Alpha Psi Omega disbands

Zain Shrestha

On Friday, Nov. 5, Alpha Psi Omega, the national honors fraternity, was disbanded. Without Alpha Psi Omega, this could mean an end to the existing fundraisers these groups host and a lack of safe space in the theatre realm. 

Rebecca McNamar, the former president of Alpha Psi Omega, said that a large part of the decision to disband was due to internal conflict. 

“Essentially what happened was there was a large internal conflict in the group that we couldn’t resolve, and no one wanted to be there anymore, so I decided to disband the group,” McNamar said 

Alpha Psi Omega was founded in 1923 at Augustana as a service theatre club. The group is active in service events around campus and uses the group as a way to organize and carry out many different activities. 

“It was a large space for kids who were involved in theatre to be together, but there’s no space for them anymore,” McNamar said. 

One of the more popular services was the “Vagina Monologues” a play by Eve Ensler, which raised money for family resources and preventing violence against women. They also organized “Running Scared” which was a haunted house meant to raise funds for the Quad Cities. The dissolution of the club might bring a halt to their activities in the future.

Jennifer Popple, an associate professor and chair of the theatre department, hopes to continue the Vagina Monologues in the near future. 

We are looking into how to continue Vagina Monologues, but with it situated under the umbrella of the theatre department as opposed to Alpha Psi, as it is such a valuable social justice and community-service oriented production,” Popple said. 

As of now, it is unclear whether other activities of the club will be recommenced in the time to come.

The group is in a tentative situation at present and the future of the club is uncertain. McNamar said that she hopes Alpha Psi Omega will be able to form again in the future.

“I’m hoping that the group can come back… and reestablish the group on campus. It is a good group, and it is national. [Alpha Psi Omega] was a good place to be but not with the people in it,” McNamar said.

In agreement with McNamar, Popple said that the Alpha Psi Omega chapter at Augustana is hopeful to return one day. 

“Our local chapter of Alpha Psi Omega had not been nationally accredited since 2014 and has fallen out of compliance with the national organization’s structure and values. We look forward to bringing it back after some time for recalibration within the student body of the Theatre department,” Popple said.