Fraternity accidentally starts a subculture


R.J. Dietrich, APO member, hammocks in front of the Student Athletic Center.
Photo from Hanna Wyland.


Video by Kayla Drake


Alpha Phi Omega, the service fraternity, has started its own hammocking subculture on campus and is incorporating the trend into its recruitment this week.

President of the fraternity Hanna Wyland said hammocking provides a multifaceted outlet for its members.

“It’s a great way to relax and enjoy the weather,” she said. “It’s just an easy way to socialize and do homework because we’re all cooped up in our dorms or houses all day.”

Vice President of Service Katie Gierer said sometimes the group has to double-stack hammocks on trees because so many people come out to participate.

“It just amazes me how it brings us all together,” she said.

APO members typically hammock on trees in front of Irwin and McCluer halls.

Wyland said half the organization hammocks, and she has an extra hammock for anyone looking to join her.

“I think APO has taken over this trend because we are all really outdoorsy people,”  she said. “We used to be affiliated with Boy Scouts of America.”

Gierer said hammocking is more than just a culture for them; it helps the fraternity stand out and make itself known on campus.

“It’s pretty intriguing; we see people taking Snapchats of us all the time and laughing at us and asking what we’re doing,” she said. “It’s a good way to be different and visible, which I think is part of the appeal.”

The officers agreed that it would be a good idea to incorporate hammocking into APO’s recruitment this week as a way to be different, Gierer said.

“We’ve done a lot of tabling in the past, and it’s really hard to reach out to people,” she said. “But this gets them involved and to see this is what we do outside of APO.”

Wyland said she completely supports the idea.

“I think it would attract the right people to us because you have to be pretty bold to just come up to someone in a hammock and be like, ‘What are you doing?’” she said.

Sophomore Tommi Donnelly said hammocking APO members caught her eye last year, and she is considering rushing for APO.

“I prefer this to formal stuff,” she said. “I’m not comfortable in formal situations, so this is a good way for people who are like that to still try to find somewhere they fit in.”

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