Alpha Tau Omega recolonizes at WKU

Elizabeth Beilman

Students at WKU are in the process of recolonizing Alpha Tau Omega, a fraternity that hasn’t been active on campus since 1977, said ATO President Diego Leal Ambriz.

Leal Ambriz, a senior from Monterrey, Mexico, said the organization was founded on leadership and scholarship.

“We are not based on Greek principles,” Leal Ambriz said.

Gary Wiser, coordinator of Student Activities, said the idea for recolonization was proposed by alumni who were in the fraternity while it existed at WKU.

“Alumni for ATO started to get reorganized, and they wanted to get the chapter back,” Wiser said.

The timing was right for the chartering of another Greek organization on campus, he said.

“The university is growing, and we’ve got to open up new opportunities for students to get involved,” Wiser said.

The fraternity reassembled as a colony in September of this year and hopes to become chartered next semester, Leal Ambriz said.

Once they submit a petition to charter, the colony officially becomes a chapter, Leal Ambriz said.

“We expect ATO to charter within one year,” Wiser said, meaning the organization would become a chapter in the fall of 2011.

With the first formal rush in spring, ATO hopes to expand its group of 21 to at least the minimum chartering requirement of 45, Leal Ambriz said.

“Right now, we already have many guys lining up,” Leal Ambriz said. “Next semester is going to be big in advertising for us.”

Wiser said the colony is in the process of meeting the goals defined by national headquarters.

“There’s a big to-do list of things they need to accomplish before they can charter,” Wiser said.

The colony is guided during this process by Aaron Bauer, leadership consultant for the Alpha Tau Omega Headquarters based in Indianapolis.

Bauer said one of the ways to help establish the group is to create a “signature event.”

“It’s just something they can do to build up on campus,” he said.

The group has already assembled shoe boxes full of small gifts to be delivered to children in developing nations for Christmas, Leal Ambriz said.

Bauer said the future of ATO looks “very bright.”

“They’re in the right direction; it’s just (a matter of) how fast they’re going,” he said.

Leal Ambriz has high goals for the organization.

“My plan is to become the largest, most socially active fraternity on campus,” Leal Ambriz said.

Bauer’s advice for success for the group is to remain true to its roots.

“Remember what an ATO is and what you’re trying to achieve,” Bauer said.