Ramapo Founds First Business Fraternity

Ramapo College recently installed its first professional business fraternity with a chapter in the oldest and largest such fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi.

The chapter was founded in large part due to the efforts of sophomore Kevin DeMaio, now the president of Ramapo's chapter, and some of his fellow members in the Enactus business student network on campus. DeMaio initially learned of the fraternity through friends who attend Cornell University and are members of the chapter there, who persuaded DeMaio to look into starting a chapter at Ramapo, which has huge potential to benefit many students.

"The goal, overall, of the fraternity is to give our members greater value through getting them better prepared for the workforce," said DeMaio. "That being in terms of assets like a proper résumé, proper LinkedIn account, having good interview skills, and how to act and dress professionally so they can get internships early, which will help them find a job when they graduate or get into graduate school."

On top of such principles, the connection network and history of Alpha Kappa Psi is one of its largest assets. The fraternity was founded in 1904 at New York University and now has chapters in such universities as Columbia, Cornell and MIT, which is why DeMaio chose to bring Alpha Kappa Psi to Ramapo due its prominence in the Northeast region.

"A lot of students wind up going to NYU and Columbia for graduate school, which is why I thought it would be a great fit for Ramapo," said DeMaio.

The fraternity, which is in its early phases working on establishing its petition, is geared toward bringing premier, committed students together to discuss professional views and give each other support in a range of ways, and fraternity leaders stress the importance of internships and getting them early.

"We want to set a higher standard in terms of getting internships during sophomore and junior year," said DeMaio. "Too many people wait until senior year for an internship and wind up with few options because of it."

What sets apart this fraternity from others is its professional committee, which is in the process of being established and will be further divided into specific majors and fields, which will help student members hone in on what is needed to achieve their professional career goals through concentrated peer counseling services.

"The addition of the frat might help Ramapo students' small list of options," said Javier Padilla, a junior finance major. "It could really help with getting connections for business students looking for jobs."

Since it is a professional fraternity, it is not closed to any gender or even major, and a student can still be a member if they are a part of a social fraternity, which the E-Board believes is essential to having the full college experience.

Despite the fraternity being in its infant stages, the E-Board has big plans for the future. The chapter has already reached its minimum requirement of 40 members and has plans to expand and take on significant projects.

"We want to keep professional first, but we eventually want to head into business," said DeMaio.

The fraternity is in talks to establish committees specializing in fields such as investments and marketing research when they raise more money to be able to look into stocks, which will teach valuable lessons to members.

If interested in joining or finding out more information about the Alpha Kappa Psi chapter at Ramapo, email Vice President Tabitha McGuire at tmcguire@ramapo.edu.