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The Puerto Rican




Puerto Rican Day Parade

Omni Center Recognition

Phi Iota IotaAlpha Alpha Fraternity, Fraternity, Inc. Inc. Phi 49 East Street 9322 3rd41st Avenue Suite 412 449 Suite New York,New NewYork York11209 10165 Brooklyn, Summer 2009

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National Management Jason Nicolau Executive Director



Edwin Berroa Director of Operations

Saludos Distinguidos Hermanos,

Omar Lopez Director of Marketing

The first issues of the PHIOTA! began in the early 1990’s to inform the brotherhood and supporters of our initiatives. Today, we continue the tradition as we celebrate the first anniversary of the return of the PHIOTA! into publication with this summer issue. I would like to give special thanks to the brothers whom have contributed in the past year to the PHIOTA!. For without your contributions the magazine would not be possible. Soon we will be moving into the second phase of the PHIOTA!. We are seeking brothers with experience in journalism, communications, and graphic designing to help in the transition into the new phase. If you are interested in helping, please feel free to contact me at to obtain an application form. Semper un Fiota, Steven ‘Spaniard’ Garza Editor in Chief Phi Iota Alpha


Feature Article

-Puerto Rican Liberator

4 Feature Event

-Puerto Rican Day Parade

6 Northeastern Province -Phiota Homework Help -Alpha Gamma Familia Fun

8 Southern Province

-Phiota Classic: Pool Tourney -Phi Iota Alpha Recognize by Omni Center -2009 Texas Regional Formal

Jose Pizarroso Director of Human Resources

11 Southeastern Province

Francisco Lugo Director of Undergraduate Affairs

-Phiotas Participate Annual Fiesta Latina

Alberto Elvira Director of Information Technology

12 Creative Corner

Phiota! Magazine

13 Union Foundation

Steven L. Garza Editor in Chief

Please send all letters, comments, and articles to: Deadline to submit for next issue: October 11, 2009

-Angel Traviesa

COVER IMAGE: Submitted by Nick Brown taken during his visit to the beach. Do you want to have an image taken by you as the next cover? Submit your image to

The PHIOTA! is a quarterly professional magazine based on the ideals of the pillars of Fi Iota Alfa. It is the official publication of Phi iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the oldest existing latino fraternity, establish in December 26, 1931 at Troy, New York, with its roots beginning at 1898. All articles express the opinions of the authors, and not the fraternity, unless stated otherwise. Phi iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc., 9322 3rd Avenue, Suite 412, Brooklyn, New York 11209

Summer 2009

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Brigadner General Antonio Valero de Bernabe The Puerto Rican Liberator

By: Jorge Gerardo Muñiz Ortiz and Daniel Prieto

Brigadier General Antonio Valero de Bernabé was born in the city of Fajardo in the Eastern part of the island of Puerto Rico on October 26, 1790. He is also known as the Liberator from Puerto Rico because he joined Don Simón Bolívar in his struggles to gain independence of Latin American countries from Spanish rule.

When Valero’s dad died his family sent him to Spain to study military science and graduated in 1807 as a junior officer. He served in the Spanish Army and helped defeat Napoleon’s army at the Siege of Zaragoza in 1808, which granted him a promotion to the rank of colonel. Valero’s view towards the monarchy in Spain was so disdainful, due to the King’s policies towards the colonies in Latin America that he resigned from his commission with the army and fled to Mexico. In Mexico, Valero joined the Mexican Revolutionary Army and was named Chief of Staff and successfully helped in achieving Mexico’s independence from Spain. This led to the proclamation of Agustin de Iturbide, Valero’s leader during the resurrection, as the Emperor of Mexico. However, due to the fact that Valero despised the idea of monarchies, he 2


