 2008
Phiota! 3
National Management Team Highlight:
-Noe Favela
Midwest Province
Michigan State University................Lansing, MI
Lewis University...............................Romeoville, IL
Noe “Inquieto” Favela became a brother in
the spring of 2004 in Chi Colony at the University
of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).
Graduated from UIC in May of 2007 with a
Bachelor of Science in Finance, start working at
LaSalle bank as a team lead in operations. In October
of 2007 LaSalle Bank was acquired by Bank of
America, Noe has been involved with the transition
between both institutions. Noe now serves as an
Operations Team Manager at Bank of America.
He has taken on the role as Undergrad Finance
Manager and will oversee collecting brother and
chapter dues, and membership application fees.
Phi Chapter 9th Anniversary Gala
Congratulations from the
Phi Iota Alpha Family
Dennis and
Catherine Camacho
~Just Married~
Fall 2008
By: Miguel Torres
The Phi chapter of Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity
had the honor of celebrating their 9th year anniversary
at Michigan State University the weekend of October
11, 2008.
They hosted a successful Alumni Weekend
which consisted of Phi Alumni flying in from around
the nation to spend a great time with the undergrad
and to revisit MSU. Brothers from Chi chapter,
Lambda chapter, Alpha chapter, Psi chapter, Pace,
Hofstra, Villanova, and more came out to support
and partake in the festivities.
The chapter work very hard to make this event
happen. They celebrated that since their establishment
at Michigan State University they have had a 100%
graduation rate. They hosted a social networking
event at X-cel lounge and they were also able to
network during the tailgating at MSU.
Phi chapter would like to thank every brother
that came out and supported their weekend of events.
They hope that every single attendee had a great
time visiting their university and would like to invite
you to come back for their 10 year anniversary next
Fall 2008
Phiota! 5
Southern Province
Southern Province
University of North Texas.....................Denton, TX
Baylor University..................................Waco, TX
University of Texas...............................Austin, TX
University of Texas at San Antonio......San Antonio, TX
Texas A&M...........................................College Station, TX
Texas State............................................San Marcos, TX
UNT: Latino Heritage Month
By:Eduardo Quinones
The University of North Texas Colony of Phi
Iota Alpha celebrated Hispanic Heritage month by
taking part in universities largest events, Carnaval! and
the Annual Celebración Banquet.
The UNT Phi Iota Alpha, also took first place
while representing Bolivia and Argentina in Carnaval,
an event which showcases cultural, political, and
economical information on all 21 Latin American
countries. Along with the success of Carnaval, the
Annual Celebración Banquet was the largest Hispanic
banquet ever held at UNT. The North Texas Phiotas
La Gala Latina
By: Mark Melchor
The Phi Iota Alpha Chapter at the University of
Texas at San Antonio participated in variety of campus
events for Latino Heritage Month. Brother Steven
Garza help lead a new tradition for the University, the
first annual “La Gala Latina”, on October 10.
La Gala Latina is a formal event to celebrate
the Latino heritage and the struggles the culture has
overcome. The event was co-hosted by the Latino and
Multicultural Greeks, as well other Latino organizations
at UTSA. The organizations had the support of Ann
Margaret Trujillo, Associate Director of the Inclusion and
Community Engagement
Center (ICEC), whom
help sponsor the event.
Over 200 people
were in attendance for
this first annual event.
The event had attendance
from several university
administrators, as well
the Student Government
Association. The first part
Fall 2008
of the event consisted a dinner with keynote speaker,
Dr. Santos Gutierrez.
After the presentation of the keynote speaker,
Steven Garza asked for all the Latino and Multicultural
Greek Organizations Presidents to present the
unsuspected surprise to the ICEC. The surprise was a
check of $700 to the ICEC to help finance next year’s
Gala. The donation will keep the spirits alive of this
new university tradition
The event conclueded by a dance with music
provided by DJ Jason Perez.
brought Will Richey, a popular Spoken Word artist who
presented a lyrical piece that earned a standing ovation
by the over 300 in attendance.
Out of appreciation, the North Texas Phiotas
awarded Director Cheylon Brown and Assistant
Director Uyen Tran of North Texas’ Multicultural
Center plaques for their support for the Hispanic
student body. Will Richey was also given an award for
his continued support of North Texas Phiotas and the
Hispanic culture. luptationum
Baylor University of
Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity Presents:
The 8th Annual
Miss Phi I A
Scholarship Pageant
November 22, 2009
Waco, Texas
Waco Hall
Fall 2008
Phiota! 7
This year we will be having Fiota Bowl, our annual football
The fee for each brother to play will be $5. If you don’t
pay, you WON’T PLAY!!!
The winning team will receive a trophy as well as the MVP
of the game.
All brothers will receive water bottles with their $5 fee.
Here is the 411 on the event:
Saturday, November 29th @ 11am
St. John’s University, The Great Lawn
Queens, NY
For More Information Contact:
Alex Mercado
Phiota Sports Coordinator
More than 75 years ago a remarkable group of university men who shared the ideals of
enlightenment and Latino brotherhood established a national organization called Phi
Iota Alpha Fraternity. At that time, the fraternity worked to educate and advance their
fellow Latinos and countrymen across the country. In recent years the organization felt the
need to create a new organization to live the mission that the fraternity espoused and to
benefit a much larger scope of the Latino population; Therefore the creation of The Union
The foundation is an initiative designed to impact the lives of Latino
communities throughout the world in the areas of education, economic
development, and social progress. The Union Foundation is a private,
charitable non-profit organization. The Foundation was created in order
*Provide scholarships and grants to Latino youths to enhance
their educational and career opportunities.
*Support community programs and other 501(c)(3) tax exempt
organizations that support civic empowerment and educational
improvement within the Latino community.
*To increase awareness of Latino issues to the greater philanthropic
community covering issues such as, but not limited to, educational
achievement, civil rights, state of the workforce, and overall
community health.
*To engage in other activities related to supporting and educating
the public concerning Latino issues.
For more information or to donate, visit the following website:
“In Union our Community has a Future”
Fall 2008
Fall 2008
Phiota! 9
77th Celebration
December 26, 2009
For more info visit