Omicron Chapter, University of Wisconsin - Parkside
Back in 1995-1996, Antonio Flores was under the impression that there was only one Latino-based fraternity in existence but he did not see himself fitting in with what he had seen. At that time, Antonio began learning to use a computer, and the internet. He then started doing research online for other Latino-based fraternities and was able to find a few that caught his interest. As he was beginning to contemplate on bringing something new to campus, Antonio wrote to those organizations and also looked for other young men to join his movement. Angel Ramos-Ortiz and Jorge were down for the cause as soon as Tony asked them. During a volunteering event, Mexican Fiesta, Jose Romero joined. David, Jason Escobar decided to jump on board. And Fermin Mercado reached out to Antonio and the rest of the group to join them. All of the young men did further research on fraternities they would be interested in bringing to Parkside and eventually narrowed it down to 2 organizations. They did further research to find the best fit for them and their campus. In the summer of 1996, the young men registered as a student club, Los Hermanos De Parkside. The men knew that there would be a transition period if and when they did officially start a fraternity; hence Los Hermanos De Parkside was registered. Soon after, Los Hermanos De Parkside decided to go with Omega Delta Phi Fraternity, Inc., which was heavily concentrated in Texas and the Southwest Region. As they group was getting things prepared to meet requirements, they were also making a difference in the campus and surrounding community. For this reason, the campus, professors, advisors, and community partners were very supportive of their efforts. They really enjoyed helping people and people liked being around them. “We were not cocky, but rather talked to everybody; we were people persons,” said Omicron founder, Antonio Flores. Once the letter of intent and the other requirements were met, Los Hermanos De Parkside were voted as an official club of Omega Delta Phi. When their intake process began, they had certain perks of having club status but were limited. The group was excited to take the next step in this process, so they worked diligently to finish the work that laid ahead. Delta Chapter brother, Ruben Hernandez, visited the young men during the winter, in early 1997. He helped them prepare for the group’s colony status petition, which was scheduled for April 1997 at a National Conference. All of the members of the group flew down to Flagstaff, Arizona that April. Upon landing, Los Hermanos De Parkside were greeted by so many brothers. “Most of them have never met Midwesterners,” said Flores. But from the start, they were ready for business. Though the national president at the time was a little concerned about expanding to the Midwest, due to the distance being a factor, the group was ready to present and calm their nerves. They petitioned and used PowerPoint for their presentation before the voting took place. “Let us be the bridge between the Southwest and the Midwest,” was their slogan. After their presentation, the voting was pretty much unanimous to welcome them aboard. And so April 19th, 1997, Omicron Chapter of Omega Delta Phi was born! The founders are Antonio Flores, Angel Ramos-Ortiz, Jose Romero, David DeMarais, Jorge Figueroa, Jason Escobar, Arturo Garcia, and Fermin Mercado. Omicron Chapter has been a model chapter for others, not only in the Midwest, but also across the nation to guide after. Throughout the Midwest region, Omicron has earned many awards, and has been one of the most supportive chapters, in terms of traveling to visit other entities. Omicron has shown consistency every year. And their dedication to service is phenomenal. They have crossed new members at a consistent pace, and have a total of more than 70 since founding. The oldest entity in the region is still a heavyweight contender for the Entity of the Year Award every year.