Omega Delta Phi (ΩΔΦ), also known as O-D-Phi or The Phi's is a multicultural fraternity that was founded on November 25, 1987, by seven students attending Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Its seven founders known as the "Men of Vision" to fraternity members wanted to create an organization to help students graduate. This initial organization became Omega Delta Phi Fraternity. Over the past twenty-nine years the Fraternity has changed and adopted other values such as an emphasis on Community Service. Omega Delta Phi was named Fraternity of the Year for 2003, 2004, and 2005 by the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO). Although one of the Greek organizations that founded NALFO, Omega Delta Phi withdrew their membership in December 2008.
Omega Delta Phi is a multicultural service/social fraternity that aims at graduating its members while giving back to the community. The Fraternity has established itself on over 70 campuses and is predominantly centered in Texas and the Southwest. However, the fraternity has been experiencing tremendous growth in the Midwest the last 10 years. Although founded mainly by Latinos, the fraternity has traditionally always been open to men of different backgrounds, as demonstrated through its "One culture, any race" philosophy.
In the early 1990s, Omega Delta Phi chapters were established in university systems such as the Texas A&M University System, University of Texas System, New Mexico and Arizona systems. Later on, because of the increasing popularity of the Internet, the fraternity experienced growth and chapters were founded in cities such as the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area, Houston, and Seattle. The fraternity established a short-lived international colony in Mexico City, Mexico as well. In 2000, Omega Delta Phi founded an alumni association to provide a support group for its alumni base. The fraternity now has several alumni chapters throughout the U.S. and Mexico The organization continues to grow beyond the Southwestern and Midwestern United States and now has chapters, colonies, and clubs on both the west and east coasts.
According to members of Omega Delta Phi, the fraternity was the brainchild of Joe Cereceres. Joe Cereceres is credited as being the founder who came up with the idea of starting the fraternity. Cereceres, seeing how a male organization with a similar fraternal structure could be beneficial, began searching for others that would share in his vision. After getting together six other men they began to have weekly meetings. These meetings consisted of informal discussions about what they were going to do as a group. At the time not everyone was on board with starting a Fraternal organization because of the negative stigma that surrounded Fraternities. However, after many lengthy meetings the group decided that they could change that stigma through positive actions. They decided to focus on graduation and service as the main goals of their new organization. On November 25, 1987, the group was officially recognized as a Fraternity and granted Charter status from Texas Tech University. In 1988 Omega Delta Phi initiated its first class with 12 new members that would later be known as the Charter Class.
Much of Omega Delta Phi's early history dealt with finding an identity. It was at this time that many of the first traditions of the fraternity were born. The Crest, as well as the sacraments, and motifs were adopted during this time. It was also at this time that the practice of consumption of any alcohol while wearing Omega Delta Phi paraphernalia was forbidden. An identity issue that arose was whether or not the organization would identify itself as a social or service organization. In the end the organization identified itself as a "service/social" organization. During this early history, word has spread about Omega Delta Phi to another man named Jaime Mendez. Mendez seeing the potential in the organization started his own chapter of Omega Delta Phi at the University of Texas at El Paso. The chapter was founded without the consent of the original Texas Tech Chapter. After some minor controversy, the chapters reconciled their differences and set up an expansion strategy that spread across the country.
CASA is a national organization that supports court-appointed advocates for abused or neglected children. While you must be 21 years of age to become a court-appointed advocate for a child in need, each undergraduate entity partners with their local CASA office to assist the philanthropic organization. The members of Omega Delta Phi provide CASA with both manpower at local CASA events and assist in raising funds for CASA.
Given that most of the members of the fraternity are first-generation college students, Omega Delta Phi is keen on getting people in our communities to be advocates for our foster kids.
Each summer, Omega Delta Phi hosts an annual conference where all entities and alumni are invited to attend. Brothers participate in meetings, workshops, networking sessions as well as showcases where teams from entities compete in various competitions. The National Alumni Association also has hosts their meetings, as well as the board of directors. Brothers also have a chance to hear from the future leaders of the fraternity during election years.
Each winter, Omega Delta Phi entities meet in a similar conference to the one during the summer, but on a smaller scale (known as "NUC"). The conference is heavily focused on meetings and workshops to prepare for the upcoming spring semesters.
In the summer of 2002, Texas Tech University, where the fraternity was founded in 1987, honored the fraternity by dedicating a conference room to Omega Delta Phi. Currently, the organization is collecting donations to fund a renovation of the room.
Prior to leaving the NALFO council (Omega Delta Phi is currently a member of NIC), Omega Delta Phi received the following awards from NALFO.
Not to be confused with: