United We Stand: The Men Of Phi Kappa Psi

United We Stand: The Men Of Phi Kappa Psi


There comes a time when every fraternity must face a challenge so daunting it will shake a man to his core. We’ve had our ups and downs these past four years back on campus, but each challenge has made us closer as a brotherhood and we've tripled in size.

Now, the men of Phi Kappa Psi face their greatest challenge, yet, since reopening in 2010 – the acquisition of their chapter house and property by the University of Oklahoma. 

Phi Psi has had a long and rich history for 94 years at OU. In 1919, the men of the local Kappa Psi organization petitioned for a charter to Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity. That next year, in 1920, a charter was granted and the men in Norman became the 69th chapter and earned the title of Oklahoma Alpha chapter of Phi Kappa Psi.


There have been several prominent graduates from the University of Oklahoma who were members of Phi Psi, including Rob Standridge, who currently serves as our Oklahoma Senator for District 15. One of our most historic alumni is Stanley B. Catlett, for whom the OU Catlett Music Center is named. He and his brother, Eugene, were founding fathers of Phi Psi in 1920. These influential and generous men were badge number two and three, respectively, and set the foundation for Phi Psi’s grand history here at OU. The wood paneled formal study room at the fraternity house is also named after the Catletts and it does, indeed, smell of rich mahogany.


NASA astronaut, Dr. Owen Kay Garriott, was initiated into Phi Psi in 1949. Garriott’s first spaceflight was the Skylab 3 mission in 1973. That flight set a world record of 60 days in space, doubling the previous record. His endeavors in the field of engineering show the brothers, today, that even men from Oklahoma can reach the stars.


Paul Gadd was initiated in 1986 and, upon graduation, took his talents to Hollywood. He got his first big break as an associate producer on the show 24. Currently, he is the executive producer on AMC’s The Walking Dead, which is watched ritualistically after chapter each Sunday. Brother Gadd has come a long way from shooting Phi Psi’s recruitment videos back in the 80s.


Currently, Phi Psi has 32 active brothers and a member GPA of 3.12, with a 13-man spring pledge class. Phi Psi has two National Merit Scholars, two President’s Community Scholars, two President’s Leadership Class Members, a Conoco-Phillips Scholarship award winner, CAC and UPB members and a national officer in its ranks. The fraternity is very active with the Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma City and enjoys teaming up with the sororities on campus to help the kids of OKC.


Now, Phi Psi faces a challenge that they have little control over. Since 1964, the University of Oklahoma has owned the property the chapter house is built on and the fraternity has had a lease agreement with the University. As any great college grows, it requires more land to build academic buildings or residence housing. Next door to the north, Zarrow Hall was recently built and, across the street, major renovation is underway on other university buildings.


It appears that 720 Elm is next on OU’s radar. After residing on this property since the 1960s, our time here is coming to a close. The university has recently decided not to renew the lease, nor will they provide an opportunity for any future negotiations, giving the fraternity a mere five months to find new accommodations for 32 brothers and a place to continue chapter operations. This is sad and an additional stress for the brotherhood on top of the typical pressures of college life. Being forced out of the chapter house has no effect on the charter, nationally or locally, for  and is not due to any volition of campus policy or regulations. The fraternity will continue operations and keep growing, as it has in recent years.


The National Executive Director of Phi Kappa Psi, Shawn Collinsworth, made a supportive statement affirming that, “Phi Kappa Psi has a very proud history and tradition at the University of Oklahoma. Nearly 1,400 members have been initiated into the chapter. Over the past several years, the local alumni and undergraduate membership have enjoyed immense improvements in the chapter. Furthermore, the chapter continues to be good partners with campus administration, following all campus policies.”


There is something funny about a rivalry that makes us strive harder to be the best men and women that we can possibly be. However, every once in a while we can put aside our problems with one another for the benefit of the Greek community as a whole. Phi Psi president Kevin Copeland has reached out to the presidents of all the other IFC and Panhellenic chapter presidents. He states, “In the near century that Phi Kappa Psi has been at OU, we have played a pivotal part in the OU community. The connections and partnerships that we have made with the other Greek organizations on campus have made the community stronger. The recent decision by the university not to renew our lease is no doubt one that we, along with many other IFC chapters, see as unfit and inconsiderate. It’s very comforting to see the Greek community rally behind us when we need it most. United we stand as Greeks, regardless of the letters we wear. We are proud to be Phi Psis and will always be Sooners, regardless of the decision made by the university.”


The chapter's capital campaign has raised money from the donations of alumni for a new facility to build a new chapter house by 2020. In the meantime, Phi Psi wishes to remain at 720 Elm with a long term lease commitment to allow the fraternity to continue normal chapter operations and make progress here at OU. Phi Kappa Psi will remain at the University of Oklahoma for years to come, as it has since 1920, whether or not it resides at 720 Elm. Phi Psi simply asks the Greek community to speak out, as you see fit, in support of their efforts to have a fighting chance to grow as a fraternity of gentlemen.

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.

Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.


Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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To Donald Trump: Thank U, Next

Look what you taught us.


What Donald Trump taught me is that it is not essential for the president to care about his country. Con-artistry goes a long way when communicating with people who are tired of the same political jargon.

His simple-minded but outlandish promises convinced people significant change was coming. Donald Trump taught me that never again do I want a president to be thought of as "one of us."

Instead, I want someone smart, ethical and who has taken a basic civics course — someone who will take care of minorities and make those in dire situations a priority instead of stock market prices.

I want a president that doesn't brag about sexually assaulting women. I want a president that doesn't go on social media and blame homicide victims for not being armed. I want a president that doesn't complain about money when people are dying and losing their homes in a massive fire.

However, with that being said, I also want to give thanks to Trump. Because of him, the next generation sees how crucial it is to get out and vote. Most of your elders probably never spoke to an LGBTQ person, but you and your siblings grew up with LGBTQ friends, and you would never want them to be treated any lesser than you. You grew up with women dominating television. You grew up under the leadership of an African American president. You grew up in a world that was changing.

Some people don't like change, but you are the future, and it is your decision what you want that future to be. So thank you Donald Trump, for being the last big push Americans needed to completely change a world that was once dominated by violence and hate crimes. However, I think most of us can agree we are ready for what's coming next.

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