Talk:Alpha Phi Omega

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Former good article nominee Alpha Phi Omega was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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List of all-males[edit]

Do we still need to have the list of all-male chapters at co-ed institutions? I understand that even Delta has gone co-ed now. Henrymrx (t·c) 05:17, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

I can't find anything on Delta's website to support that they have gone co-ed.Naraht (talk) 11:44, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
It's not reflected in their chapter website yet, but I have received confirmation from a Delta Alum and current Board member that they are co-ed as of April 2009. Dr. Cash (talk) 14:09, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
When you have an appropriate reference... :) Naraht (talk) 15:05, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

It was under my impression that if Delta were to be forced to go coed, the chapter would formally disband and file a petition to have the chapter listing permanently removed from Alpha Phi Omega, i.e. if a new Chapter started in Auburn it would not be Delta chapter. Of course that was back when I was an active alumni and kept up with such things. Personally I find this better than being forced to go coed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:20, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

That may be your understanding, but I have seen no sign one way or another on the chapter website. According to the National website they are still active, and I have a non-public source that indicates that they have sent in the initiation fees for the spring '09 new brothers. If you would like to inquire further, please do so on my talk page.Naraht (talk) 01:18, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

From what I've been told by my fellow Delta brothers the chapter has not yet gone coed, thankfully. I received this information from an immediate past president and recent graduate of Auburn. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:51, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Working on Alpha Phi Omega chapters page[edit]

Right now I'm working on a page for APO-USA chapters at User:Naraht/Alpha Phi Omega chapters. It's from a file from the national office, there are some issues such as active petitioning efforts showing up as Active. I still have to add/change entries in that column for active/inactive/PG/IG/closed. Right now I'm working on getting rid of as many red links as I can. I'm going to leave the one for Central YMCA College since there *should* be an article on it.Naraht (talk) 19:49, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

I see several dates in there being listed as January 1, <some year>. I think the '1/1' should be removed in those cases, only listing the year. When they entered those into the database, I think they were required to put a month and day, so they just put '1/1' since they didn't know the exact month/day. For our purposes, it's better to simply put the year. If a month/day other than January 1, is listed, then it's fine to keep that, though. Dr. Cash (talk) 20:11, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree. While I know there was at least one chartering at a National Convention (Northern Arizona U). I doubt that anything in that table *really* occured on 1/1/year. One reason that I haven't touched the dates yet, is that I'm looking on taking the source back to my UNIX machine and transforming the dates to the DTS template which will allow sorting, but the rechartering dates and dates of inactivity may not be useful for that. (I'm considering making those two fields unsortable.) Also, I have to figure out how to make the Regions sortable in a reasonable way so that IX doesn't happen between IV and V. The simplest solution would be to simply have the arabic number in the column, but I *think* there is a smarter way. Yes, it would involve some massive substitutions, but that's what copying Wikipedia source to either Wordpad or worst case UNIX for use of sed, awk or perlNaraht (talk) 20:37, 8 October 2009 (UTC)+
Article for Central YMCA College created, only red link left is Frederick College which is in Virginia.Naraht (talk) 16:06, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Alpha Phi Omega/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: weebiloobil (talk) 14:28, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

Hello! My name is weebiloobil (talk), and I will be reviewing Alpha Phi Omega. I see this article has already been de-listed, so hopefully this won't happen again. Feel free to leave comments here or on my talk page. Good luck!

PS This review is being undertaken as part of the April backlog elimination drive. Why not review an article or two yourself? weebiloobil (talk) 14:28, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

The review will be here tomorrow. Sorry about the wait - weebiloobil (talk) 19:27, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

The Review[edit]

Before I start, I would like to present these:

Criterion 2 of the Good Article Criteria

"Factually accurate and verifiable:

(a) it provides references to all sources of information in the section(s) dedicated to the attribution of these sources according to the guide to layout;

(b) it provides in-line citations from reliable sources for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines;[2] and

(c) it contains no original research."


Self-published or questionable sources may be used as sources of information about themselves, especially in articles about themselves, without the requirement that they be published experts in the field, so long as:

  1. the material is not unduly self-serving;
  2. it does not involve claims about third parties;
  3. it does not involve claims about events not directly related to the subject;
  4. there is no reasonable doubt as to its authenticity;
  5. the article is not based primarily on such sources.

Now we've got that out of the way, we can begin.


The major problem I have with this article (there are a couple of minor bits below as well) is the self-referencing; a massive 83% (35/42) of the references are directly affiliated with the fraternity itself. Whilst some measure of self-referencing is expected in an article with as large a subject as this, I think a few more outside references might be in order. The paragraph Chapters is unreferenced - this contains statistics, which should be referenced (the same paragraph also contains a stray bracket). Finally, reference-wise, the link for reference 13 is no longer pointing to the right place.

