Beta Omega Chi is a fraternity founded on Brown University's campus on September 17, 2013, with a distinct mission:
To unite and fuel members to achieve greater heights in Higher Education, Social Development, and Transformative Community Service.
The founding members of Beta Omega Chi sought to create an environment that would serve the Black men of Brown's campus as they navigated the Ivy League, while simultaneously helping them in their processes of discovering and re-crafting their senses of blackness, masculinity, community, philanthropy, and more.
Early Interview from the BLOGNONIAN
"GETTING TO KNOW BROWN’S NEWEST FRATERNITY"
By Kevin Haggerty (March, 2016)
Brown recently granted residential status to a new fraternity, Beta Omega Chi. The organization, which was founded at Brown in 2013, has grown dramatically and will now be occupying Olney House as of the Fall of 2016. To learn more about Beta Omega Chi, its founding, its newfound status, and its future, I sat down with three members of this self-proclaimed “very nice group of men”—current President Isaiah Edwards ’17 and founders Ahmed Elsayed ’16 and Andrew Gonzales ’16.
Blog: What was the process of founding Beta Omega Chi like?
Elsayed: We were conceptualized on September 17th of 2013, and that’s when we started to develop an organization. Initially, it was more so just the founders trying to figure out how [they] wanted [BOX] to look, what they want[ed] this to mean, what they want[ed] the organization to represent…and then being able to sell it to people. And then we went out and started recruiting…and we had our first five strong initiates, who helped get the organization to where it is today. [The initiates] really believed in the organization, whereas in the early stages, there were [many] people who didn’t believe in [it].
Blog: What does having an official home on campus mean to you?
Elsayed: Part of the reason why we got recognition is the hard work, and plus people saw what we were doing—and that was without recognition, that was without support from [the University]. Now that we have a house, we can operate at a level that we’ve never been able to operate [at] before. Now that we have Brown’s support—now that we can use spaces on this campus—the events are becoming endless. Now we can partner with organizations and actually do things on campus to more impact Brown. With this status, the sky’s the limit. And that means a lot, because that really talks to the longevity of the organization—that it will be here 50 years from now, that it will be here 100 years from now, because now it’s really becoming a part of Brown culture.
Gonzales: I would say two things to that. [For] one, I think we really pride ourselves on the connectivity of our brotherhood, and I think that’s one of the strongest pillars of the organization…how close we are. But I think that just living with someone—the proximity there [will] allow for that to be exponentially greater. And the second is what it symbolically represents for Brown University, a history of over 250 years built on the backs of our ancestors…to break down that particular barrier and to have a physical space on this campus for black men, I think, speaks volumes.