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Friday, June 21, 2024
Members of Alpha Phi Alpha, one of seven Black Greek Letter Organizations at UW-Madison, pose outside Bascom Hall.

Members of Alpha Phi Alpha, one of seven Black Greek Letter Organizations at UW-Madison, pose outside Bascom Hall.

UW-Madison’s Black Greek Letter Organizations focus on change

The historically Black Greek Letter Organizations at UW-Madison seek to initiate change on campus through activism and volunteering efforts.

There are nine BGLOs nationwide, but UW-Madison currently has seven on campus. The BGLOs are not a traditional member of Greek life, as they do not have public rushes or houses, according to a university release.

Though Alpha Phi Alpha, one of the seven BGLOs at UW-Madison, is rarely seen because they only have six members, they are still very active in the community.

“A lot of people nationally don’t know about Alpha, but a lot of people know about the civil rights movement. I think it’s a direct parallel to the way we work on this campus,” said UW-Madison senior Kenneth Cole in the release. “You may not know about Alpha Phi Alpha but you know about O’Sickness (the largest indoor party in Wisconsin hosted each fall semester), voter registration, or you’ve seen some work being done.”

The nine nationwide BGLOs have a long list of nationally respected former members, including Shaquille O’Neal, Maya Angelou, W.E.B. Du Bois, Donald Driver and Martin Luther King Jr., according to the release

Though current BGLO members may not be observed doing work in the community often, many members said their time will come later.

“I really, firmly believe that the next generation of movers, civil rights [leaders] and trailblazers is the lineage and legacy of those organizations,” said Chapter President of Delta Sigma Theta Gretchen Carvajal. “Don’t be surprised if you find out about us later.”

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