Other stuff[edit]

  • The use of 'co-ed' right from the third sentence - I know WP:JARGON is on longer a GA requirement, but it would be nice for this to be explained.
  • "As with many major changes, this one caused a great deal of consternation, especially among several long-established chapters." This should have a third-party, independent source
  • Criterion 3(b) requires the article to stay focused on the article without going into unnecessary detail; as such, do we really need the address of every National Office, especially when the dates are uncertain? This seems a bit too in-depth.

As such, I'm placing this article on hold. There are only three quick things to sort out, but the biggest problem is the referencing. Therefore, the key aspect that will get this passed is discussion. I'm not expecting a load of references, just a discussion of how best to approach this. WP:SELFPUB is ambiguous, so I will pass this article if there is consensus reached about how many third-party references there should be so the discussion here will influence my decision on how many independent references are required Subsequent edit made at 20:37, 12 April 2010 (UTC). Good luck, and I'll be back to comment in any discussions - weebiloobil (talk) 13:34, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Comment from another editor[edit]

The referencing issue is absolutely critical, and you may have under-estimated the extent to which the refs are, sometimes indirectly, actually not independent sources. As I commented at another fraternity / sorority review, I would query how likely the article would be to survive at AfD on notability grounds. I think this is a definite fail, particularly as there are other problems - really we do not need to know every year's "theme" for National Service Week, the addressed of offices, the organisation's various programs. Personally, i think the article is coming close to being adspam for the fraternity, but that's just my view. In any case, i think most material unable to be supported using independent third party reliable sources should be stripped out. Regards, hamiltonstone (talk) 23:43, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Given that Alpha Phi Omega has about 350 active chapters in all but 3 states (SD, UT, HI), I would be interested what student organizations that you think should have pages? (Yes, I know that this gets dangerously close to "If X has a page then so should my group"), but I'm curious.Naraht (talk) 17:26, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
When reviewing, I did think carefully about that list of themes; it conformed to WP:LIST, however, so the only problem is how in-depth it is. Personally, I think that section does not rely on those themes, so they can be easily removed. I did mention in my review my problems with how in-depth some sections are. I spent 3 days going through the references, and examining how independent they were. Again, my concerns are in the review. Your comment about stripping out the unreferenced areas is of course what should be done, but we are examining how they should be referenced at the moment; if no references are provided subsequently, then the material would need to be removed. Unfortunately, going by the state of the article now, it probably will fail, mainly because of the referencing problems (the statistics in the lead are provided by the society itself, and there is no source for the alternative names). However, the purpose of GA reviewing an article is not just to determine if it is GA standard, but to see how it can be improved to GA standard. If there are any concerns about the article after the review has been completed, there is of course Good Article reassessment - weebiloobil (talk) 20:33, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks Weebiloobil, you're doing a great job. To Naraht: I'm happy for this and other student orgs to have entries, but the main sources establishing notability should be external. If this is such a big organisation, I expect its activities might sometimes be reported in newspapers, particularly in college towns; books about the history of American higher education would presumably mention it; there might be academic studies of college life that involve it as a subject, etc. These are the kinds of sources i'd be looking for. I don't mean to the complete exclusion of internal sources. I'd expect internal sources to establish things like membership numbers, or annual reports as a source of budget figures. Internal sources might also be the only ones to provide office-holder names, though this might also be verifiable from news sources. Anyway, i'm sure some better sources will turn up. hamiltonstone (talk) 22:27, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Comment from current contributor[edit]

I've fixed the reference for 13 and will try to use Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities for as much of the infobox type information as I can find. The other third party source that particularly springs to mind is Boy Scouts of America documentation.

In regards to WP:SELFPUB, one question that I have is a reference from the current organization website is superior to that of published magazines of the organizations which are 50-70 years old. Some of the references could be shifted from one to other.

I'm confused by the objection to co-ed. Co-ed is linked in the second paragraph.

The history does need to be compressed, the issue of the fraternity allowing women, while important, contains a great deal of unreferenced information.

