CREATING A VISION FOR THE NEXT CENTURY

Check out this BIG ANNOUNCEMENT from your fellow members of APO!

Will you join us as we seek to create more inclusive communities for a more peaceful world in which to make a life? We need ALL of you as we set our sights on providing LFS in the next 100 years with this vision and mission in mind!

Below is the article from the Summer 2022 issue of Torch & Trefoil, if you’d like to read the rest of the issue, click here.

The vision of any organization is its long-term desire – what does it hope to accomplish through its mission? For Alpha Phi Omega, just as our founders stated, we want a more peaceful world. The only way we have a chance of getting there is through our development of service-minded leaders. It is what we measure everything we do against.

For the past 15 years, the vision of Alpha Phi Omega has been to be the premier, inclusive, campus-based, leadership development organization through the provision of service to others and the creation of community. It was our mission to achieve this by preparing campus and community leaders through service. While, for a time, these statements guided us in our pursuits, we live in an ever-changing world with ever-changing needs and the time came to review if these statements remained relevant.

The past two years have significantly shifted the landscape of higher education, social justice, what community means and what the future holds for student organizations like our beloved Alpha Phi Omega. The students who join APO and live the Cardinal Principles of Leadership, Friendship and Service are different today. They are reshaped through the lens of a post-pandemic youth. They seek equitable access, more support and are looking for improved community. The communities we serve and engage with through our programming have also shifted significantly.

As the Fraternity grappled with the impact of the pandemic and the fight for social justice and equity, the Alpha Phi Omega Board of Directors naturally began exploring what the Fraternity experience looks like now and whether our programming and structure fit the changed world we seek to serve. This led to the question of whether we are truly focused on why our organization exists and if the vision and mission that guide us fully reflect what we seek for the world. Do these statements stand the test of time and are they relevant to our current and future members? Do they ignite passion to stand behind Alpha Phi Omega in our pursuit of a better world in which to make a living and a life?

After many strategic and passionate discussions as a board, they ultimately asked if the vision and mission statements that guide the governance and operations of our organization remain relevant for our members and the communities we serve, both today and beyond.

It became clear that a review of the Fraternity’s mission and vision was needed. A Board task force was created to lead the Board through this process. Their charge was to review, gather input and make suggestions if necessary for the Board to deliberate.

The task force took to the students and alumni of the Fraternity and began holding listening sessions. They held discussions and asked questions regarding how the vision and mission statements resonate. They explored whether these guiding statements properly reflected the “why” of our members. Are they aspirational, reflective of our purpose and a way to unite and create a common goal amongst chapters?

After numerous sessions and receiving feedback from hundreds of alumni and students, ultimately, the task force began working on a vision that better reflected the guiding focus of our organization in today’s world, and a mission statement that supported the vision with a call to action. Synthesizing all of the feedback and discussions the Board unanimously approved a new vision and mission statement to unify and support the desire of Alpha Phi Omega.

The following will guide Alpha Phi Omega into the next century as our vision and mission statement: We create inclusive communities for a more peaceful world in which to make a life, by developing leaders, uniting members through friendship and rendering service to all.

Throughout the listening sessions held earlier in the year regarding the updated vision and mission statements, the Board task force was asked about the absence of the word “campus” in the proposed examples. The Board has no intention in moving away from the chapter model and the support and expansion of chapters. The Board does, however, believe there are additional opportunities to create inclusive communities for a more peaceful world beyond the college campus. With that in mind, the vision and mission is absent of campus to broaden the possibility of how APO creates a more peaceful world.

This statement is the North Star for everything we do. Our students, volunteers, elected leaders, professional staff and partners are asked to unite under this vision and seek ways to support its achievement. What can we do to create inclusive communities for a more peaceful world? We develop leaders. We unite members through friendship. We render service to ALL.

In the coming months, the Board and its elected leaders will engage further in their work to set a strategic map that supports the achievement of our updated vision and mission statement. Together, they will establish goals and supporting strategies that will align programming and support the growth of the organization and the needs of alumni, students and future members.

At the upcoming 2022 APO Leader’s Summit, the participants will hear more about the new vision and mission, and together will gather to discuss what the future of higher education might look like and its impact on Alpha Phi Omega. The shared vision and mission statement will help unite these conversations and encourage thought and discussion.

This type of strategy and foresight work is essential to the longevity, impact and effectiveness of Alpha Phi Omega. Re-examining our purpose, values and how we engage future leaders and provide service, as well as examining what the future might hold for our organization and its members, is critical to continue sharing the Cardinal Principles into the next 100 years.

Thank you to those brothers who lent their thoughts, and expertise and vision to this work.

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