Business fraternity receives national recognition in Aug.

Seth Roy

They may not be crazy about San Francisco baseball, but members of the Kent State chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, felt like giants after attending the BAP national convention in early August.

BAP, a national scholastic and professional fraternity for accounting, management and information systems majors, along with the Accounting Association, attended the convention with the prospect of winning awards and honors, said Don McFall, BAP’s advisor.

One honor the group achieved, for the third consecutive year, was superior chapter status. This is the most common way for the national organization to recognize individual chapters. More than 100 achieved the status nationwide, said Sally Webber, a professor at Northern Illinois University and Midwest Regional Director for BAP.

Webber serves as an advisor for 50 BAP chapters in the Midwest region, and as a liaison between her region and the national board. Across the nation, BAP is broken down into eight regions, with approximately 255 chapters and over 200,000 members.

The larger numbers become all the more important when considering that Kent State’s chapter was one of only two schools in the nation to receive the Nancy Harke Award for the Most Improved Chapter,

Webber said.

“They took a chapter that was (already solid),” Webber said. “(And) wanted to make that chapter more meaningful for their members.”

As one of the most prestigious awards in BAP, the award for most improved chapter is normally reserved for only one chapter, but this year was different.

“Both chapters had done such a good job,” Webber said when explaining why two awards were given this year.

Another award the group received was for its “Butt Awareness Project,” which they executed during the fall semester of 2004, said Matt Fifolt, senior accounting major and president of the Kent State chapter of BAP. During the project, members of BAP and the Accounting Association swarmed the campus on Saturdays, sweeping and picking up cigarette butts from Apple Hall to White Hall.

Kent State was one of three schools to win the “Best Practices” Community Service award from across the United States, Fifolt said. Eight chapters had qualified for the national convention; one from each region.

“To win an award, you have to have outstanding students,” said George Stevens, dean of the College of Business Administration and Graduate School of Management. Winning any award “brings tremendous recognition and pride back to Kent State University.”

Stevens said he was proud of the group and of what it is doing for the reputation of the business school.

Winning awards can only help the group, which has between 20 and 25 members from year to year, Fifolt said.

“I think it just shows how strong the organization’s become,” Fifolt said. “I think it’s attractive to new members.”

Of course, the convention was about more than just awards, Fifolt said. It was about meeting other chapters and exchanging ideas.

“It makes you feel a part of something,” Fifolt said. “You get to get ideas based off things that they’ve done.”

Eight officers from BAP and the Accounting Association attended the convention, which featured workshops, speakers from the business world and presentations.

They arrived in San Francisco on Aug. 4, and were able to see some of the town. Both Friday and Saturday ended early enough for the attendees to explore some of the city.

“There’s plenty of time to walk around,” Fifolt said. “The trolley ride was cool. The tourist areas were kind of nice.”

Another favorite of Fifolt’s, and the rest of the attendees, was visiting Pier 39, which is filled with stores, restaurants and other attractions.

Contact ALL Assistant Editor and College of Business reporter Seth Roy at [email protected].