Also, as a *radical* solution to some of these issues, would splitting the article into Alpha Phi Omega of the USA (left at Alpha Phi Omega and Alpha Phi Omega of the Philippines (combining the second with History of Alpha Phi Omega in the Philippines) and moved to Alpha Phi Omega (Philippines) help with bringing this article which would only be about the American organization to GA? References for the Philippines have been more difficult to get. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Naraht (talkcontribs) 17:20, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Ah, but the referencing problem would remain, just split into two different articles. Having a separate History of Alpha Phi Omega seems a bit more useful, as it also gets rid of compressing the history section. My problem with 'co-ed' is there is no explanation as to what it means - a casual reader from outside the US might not understand the term, and whilst wikilinking it later on, the lead should be able to flow without having to constantly click on links. I'm glad you mentioned the lack of referencing for some stuff in the section about women, because of course, if there is any unreferenced contentious stuff, I can't pass the article. Good luck finding more references - weebiloobil (talk) 20:17, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
There have been quite a few things split off of the article already, take a look at Category:Alpha_Phi_Omega for some. I'm still leaning toward a national split, I don't think anyone would object to splitting Scouts Canada off from an article on scouting, OTOH, I think there is an article on the history of scouting as well. Also, I'll take any suggestions that you have on redoing that sentence "Alpha Phi Omega is a co-ed service fraternity organized to provide community service, leadership development,[2] and social opportunities for college students." that will attempt to define co-ed without it being awkward. The co-ed wikipedia page seems pretty international.Naraht (talk) 04:00, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
Just a comment, but the term "co-ed" seems to be pretty broadly used; linking to the wikipedia page on the subject should be sufficient, IMHO. It still might be better to use the term "co-educational" at first use, with co-ed in parenthesis, and then use co-ed thereafter.
Also, I seem to agree with the reviewer that a separate "History of Alpha Phi Omega" article would be preferential to a split of APO-USA versus APO-Philippines. The history of APO in the Philippines should be included in the main history article, as a subsection. But splitting all the Philippines stuff out of the main article seems to me like a bad idea. The present 'organization' section seems to cover the international aspect well. WTF? (talk) 12:50, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
Random point - reference 26 is currently broken, but I've found an archive of it here[1] - weebiloobil (talk) 11:12, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

List of National Service Week Themes[edit]

I think it is reasonable to discuss here what should be kept under the National Service Week Themes. It think there are two separate issues here that have been brought up.

  • Are they referenced? I believe that everything in the NSW Themes is referenced, the entries for years prior to 2009 is the reference placed just before the list. I'd appreciate finding out what in that section isn't referenced, it seems pretty good compared to other sections
  • Is it trivia, perhaps. Would a list consisting of only the last 6 be more useful in illustrating without overwhelming? Is there an appropriate way to indicate that a full list can be obtained at the location that is being used as a reference?Naraht (talk) 01:15, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Is it referenced? Well yes - to an internal source. Is it trivial? Yes, and it makes the page look (even more) like a promotional page for the organisation. I don't think that any good article about any organisation should be listing the themes for an annual conference or one aspect of its operations. I'm sorry, but i'm having some difficulty with the difficulty other editors are one editor is having in seeing how un-encyclopedic in quality or nature this article is. I also removed some words that added nothing encyclopedic (and were unreferenced), and they've been put back in as well: "to allow for greater flexibility and increased participation while retaining the sense of unity of the original concept". No, the themes do not need illustrating. There should at most be a reference at the end of the opening sentences (current ref 25) to do as you suggest at the end - and the text does not need to say a list can be found there - this again makes it sound like an article promoting the organisation rather than describing it to a lay readership. hamiltonstone (talk) 01:26, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
PS Naraht, given you are an APO alumnus, you might want to place more faith in the views of editors with some distance from the topic. hamiltonstone (talk) 01:32, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

I'm going to have to agree with Naraht on this one; I think the list of NSW themes is very relevant to the topic, as it shows (a) the history of the National Service Week program and (b) the fact that it has covered a broad number of very relevant areas of service and not just focused on a single area. As for being referenced internally, I don't see a problem with that -- it's the best reference for this sort of thing. Sure, we could probably go back and dig up old newspaper articles (probably mostly from student newspapers) for each and every single topic by year. But in this case, the organization has provided this, and there's no reason not to trust it.

As for your comments about it being "unencyclopedic", I have to disagree. How do you define and "encyclopedia" and what kind of content do you think should be in one? Surely, this sort of thing would never appear in the Encyclopedia Britannica -- heck, they probably don't even have an article about Alpha Phi Omega. But then again, Britannica wouldn't cover individual episodes of Family Guy, either. But it seems to me that in the 21st century, Wikipedia has been completely redefining the term "encyclopedia", to the point where it's arguably now the #1 site people go to when they're looking for an encyclopedia. Some of the more obscure and odd articles on Wikipedia are what makes it unique, and I see these bits of trivia, properly organized and presented, as one of the strengths of the site. I certainly don't think that saying something is "unencyclopedic" is a good enough reason for deleting it. WTF? (talk) 02:45, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