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fled Mexico after revolting against Iturbide. Valero was captured and sent to a prison in Cuba, where he escaped with the help of a group of men who believed in Don Simón Bolívar’s pursuit of Latin American independence and Pan Americanism. Brigadier General Antonio Valero de Bernabé learned of Don Simón Bolívar’s struggle for independence and unification of Latin America and decided to join him in his battles. Valero traveled to the small island of Saint Thomas in the Caribbean, where, it has been historically documented, many Puerto Ricans had established a base for their fight for the island’s independence from Spain (it has been documented that independence proponents Ramón Emeterio Betances and Eugenio María de Hostos would later be exiled to St. Thomas. They also believed in the unification of antillian nations into a confederacy). Valero travelled to Venezuela where he met General Francisco de Paula Santander (4th President of the Republic of the New Granada and 2nd Vice-President of the Republic of Colombia). After gaining Don Simón Bolívar’s confidence Valero would be appointed various positions including Military Chief of the Department of Panama, Governor of Puerto Cabello, Chief of Staff of Colombia, Minister of War and Maritime of Venezuela. Valero’s dream, which was not realized, was to liberate Puerto Rico from

Spain and become part of the United Provinces of New Granada as a separate state called Boriquén. Valero served as honor guard during Don Simón Bolívar’s funeral and in 1853 was honored by Venezuela with “The Bust of the Liberator of Venezuela”. Valero would also be awarded with “The Medal of the Liberators of Mexico”, “The Bust of the Liberator of Peru”, and the “Medal del Callao”. Valero died in the capital city Bogotá, Colombia on June 7, 1863 and was buried there. A quote from Don Simón Bolívar about Brigadier General Antonio Valero de Bernabé: “Al llegar a Lima a principios de 1825, se presenta al Libertador. Bolívar ese mismo día le escribe a Santander: ‘Hoy ha llegado el General Valero con su hermoso batallón. No he hecho más que verlo, pero me parece un excelente oficial, por

lo utilizaba con humor. Cuentan sus amigos que en el campo de batalla era ‘un león desencadenado’”. English Translation: “At the time of his arrival at the beginning of 1825, [Valero] presents himself to the Liberator. That same day, Bolívar writes Santander: ‘Today General Valero has arrived with his beautiful battalion. I’ve seen him, and appears to be an excellent official, based on what I’ve heard about him and by his features. I have given him command of the divison based in Callao under the orders of General Sálom’. Valero, always with the wishes of liberating Cuba and Puerto Rico presents his plan to Bolívar. Bolívar responds with the same reasons that Santander gave him, but tells him about his wishes for the libration of the Antillean islands. We know that Antonio Valereo was a handsome man, gentile with the opposite sex, strong of character and excellent ventriloquist. This talent, which during my time was considered supernatural, he used is with humor. His friends say that on the battlefield Valero was an ‘unchained lion’”.

lo que he oído de él y por su fisonomía. Le he dado el mando de la división que sitia al Callao a las órdenes del General Sálom’. Valero, siempre con el deseo de liberar a Cuba y Puerto Rico le presenta el plan a Bolívar. Este le responde las mismas razones que Santander le ofreció, pero le comenta que tiene el deseo de la liberación de las islas antillanas. Sabemos que Antonio Valero era un hombre apuesto, gentil con el sexo opuesto, fuerte de carácter y excelente ventrílocuo. Este don en que en una época era considerado como sobrenatural, 1. Retrieved from the World Wide Web on June 25, 2009: 83&Itemid=28

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Puerto Rican Day Parade By:Gary Santos-Mendoza

The Distinguished Brothers of Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity Inc. participated in the 52nd Annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade on Sunday, June 14th 2009. There were over 40 participating members of the organization from diverse higher learning institutions in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Texas. The fraternal organization has remain active and



Summer 2009

consistent with their participation since June 2005, however had not been officially recognized as a participant. Instead, Phi Iota Alpha began partnering up with numerous Greek organizations, including La Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha Inc., throughout the years to provide awareness of Latino Greek population in higher education institutions. Northeastern Province Governor, Jeffrey Avila, worked with LionzRealm for an online site design (providing an efficient brother registration page) as well as working with regional members of the organization. “Working with the provincial planning was a new experience for me and I am excited that I was able to be a part of the planning process for an event that has been part of my youth since I was 7. The excitement we (participating members) shared was truly memorable and I can not wait to do it again” said Brother Gary Santos, former President of the Alpha Gamma Chapter at St. John’s University. The Puerto Rican parade originated itself in the early 1950s through a Pan-Latino Affair, later shifting its focus on Puerto Rican culture. The first Puerto Rican Day Parade was held on Sunday, April 12, 1958, in New York City, replacing the former known Hispanic Day Parade. In “The National Puerto Rican Day Parade” became incorporated in 1995 and has expanded itself to over seven major events throughout the city during the celebratory weekend. There are dozens of other events that take place the traditional second weekend of June that are not sponsored by the National Puerto Rican Day Parade Corporation. There are currently over fifty smaller Puerto Rican parades, outside of New

