Dec 10, 2018

Alpha Gamma Omega back on campus since ’90s

Photo Illustration by Matt Weir / The Collegian

For Bryan Barsness, founder and Chapter Adviser of the Eta Chapter of Alpha Gamma Omega (AGO), it started out as a vision to bring back a Christian-based fraternity to California State University, Fresno.

Due to a shortage of good rushes in the late ‘90s, AGO became inactive.

This semester, after a successful Rush event, AGO initiated 11 men into their fraternity, receiving their Charter on Aug. 29.

“A lot of people see ‘Christian’ and ‘fraternity’ but they don’t know how it mixes,” said founding President Jorge Martinez, a third year student at Fresno State.

Alpha Gamma Omega has been established in many different schools throughout California campuses for quite some time, including: University of Southern California, University of California, Davis, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and has now made its way back to Fresno State.

Barness said after realizing the seed that God was planting for him, he knew it was time for AGO to present itself at Fresno State once again.

“I knew God would bring back AGO to the Bulldogs, I just didn’t know it would be through me,” said Barsness in an e-mail interview.

Now, being an AGO alumnus it is Barsness’ job to teach pledges what it means to be in AGO, the ways of the fraternity and its principles.

Alejandro Vidal, founding Chaplin of the fraternity said, “When you sprinkle Christianity on the regular workings of a fraternity, people are confused yet interested.”

This is what makes this fraternity different from the others.

The fraternity’s name says a lot about what it is and what it stands for. Alpha means the beginning, while Gamma corresponds with the third letter of the Latin alphabet. The letter, C, stands for Christ which is the organization’s purpose. Lastly, Omega stands for ending, referring to Revelations.

Martinez explained that Jesus is the beginning and the end and the fraternity is a representation of that.

“When [people] think of a fraternity they think of the typical stereotype, party, drugs, sex,” Martinez said.

The AGO house is a “dry house,” which means no alcohol is allowed inside.

Nick Calderon co-chair adviser alongside Barsness said that funding comes directly through the members and not through Fresno State.

The first rush event, which was an invitation into the fraternity, was fully funded by AGO alumni.

The second Rush event was funded through the fraternity’s monthly dues and from fundraising. Calderon says it is up to the members to decide which fundraisers they want to do and exactly how they want to do them.

AGO is a social fraternity and invites all, so you don’t have to be Christian to join. Other activities include volunteer work for Youth for Christ, which is a non-profit organization, dedicated to providing a safe place for at-risk youth in downtown Fresno.

“I want people to know we are there and we’re making an impact,” Martinez said.

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