The men of Phi Kappa Psi enjoy building relationships with their tight-knit group of brothers.
Ben Daniel, a junior biological sciences major from Athens, said though the fraternity is growing, it's trying to keep the feeling of being in a small fraternity alive.
“We’re an incredibly small fraternity, probably one of the smallest on Milledge [Avenue], but we’re growing and we’ve tripled in size in a few years,” Daniel said. “It’s interesting that it’s like a small fraternity changing into a larger one. We’re growing at an unprecedented rate but we’re still trying to keep a small fraternity feel.”
Josh Brito, a junior management information systems major from Washington, said he likes how different the brothers are from one another.
Despite differences, Brito said, he appreciates how close he and his brothers are.
“We’re all pretty different people, but we mesh really well together,” Brito said. “I think that’s one of the biggest selling points that you’re not going to find the same kind of guy. whenever you talk to someone it’s going to be different. I like that we’re one of the smaller fraternities, so you really do get to know everyone in your fraternity.”
The Georgia Alpha chapter of Phi Psi at the University of Georgia has 40 members.
Brito said he bonds with his brothers during sporting events, such as going to the basketball game between the University of Alabama and UGA on Jan. 11, but he said they do other activities together as well.
“We do, like, movie nights, poker nights, stuff like that,” he said. “We go downtown, watch football together. You know, playoffs, stuff like that. We had a big group watch the national championship together at the house.”
But spending time together isn’t all the Phi Psi brothers do.
When Phi Psi was founded in 1852 at Jefferson College in Pennsylvania, the organization was meant to be a “brotherhood based on the Great Joy of Serving Others,” according to the national Phi Psi website.
Daniel said community service is an important part of the fraternity and brings the brothers closer. He and Brito said Phi Psi participates with Relay for Life — a fundraiser run by the American Cancer Society for cancer research — every year, among other philanthropic events.
“We’re going to be doing a golf tournament this year, I believe,” Daniel said. “And we did a dodgeball tournament last year, so we just pick a charity and go for it."
Nationally, the fraternity is partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of America.
The Boys and Girls Club is an organization that provides a place to learn and grow through ongoing relationships with caring, adult professionals and different character building programs for kids, according to the Boys and Girls Club of America's website.
Whether they’re engaging with Athens locals through community service work or watching a game on TV, Brito and the brothers of Phi Psi are a support group for one another.
He said the brothers are another family for him.
“I’m nine hours away from my actual family, so these guys are basically a surrogate family for when I’m down at school,” Brito said.
Daniel said Phi Psi is a place where he can unwind and not have his head stuck in a book.
“It’s a place to relax for me,” Daniel said. “I’m pre-med. I study a lot and it’s a place where I can decompress.”