Mu Upsilon Alpha is going into its 36th year serving the Rutgers Bands. As you may know, a lot has changed since 1972, and I guarantee that you will see even more changes this year. The biggest change is that MYA has now merged with Mu Beta Psi. The one thing that has always remained the same is our dedication to the band program through Music, Service, and Brotherhood.
We have spent the recent past looking back to our predecessors for the foundations that built this wonderful institution. These wonderful people have brought us to where we are today, have provided us with service and performance opportunities, and have given us a rigid structure that keeps MYA very active. We have formed an Alumni Board to help guide us through the future, and to keep us looking in the right direction.
Now, with the guidance of our Alumni; our Director, Timothy G. Smith; our Advisor, Bob Eichert; and quickly growing Rutgers Band and Athletics programs, we are full steam ahead into the future with many new ideas to serve the band, to strengthen the Brotherhood, and to have tons of fun, MYA style!
On behalf of the Brotherhood, I want to thank you for visiting our web site, and I hope you continue to look around and visit often. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.
In Music, Service, and Brotherhood,
Merger Committee will determine how Rutgers Fraternity will become part of National Music Fraternity
New Brunswick, NJ – Mu Upsilon Alpha, the Honorary Co-ed Service
Fraternity Serving the Rutgers University bands, announces its intention to
affiliate with Mu Beta Psi, National Honorary Musical Fraternity. The move comes
in response to a directive from the Rutgers University Office of Fraternity and
Sorority Affairs (OFSA), requiring local Fraternities to be affiliated with an
organization of national scope.
The directive marks the second time the university was instrumental in changing the direction of the group. In 1972, Rutgers mandated that all honor societies at the university admit women. The group, at the time a chapter of the all-male Kappa Kappa Psi Fraternity, opted to become independent in order to meet the university’s requirements, and Mu Upsilon Alpha was born.
Changing directions after 35 years isn’t easy. Mu Upsilon Alpha President Chris Ciarlariello admits his initial reaction to the OFSA directive wasn’t positive. “I was quickly disheartened,” he says. “I truly believed it would be the end to 35 years of history, and not the beginning of something new.” However, having met with representatives from several different national organizations, he feels “Mu Beta Psi is the best fit. It feels like [us], just with a different name, and a little bit bigger.”
Sarah Morrison, National Vice President of Expansion for Mu Beta Psi, agrees. “The Brothers of Mu Upsilon Alpha have already established a Fraternity that meets essentially the same goals of Mu Beta Psi,” she says. “Being a part of Mu Beta Psi will expand their opportunities to serve Rutgers University,” she adds. At the same time, the move will benefit Mu Beta Psi as a whole. “As an established Fraternity, they bring a great deal of enthusiasm and experience to the table,” Morrison says. “We can learn from their approaches to things like alumni relations and collaboration, and really grow as a Fraternity.”
As part of their investigation into national music Fraternities, Mu Upsilon Alpha Brothers attended the national conventions of several groups, including Mu Beta Psi and Kappa Kappa Psi, which is now co-ed.
Attending the Mu Beta Psi convention was a watershed moment, explains Sarah Flourance, Mu Upsilon Alpha Vice-President. “After [the Mu Beta Psi] Convention, I realized that a merger would be a great opportunity for both organizations,” says Flourance. “Mu Upsilon Alpha can now expand its horizons in ways we haven’t been able to do in the past,” she adds.
Morrison explains that the next step for the two Fraternities is to form a Merger Committee, consisting of three representatives from each group. “We will be reviewing guidelines provided by the Rutgers OFSA, as well as the structures, rituals, and documents of both groups, to determine where changes are needed to mesh the organizations,” Morrison explains. Recommendations from these confidential meetings will be forwarded to both organizations for approval and ratification. The initial target is to complete the necessary paperwork by August 15, 2007.
Although the Fraternity will likely undergo a name change once the merger is complete, Ciarlariello is confident that the history and ideals of Mu Upsilon Alpha will live on. Pointing to the organization’s strong ties to its alumni as a key motivator, he adds, “I am looking forward to retaining as much of Mu Upsilon Alpha as possible as we transform into Mu Beta Psi.”
The goal of preserving Mu Upsilon Alpha’s history is also important to Mu Beta Psi, says Andrew Fleming, National President. “Their determination to preserve their traditions and history really struck a chord with me, as an alumnus of a Chapter that went through a similar process forty years ago,” he says. “Although they will carry the letters of Mu Beta Psi, I have no doubt that MYA will live on their traditions, through their love of music and service, and in the way they share Brotherhood.”
Flourance agrees. “I’m looking forward to taking an active part in the merger process, and discussing the possibilities that can maintain and strengthen Mu Upsilon Alpha’s history and ideals,” she says. “I believe this opportunity will only strengthen us as an organization.”
Mu Beta Psi is one of the nation's oldest musical fraternities. Founded in 1925 on the campus of North Carolina State University, its members now span five collegiate Chapters in four states plus a national Alumni Association. The mission of the co-ed Fraternity is to honor those who support music, foster fellowship among musicians, and promote music in education.
For more information, visit www.mubetapsi.org.