I define encyclopedic as content that meets WP's various pillars, particularly WP:N, WP:V and WP:NPOV, and I think this article is not in good shape in respect of these policies. I don't mind there being an article about APO - as you say, the huge scope of what we can include is one of our great assets. But it has to meet these criteria, and i just don't think most of the material in this article does so. As far as I can tell, there are more external sources for an individual episode of Family Guy than there are for the entire APO. To thoroughly butcher the Jerry Maguire scene: "show me the references!" Cheers, hamiltonstone (talk) 03:09, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
"The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire" is Episode 55. Google hits for "The Cleveland–Loretta Quagmire", 11,800, Google Hits for "Alpha Phi Omega" 284,000. Also, in Google's News Archives: hits for "The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire" 16, hits for "Alpha Phi Omega" 6,130.
Which is why this article is miles away from being a GA unless these third party sources are used. hamiltonstone (talk) 07:54, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

OK, what's still not referenced.[edit]

I added a bunch of external sources for the various service projects that are done, mostly from newspapers and other things found in the google news archives. I'm planning on deleting the list of all-male chapters since that is not referenced (and yes, I probably added it all those many years ago). What other areas do people want to see with more references added? And what areas do people think are appropriate to try to suppliment/replace with external references. I don't see that many paragraphs without some sort of references at this time other than ones where there is a short paragraph associated with a *much* larger article that is the main one for the section.Naraht (talk) 20:11, 22 April 2010 (UTC)


This review will be closed tomorrow at approximately 2pm UTC. The edits made in the intervening time will influence the result - weebiloobil (talk) 19:30, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

The Result[edit]

First of all, some figures:

57 total references

22 independent references

34 self-references

1 broken reference (35)

which makes the article 60.7% reliant on sources from Alpha Phi Omega itself.

Alas, I deem this too high to fulfil "not based primarily on such sources", and so, given the time allowed for improvements, I feel I have to fail this article.

Other issues include:

  • Incomplete information about existing references (^ Involved at TU doesn't give enough info, ie date accessed, publisher etc)
  • Breadth - location of every single National Office (some without dates), complete list of past National Service Week themes, etc
  • Random bits unreferenced, eg Alpha Phi Omega#United States

Feel free to contact me with any questions. If you feel this review has been conducted incorrectly, Good Article reassessment is the place to go. I hope to see this article at GA and FA very soon. weebiloobil (talk) 16:36, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

Where to put that APO was a Point of Light?[edit]

I'm sort of torn where the fact that APO was a Point of Light should go. ( April 14th, 2003) ideas (or put it in :) ) Naraht (talk) 14:16, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

I've put the Points of Light announcement in the Programs section, and cleaned up the references there a bit as well. WTF? (talk) 21:57, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. Any suggestions on how to improve the article? It failed GA apparently because too much of the information was from internal sources. I may be able to add or change some references to Scouting or Boy's Life magazines. Also, what's your opinion on splitting the large majority of the APO-Philippines stuff to a separate article?Naraht (talk) 22:09, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I think it failed GA because it wasn't really ready for it and it was nominated in a drive-by nomination by an editor who wasn't a major contributor of the article. I've seen a lot of the Scouting and Boys Life stuff in Google Books searches for "Alpha Phi Omega", and it seems like those are reasonably third party citations to use for a lot of the historical material.
I'm not a huge fan of separating tons of stuff out into separate daughter articles. APO-Philippines still falls under the larger category of Alpha Phi Omega, which is what this article is about. Plus, if we're having a hard enough time finding third party references for this article, doing that for an APO-Philippines article can only be about 10 times worse! WTF? (talk) 00:02, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
APO-Phil is going to be pretty difficult to get good third party sources for, but at least there are some references for it as opposed to most of the Philippines Fraternities and Sororities. The question is not whether APO-Phil can be turned into a GA, but rather would the article without APO-Phil be closer. (If of course it makes sense to split it out. But there certainly wouldn't be one article for scouting in the USA and the Philippines)Naraht (talk) 02:54, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

APO Recent Edits[edit]

It is my understanding that what was previously on the wikipedia page for APO was a factual recollection of the recent events dealing with open membership in the past couple of years. I did not find it offensive or biased. Why was it taken down? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:17, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

