At the Southeastern Interfraternity Conference (SEIFC) held in Atlanta, Georgia, APSU’s very own Aristeo Ruiz was awarded the Gregory R. Singleton Fraternity Man of the Year.

“No one is more deserving of this award than Ari,” junior criminal justice major and Interfraternity Council President Tyler Tubbs said. “There are thousands of men eligible across the southeast, and to have one of our guys bring the award home is a testament to the leaders [APSU] is developing.”

The award was established to recognize an undergraduate fraternity man in the southeast that excels in living with integrity by the values of his fraternity, all the while being a positive role model to his peers and community.

“It’s not just me who is receiving this award,” senior public relations major Aristeo “Ari” Ruiz said. “My fraternity molded me. This is a win for all of us.”

Ruiz focused his attention to the rising scrutiny that fraternities and sororities get. Working with both the IFC council and APSU, Ruiz pursued opportunities to bring more awareness to the fraternal movement and develop leaders all around the nation through conferences and programs.

“We fail to own [rising scrutiny] and work to change it,” Ruiz said. “I decided to invest my time in doing something different.”

Ruiz is constantly working to pave a productive way for the future generation of fraternal leaders, scholars and gentlemen alike. With this new platform and credibility awarded to him, Ruiz hopes to keep the conversation going and reignite the purpose and importance of Greek life, not only on campus.

“Seeing Ari evolve and grow as a student leader has been amazing,” Coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs at APSU, Stephen Dominy said. “He embodies and perfectly models the way that a fraternity man should act.”

Ruiz is the second student from APSU to ever win this esteemed award. The only other win was nearly a decade ago. The award is named after APSU Dean of Students, Gregory R. Singleton who himself served 18 years on the executive board of the SEIFC.

“This award is a wonderful opportunity for Ari to get recognition for the great work he never fails to do,” Singleton said. “I know the award is named after me, but this is all about Ari’s outstanding contributions to the campus and community.”

Joining a fraternity may be daunting, especially with the stigma surrounding such a collegiate experience. However, Ruiz stressed the importance of individuals at any stage of their educational career to take part in Greek life, and in turn get more involved with the community. Kappa Alpha Order is a growing brotherhood with over 127 active chapters and 6,300 undergraduate members.

“We do a program with St. Jude children’s hospital, and we raise roughly about $20,000,” Tubbs said. “Fraternities are more than parties. It’s a humbling and maturing experience. Just look at the work Ari has done to warrant such an award.”