York City, taking places throughout the United States. The U.S. Census (2005-2007 American Community Survey) reports that there are about 786,000 Puerto Ricans in the New York City, making them the largest Latino residential group. Many celebrities varying from local politicians to world renown entertainers were greeted with cries of admiration and pride of the Puerto Rican heritage throughout the event. Besides dozens of musicians and bands, the celebrity line-up included the following:

•Bernie Williams (Former New York Yankees Centerfielder) •Olga Tañon (Two-Time Grammy Award winning singer) •Jose Feliciano (singer, guitarist and The Northeastern Province of Phi Iota Alpha composer) would like to invite everyone to some of its hosting •Grupo Mania (popular Merengue band) events throughout the remainder of the summer. In addition, their participation in the 27th Annual According Fox News, salsa superstar National Dominican Day Parade, on Sunday Victor Manuelle was named the honorary title of August 9th 2009, will conclude their summer King of the Parade 2009, in which, he replied as events. They continue to invite everyone to the being “super-excited and proud” to been selected “What’s New” section of Phi Iota Alpha national (Thousands Enjoy Puerto Rican Parade). website for future opportunities to be involved. 1. Retrieved from the World Wide Web on July 7, 2009: id=16000US3651000&-ds_name=ACS_2007_3YR_G00_&-redoLog=false&-mt_name=ACS_2007_3YR_G2000_B03001 2. “Thousands Enjoy Puerto Rican Parade,” My FOX New York 14 Jun 2009. National Puerto Rican Day Parade. Web.7 Jul 2009. <>.

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Alpha Gamma co-host FamIliA Fun

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.... Troy, NY SUNY at Stony Brook................... Stony Brook, NY SUNY at New Paltz....................... New Paltz, NY SUNY at Binghamton................... Binghamton, NY Hofstra University......................... Hempstead, NY Union College............................... Schenectady, NY St. Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s University..................... Queens, NY Syracuse University....................... Syracuse, NY Columbia University..................... New York, NY Boston University.......................... Boston, MA Harvard University........................ Cambridge, MA New York University..................... New York, NY Rochester Institue of Technology.. Rochester, NY Long Island University.................. Brookville, NY U. of Masachusetts at Amherst...... Amherst,MA Villanova University...................... Villanova, PA

By: Gary Santos-Mendoza

The Alpha Gamma Chapter of Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc. in conjunction with the Alpha Theta Chapter of Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha Incorporada, hosted their annual FIA, SIA, and Friends BBQ. It was a hot 80 degree Saturday afternoon in Alley Pond Park with 50 brothers in attendance whom enjoyed some burgers, hotdogs,

Homework Help:

Phiotas only do Homework in Chelsea By:Peter Rojas Homework Help is a Chelsea Community Schools initiative designed to support the academic performance of middle school students who attend the Chelsea Public Schools . The brothers of Phi Iota Alpha actively recruit tutors from Boston University and other local universities. During the spring semester of 2006, the brothers of the Nu Chapter had serious talks with the City of Chelsea, MA to jump start a tutoring program for middle school students. That following September, the program started its inaugural semester. After three years, Homework Help now has two program options: Mates and Walk-In. The mates program pairs students with personal tutors for the time of the program and Walk-In is for students that want help on a needs-basis. In addition, the brothers and tutors help the students engage in various enrichment programs including improvisation and physical activities. Every semester ends with a Family Day, where families come together to the Boston University campus to celebrate the ending of the tutoring semester. 6


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Tutors give their students personalized certificates displaying the students accomplishments achieved during the semester and the students get to enjoy the state of the art FitRec gym at Boston University. The brothers also help cater this event with bringing food and beverage. The Nu Chapter brothers of Phi Iota Alpha look forward to the upcoming semester to make this the best year yet for Homework Help!


