On Tuesday, two minutes short of exactly 48 hours from the public unveiling of new members for Western Kentucky University' Gamma Theta chapter of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity, Basileus Jimmie Welch, who is the chapter president, posted the following Facebook status: “9.5.13 Guthrie Bell Tower @ 9:11 PM.”
He was referring to his chapter’s Omega Psi Phi Probate Show.
The Omega Psi Phi Probate Show is a membership selection process for male students voted into the fraternity by the chairman and approved by the district representative, said David Mobley, vice basileus of the WKU Omega Psi Phi graduate chapter, Theta Alpha Alpha.
“Not even the president (basileus) of the fraternity has control of who goes into the fraternity, it’s the representative,” Mobley said.
The crowd gathered before 9:11 p.m. Thursday. On the walkway from Downing Student Union, the Omegas, or “Q-Tips,” appeared at 9:30 p.m., marching and barking like dogs while wearing purple and gold masks. The barking is a hallmark call of the Omegas.
Theta Alpha Alpha chapter members and members from different chapters of WKU's National Pan-Hellenic Council came to support.
“You never get this night back,” said Montaze Trumbo, a 2006 graduate from Louisville. “This is the one night to act a fool, step outside yourself and seize the energy.”
This probate show revealed five new undergraduate initiates, or “neos,” of the summer 2013 line:
•Kurron Carmichael, a Louisville junior•Omar Cham, a Bronx, N.Y., junior•Damario Walker-Brown, a Lexington junior•Chuck Franks, a Birmingham, Ala., senior•Julian Leslie, Miami sophomore
The public revealing serves as a reward for hard work, Trumbo said.
“As new members, it’s a pretty big (night) for candidates. We like to make it into a secret, not in a bad way, but for the element of surprise with the mask,” Trumbo added.
Besides barking, the initiates sang, danced and became actors for the night. The crowd laughed and barked along.
“Tonight was a great night for Omega Psi Phi and the Gamma Theta chapter,” Welch said.
The crowd began to scatter as the clock of Guthrie Bell Tower hit nearly 11:30 p.m.