Student uses leadership to honor fraternity’s history

Student Spotlight
Christopher Tarantino, fourth-year marketing

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Christopher Tarantino is organizing events during Brick City Homecoming on behalf of his fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega Xi Zeta chapter.

Christopher Tarantino is no stranger to being a leader. The fourth-year marketing major is a member of multiple leadership groups, including his fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, where he is chair of the 50th anniversary events during Brick City Homecoming. The events serve to celebrate the history of the APO Xi Zeta chapter, as well as to honor the fraternity’s alumni. For more information about the events, go to

Question: Where are you from?
Answer: I am from Enfield, Conn.

Q: What brought you to RIT?
A: What brought me to RIT—and what keeps me busy and happy here—are the extracurricular activities. I was really excited by the opportunity to supplement my education and take advantage of leadership and experiential learning on and off campus.

Q: What activities are you involved in at RIT?
A: I’m involved in quite a few. I am a member of Alpha Phi Omega and the RIT Leadership Institute. Additionally, I work at the RIT Club Center, as an adjunct instructor for CPR/first aid and as a student member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. I’m also a firefighter/EMT with the Chili Fire Department, a graduate of Leadership Rochester and a member of AmeriCorps.

Q: In your opinion, what is the most interesting or unique thing about yourself?
A: I don’t ride a unicycle or wear a cape to class (except maybe in my weekend crime-fighting), but I think what makes me unique is my personal drive. I like to take on a challenge.

Q: What events are being held for the 50th anniversary of APO Xi Zeta?
A: On Friday, we will have a number of brothers and alumni volunteering or attending the Presidents’ Alumni Ball. On Saturday, active brothers will be taking alumni on campus tours, visiting Brick City Homecoming events on-campus and heading to the RIT Men’s Hockey game together, with a mixer beforehand. On Sunday, our chapter will be honoring brothers and alumni who have passed away with a Memorial Ritual/Ceremony as well as celebrating 50 years of leadership, friendship and service with a Sunday brunch in the University Gallery.

Q: How did you get involved with the events and what is your role?
A: I’m the 50th Anniversary Chair and in charge of planning and coordinating all weekend activities. In addition to this, I’ve been working with our charter brothers—primarily Skip Millor and Roger Kramer, RIT’s Office of Development/Alumni Relations and other university stakeholders to enhance alumni relations within the chapter and to help tell the incredible story of Alpha Phi Omega on RIT’s campus.

Q: Is there anything that you would like the RIT community to know about APOXZ?
A: We are a co-ed, national service fraternity and have a rich history on RIT’s campus. We bought the Victory Bell that is rung at RIT hockey games, brought Spirit the Tiger to RIT, planted the first trees and built the first structure (a bridge, no longer standing, behind Grace Watson Hall) on the “new” Henrietta campus back in the 1960s. Members of APOXZ started the tradition of using a tiger mascot (the first tiger mascot, before the days of Ritchie, was our charter brother Dave Page). Additionally, we are always looking for new leaders to serve the community with us and create a lasting impact on RIT, the Rochester community, the nation and the world through community service!

Q: What advice would you give to other students?
A: Get involved and stay involved. Challenge the status quo and give back!

Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: I’m hoping to use my marketing and communication education and apply it toward emergency management/homeland security, specifically, encouraging community resiliency, disaster preparedness and response and risk mitigation.

Matt Gregory compiles “Student Spotlights” for University News. Contact him at with suggestions.