By Rafael Cenzano ’25, computer science major and president of the Epsilon Zeta chapter of Alpha Phi Omega at RPI
The Epsilon Zeta chapter of Alpha Phi Omega (APO) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) has been dedicated to community service for 75 years. To celebrate this milestone, the chapter organized four service events this spring: trail cleaning at Frear Park, painting and cleaning at the Sanctuary for Independent Media, card making for Humble Hearts for Hope, and cooking for people in need at Joseph’s House. We also had a banquet that brought together students and active alumni brothers to highlight the chapter’s positive impact on campus and in the community.
In addition to serving the Capital Region for 75 years, the chapter has also served the RPI community. Epsilon Zeta has run various services, such as the campus lost-and-found, backtest service, book exchange service, and more. The chapter’s dedication to community service has been recognized by many national accolades, including five Dean Arno Nowotny Service Program Awards, which recognize the best service program out of 350 APO chapters every two years. Epsilon Zeta has received more than any other APO chapter.
One of the events Epsilon Zeta has been running for many years during Grand Marshal Week is the “Meanest Man on Campus” event. The aim of the event is to fundraise for local charities and organizations by finding the meanest man on campus. The nominees are judged on how much money they can raise, and the money goes toward local charities and organizations.
Another annual event the chapter has been hosting is RPI Service Day. The event is open to all RPI students who want to volunteer and make a difference in the local community. The Rensselaer Student Union charters buses, Rensselaer Dining donates food, and events are set up at locations such as the Sanctuary for Independent Media, Frear Park, the Oakwood Community Center, the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, Capital Roots, and Troy Bike Rescue.
The chapter also aims to provide a platform for students to develop their leadership skills. Chapter members have the opportunity to work with a diverse group of individuals to develop their communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills.
In reflecting on the positive impact Epsilon Zeta has been making in the community for 75 years, I applaud the dedication and hard work of our chapter members. The chapter has a bright future, and we look forward to seeing the impact it will continue to make in the community.