Uno, and Fun among the greek and non-Greek community. Las Hermanas de Sigma Iota Alpha that joined in on the fun ranged from as far as Connecticut and Jersey; Brothers came from as far as Michigan to join in on the fun. Phiotas in the summer come not only for the brother bonding, as well time to introduce potentials new friends that can one day become distiguish brothers of Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity. St. Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s University, home to Alpha Gamma chapter is reaching their 10th anniversary in April of 2010 and so far have managed to continue the traditions of always keeping the brotherhood close knit. Speaking from the point of view of a Chapter Brother, the undergrad as well as the Alumni has come together in is darkest and brightest times during its tenure as a chapter. The BBQ served as another one of those positive happenings inspired by the desire to promote unity and FamIliA.

The Kappa Chapter would like to invite all to our

15th Anniversary


Sept. 4th-Sept. 7th

at Syracuse University. Please contact any Kappa Chapter brother for details. Summer 2009

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Northeastern Province

Northeastern Province

Southern Province

Southern Province University of North Texas.....................Denton, TX Baylor University..................................Waco, TX University of Texas...............................Austin, TX University of Texas at San Antonio......San Antonio, TX Texas A&M...........................................College Station, TX Texas State............................................San Marcos, TX University of Arkansas..........................Fayetteville, AR

Phi Iota Alpha Recognize by the Omni Center Phiota Classic: Pool Tourney By: Oscar Morales

On April 18, 2009, The University of North Texas Phiotas held its “1st Annual Phiota Classic : 8 Ball Tourney”. All monies raised went to Phi Iota Alpha’s “Quest for A Million Pennies: St. Jude’s Children Hospital Fundraiser.” Participants totaled 19 and were composed of both Greek and Non Greek students. The tournament was based on BCA rules consisting of double elimination matches, where the winner of each match was determined by the first to reach 3 victories. The event lasted tentatively 7 ½ hours until a champion was determined.

You and Friends are Invited to For More Information Contact: The Alpha Eta Chapter of Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity Inc. at The University of Texas at San Antonio Email:

October 9, 2009 8


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Phi Iota Alpha at the University of Arkansas was recognized by the Omni Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology, a grassroots group based in Fayetteville, Arkansas focused on finding ways to build a culture of peace in an earth restored, as recipients of the 2009 Peace and Justice Heroes; a prestigious award presented to four Arkansans each year for exemplary work in peace and justice.

Two years ago Phi Iota Alpha formed at the University of Arkansas to give mutual support to Latino students studying there, and to encourage other students to pursue higher education. Phiotas has been working on the UA campus and the community since its establishment in the fall of 2007. One of the focuses has been equal access to higher education for Arkansas High School graduates. In their partnerships Phi Iota Alpha members have served as volunteers, organizers and/or co-sponsors of events that bring awareness about the issues affecting the Latino community and the community In general. To encourage Latino students to pursue higher education Phi Iota Alpha members have provided talks, based on personal experiences to establish common ground and serve as role models, to different groups of students from area’s schools. ”Since our establishment and along other organizations Phi Iota Alpha has voice the needs of the Latino community in Northwest Arkansas and has taken the issues affecting the community to the state capitol and to Washington DC.” Said Rafael Arciga Garcia current president. Past nominees and recipients of the award The purpose of the Peace Heroes Award have included activists, teachers, political leaders, is to highlight exemplary peace and social justice writers, community organizers, and many other work in Arkansas. dedicated workers. Summer 2009

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Southern Province

Historic 2009 Texas Regiona Formal By: Ernie Martinez

On Saturday April 25th, 2009 the Phi Iota Alpha Southern Providence gathered in Dallas for their Annual Texas Regional Formal. This year Formal was hosted by the University of North Texas (UNT) Colony of Phi Iota Alpha. This year Texas Regional Formal began on Friday, April 24th with an evening dinner and brother welcome in Denton, TX. Formal weekend continued on Saturday morning with a Phiota

