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February 25, 2020 | By justin

Community Spotlight: Psi Chi Omega

Finding community in Asian American Greek life

Welcome to the CollegeWear, Inc. Community Spotlight series! Our mission at CollegeWear, Inc. is to not only provide quality custom shirts, but to help celebrate the communities we serve. From major events occurring in our hometown of San Diego, to small college clubs just starting out, we want to highlight some of the fantastic groups and events we’ve had the pleasure of serving.

In this spotlight, we connect with the Asian American social fraternity, Psi Chi Omega, and learn about how one group of brothers were able to create a unique community that blends the lifestyle and traditions of Greek life, with the diversity and heritage found in Asian American culture, while paving the way for mental health and wellness in Asian American communities.

Psi Chi Omega brothers posing.

Beginnings of Brotherhood

Psi Chi Omega is a social fraternity that was founded at the University of California, San Diego in 1992. Members of the fraternity participate in a wide range of activities, including from sports to community service, and pride themselves on their three pillars of integrity, perseverance, and eternal brotherhood.

It’s Alpha Chapter at UC San Diego originated when brothers Robert De Guzman, Frank Tran, Nick Sanez, Kim Phung, Hoai Pham, and Doug Nguyen were discussing the role of Asian Americans in the Greek Fraternity system, and how it would be possible to establish a Greek organization that blends the cultures of Greek life and Asian American heritage. Since its recognition in 1992, it is now recognized as a diverse fraternity that, and while is Asian American interest, is home to brothers from all kinds of nationalities and backgrounds.

Since its establishment, there have been multiple chapters created across California, including UC Riverside, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, San Jose State University, and San Francisco State University.

Psi Chi Omega wearing their latest custom shirts.

Setting the Style

This year, Psi Chi Omega reached out to CollegeWear, Inc. for custom sweaters and shirts in time for Winter Rush, where fellow brothers will be out on their campus spreading the word about their fraternity.

Previous custom products done in collaboration with CollegeWear, Inc. feature mainstream logos that are almost synonymous and popular with modern Asian American and Asian culture and streetwear, such as the skateboard brand Thrasher. This year, their shirts, as well as recruitment theme, mimics the popular clothing brand Supreme, but incorporating their fraternity and their crest colors.

Psi Chi Omega graduating class of 2017. | From @sdpsichi on Instagram

No Brother Left Behind

One of the many topics Psi Chi Omega works towards is advocating is mental health and wellness within Asian American communities, including suicide prevention, depression, and self-harm. Such topics are also deeply rooted within Asian American culture, as various studies have shown how Asian American populations are affected by mental health issues and lack knowledge or access to mental health wellness programs and education (Recommended: Depression among Asian Americans).

Additionally, as a cultural-based organization, the Psi Chi Omega community works to best work closely with other Asian American Greek and non-Greek organizations. Their involvement in those communities allows them to take part in various programs, such as working with local high school students, supporting campus Asian American initiatives and events (such as the San Diego Asian Film Festival), and hosting and offering career-based programs.

“To be [Psi Chi Omega] means more than being part of a brotherhood or family,” Jesel Kalaw, the 2019-20 President states, “To be [Psi Chi Omega] means having this feeling of prosperity, connection and realness with the brothers of this organization. This bond I have with everyone part of this organization is unmatched and is truly a forever thing in my life.”

CollegeWear, Inc. thanks Psi Chi Omega for their continued support!

Is your community or organization hosting an upcoming event, or in need of some club swag?  Let us help! We offer quality, budget friendly custom apparel and giveaways. Contact us today! Our team is standing by to help! Click here to get started.

Images courtesy of Joseph Ramirez

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