Alpha Psi Omega attempts a comeback with new students and adviser
Humboldt State University’s theatre fraternity is trying a comeback to campus (or it was, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak). Alpha Psi Omega intends to allow students to increase funding for competitions and student-directed shows.
Rae Robinson, the faculty adviser for APO, said the return of the fraternity excited her.
“The first chapter was like 1919 or 1920,” Robinson said. “There have been a few different departments as long as there has been Humboldt State.”
Robinson said APO was reinstated when she arrived at Humboldt State 14 years ago. APO had a few years of club work, but the group of students interested in the fraternity graduated. APO went dormant.
“Those kids graduated, the MFA was dissolved by the university, and it went under the radar for a while,” Robinson said. “Last year we had a new group of incoming students and they said, ‘We want a theatre club again,’ and I said, ‘We have Alpha Psi Omega.’”
APO President Jaiden Clark said they’re passionate about creating change within the theatre department by unifying performing arts students through APO.
“We want to pull all of our performing art students together so we can all support each other better,” Clark said. “We want to make more connections with more clubs around the school like the improv club and the circus club.”
APO’s fundraisers will allow students to determine how the money is used instead of the theatre department allocating funds. The fundraiser money will allow for student competitions and student-operated shows.
“They don’t give us the money that we need in this department,” Clark said. “Neither have any schools in any theatre department that I have ever been to. So the students are going to pick it up.”
Clark said the theatre department is low in faculty members, and having a more unified body of performing arts students would better support the students.
“We lost a lot of faculty all at once,” Clark said. “School-wide enrollment is down, and as far as I understand, the school can’t afford to hire another faculty member to the theatre department. We need the students to feel empowered to do more.”
Professor Patrick Ulrich, assistant adviser for APO, looked forward to working with the students to reach their goals.
“I would like to work directly with the students,” Ulrich said. “Making money for their goals, serving their community, getting our name out to everybody and really just having an avenue for an honors fraternity.”
APO would give the students freedom to advertise themselves how they see fit.
“It really is in the hands of the officers,” Ulrich said, “who are all students.”