not have been successful without support from the entire colony. When asked why the museum was chosen as the location for Formal he responded by explaining that the museum reminded the brothers of the importance of history, something the fraternity cherishes by studying the accomplishments of its five pillars. Formal’s dinner was kicked off by a poetry reading from Dallas poet Will Richey. The keynote speaker was Dr. Roberto Calderon who is an Associate History Professor at the University of North Texas. Dr. Calderon, an expert on MexicanAmerican history, focused his speech on the future of Hispanics and how they would soon become the majority in Texas. He urged the brothers to seek public office and study deeper into their Hispanic history. Texas Regional Formal weekend was brought to an end the following morning with a Sunday breakfast which was held at Mis Cazuelas, a Mexican restaurant located in East Dallas. In the end, 2009’s Texas Regional Formal was filled with memorable moments in Dallas Basketball Tournament held at the Texas Club, a and will definitely be one to remember by all who private gym in downtown Dallas. attended. Formal began later that Saturday evening and was held at the Sixth Floor Museum, a museum dedicated to the life of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, in downtown Dallas. There were over 105 attendees at this year’s Texas Regional Formal of which approximately 60 were undergraduate brothers. This was the largest gathering of Phiotas the region had witnessed in at least three years! Participating chapters and colonies included brothers from; University of Arkansas, Baylor (Tau), University of Texas at San Antonio (Alpha Eta), University of Texas, Texas A&M, University of North Texas, and Texas State. Ruben Garcia who was on the Formal planning committee, and nominated 2009 Brother of the Year for the UNT Colony, reported that a lot of time went into planning the event and it would 10


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Southeastern Province Florida State University........................Tallahassee, FL Armstrong Atlantic State University.....Savannah, GA Georgia Southern University.................Statesboro, GA

Phiotas Participate Annual Fiesta Latina By: Anthony Fabre Every year the city of Savannah, Georgia hosts the Annual Fiesta Latina in the city’s picturesque and historic Riverstreet. The Georgia Phiotas have made it a tradition to participate in the event and usually have a dunking booth which is a hit with festival goers. This year, the event took place on the 20th of June and became a small reunion with brothers from all three Southeast colonies (Armstrong Atlantic State University, Florida State University, and Georgia Southern University) present at the event. Brother Jose

Williams, an alumnus from Alpha Gamma chapter, was also there to show his support. This year’s Fiesta Latina featured a parade of flags representing many of the Latin American countries and performances that included but were not limited to Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, and Tango as well as traditional Mexican, Peruvian, and Colombian dances. The event turned out to be a true cultural experience where visitors could experience Hispanic/Latino culture through dancing, food and international merchandise.

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Ángel Traviesa por Steven Garza

Yo soy tu Gladiador Lejos de mi tierra patria, Peleo las batallas de cada día, Grandes o pequeñas Yo no me dejo por vencer; Porque eres mi inspiración, Mi amiga, mi compañera, Físicamente lejos, Pero cerca te encuentras, Yo nunca te olvidare Mi Ángel Traviesa.

More than 75 years ago a remarkable group of university men who shared the ideals of enlightenment and Latino brotherhood established a national organization called Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity. At that time, the fraternity worked to educate and advance their fellow Latinos and countrymen across the country. In recent years the organization felt the need to create a new organization to live the mission that the fraternity espoused and to benefit a much larger scope of the Latino population; Therefore the creation of The Union Foundation. The foundation is an initiative designed to impact the lives of Latino communities throughout the world in the areas of education, economic development, and social progress. The Union Foundation is a private, charitable non-profit organization. The Foundation was created in order to: *Provide scholarships and grants to Latino youths to enhance their educational and career opportunities. *Support community programs and other 501(c)(3) tax exempt organizations that support civic empowerment and educational improvement within the Latino community. *To increase awareness of Latino issues to the greater philanthropic community covering issues such as, but not limited to, educational achievement, civil rights, state of the workforce, and overall community health. *To engage in other activities related to supporting and educating the public concerning Latino issues. For more information or to donate, visit the following website:

“In Union our Community has a Future” 12


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Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

The Oldest Existing Latino Fraternity-Est. 1931





Summer 09 - Phiota Magazine  

La Familia of Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is a brotherhood composed of undergraduate, graduate, and professional men internationally, es...

Summer 09 - Phiota Magazine  

La Familia of Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is a brotherhood composed of undergraduate, graduate, and professional men internationally, es...