The question is how much information about Alpha Delta's split with Alpha Phi Omega belongs on the Alpha Phi Omega page. While the split is a *major* part of Alpha Delta's history and should be on the Alpha Delta page, whether or not it is a significant enough part of Alpha Phi Omega's history is debatable. (note, that I'm not sure which side of the debate I'm on) In round numbers, these were 1% of the chapters in the Fraternity. (3 of roughly 350)Naraht (talk) 17:26, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Understandable, but if an organization were to create legislation that caused a part of it, however, small to leave, I would imagine that it would be worth mentioning. From what was on the page, it did not discuss Alpha Delta, simply mentioned that chapters had joined a different organization. I do not know too much about what happened before or since, but I would guess that the one or two lines that were up are probably still valid. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:31, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
The text on the Alpha Phi Omega pages does mention by name (and give a link to Alpha Delta). And as far as I can tell the information is accurate (I'm on the Alpha Phi Omega history Committee and have talked by email with various Alpha Delta brothers by email). Accuracy and Noteworthiness are equally important.Naraht (talk) 19:16, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I completely agree and understand about accuracy and noteworthiness. I would suggest that as long as the information is accurate according to APO and Alpha Delta officials, then I would say it belongs on there. As long as it remains historical and factual and does not become a biased representation of either side. From what I understand, this may be a hot topic depending on who you talk to. So, we always need to be careful with it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:55, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Just because something is accurate does not necessarily mean it should be included. I don't want to see us fall into the trap of giving undue weight to relatively trivial information. Frankly, I think the article is too long as it is. Henrymrx (t·c) 15:17, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

It is the largest fraternity in the world for starters. But also, I mean a listing of all the national service weeks (20 lines) is probably more undo weight than 2 lines devoted to something that was directly caused by the requirement of open membership. It provides unique insight and information on the fraternity that is useful in an encyclopedic article. There are other parts of the article that do not do that and have not been eliminated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:43, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

List of Founders?[edit]

I think that given the fact that the initial 6 advisors are all listed, that the other 13 founders should be added. If so, should we do it in text or as a bulleted list?Naraht (talk) 16:17, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Scouts Royale Brotherhood[edit]

My personal opinion... SRB should not be mentioned on this page, OTOH a mention on the History of Alpha Phi Omega in the Philippines would be quite reasonable if decent sources could be found. I googled for "scouts royale brotherhood" and 1975. I found no hits in the first 100 that would consider a reasonable non-primary source for the year that it was founded. If *that* can't be found, what is the possibility of getting good secondary sources. (And yes, this does have the standard issue of references for fraternities in the Philippines being *considerably* more difficult to find clean references on than US fraternities for several reasons. :( )Naraht (talk) 18:22, 20 January 2012 (UTC)


It appears that all of the links used as reference citations are now no longer functional, as the national fraternity has launched a new design the website. One big issue seems to be that there no longer appears to be a comprehensive list of chapters on the site, though there is a "chapter finder" tool. That can, of course, confirm that a chapter at the school is or has existed, but it's still not a list. WTF? (talk) 18:42, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

If you don't select any filtering criteria, you get everything (including the kitchen sink, alumni chapters(!?!), and extension efforts.Naraht (talk) 21:09, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
They seem to have fixed the alumni chapters thing and it now says "alumni associations", which is correct. There's also a nice google map there, too! WTF? (talk) 18:50, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
But no information as to whether the chapters there are active/inactive/PG/closed or whatever. Also there are several missing in the general search, for example within 10 miles of downtown DC (20001) should include George Washington University, but that one is missing. It does show up when you select it directly. Even with the map, massively inferior.Naraht (talk) 14:56, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
The Student Chapters selection doesn't include Alpha Chapter, for example, so I would assume that it only includes active chapters. I am not sure why they list "Extension Groups" and "Petitioning Groups" separately, since PGs are, by classification, extension groups. It would be nice if they included the inactive chapters, too, but perhaps they decided not to include that, since the list is public, they don't want to overtly advertise all the schools there used to be chapters at? WTF? (talk) 18:26, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Superfluous Information[edit]

I think one of the major problems with this article is that it's too long. There is a lot of information here that just isn't going to be of interest to a general audience. Things like the list of National Service Week themes and the list of National Office locations do not need to be on here. That information could be moved to one of the APO-centered wiki projects out there.

I realize that most of the editors of this article are fraternity members like me. This information may be of great interest to us and to other members of the Fraternity, but I think that it very unlikely to be of interest to a general audience. That general audience is the intended audience of this encyclopedia and we should tailor the article to that.

Thoughts? Henrymrx (t·c) 01:15, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

I don't think pure length of the article should be necessarily looked at. Alpha Phi Alpha for example is more than twice the size (101K vs. 48K) more or less. Also, the moves around in the Land Bank building probably are of interest to few outside the Fraternity. (and not that many within(!)). I'd like to see the 2013 & 2014 service week themes added if the others are removed.