News offers unique, customizable apparel, items

For anyone involved in a student organization, club, or team on campus, the members of Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity, the professional business fraternity on campus, have just done you a great service. For the first time, students now have access to a Carnegie Mellon-based website,, which allows them to purchase customizable items for their various organizations.

Alisa Deychman, a sophomore chemistry and economics major and a member of Alpha Kappa Psi, said, “We offer similar services as already popular existing websites, but we expanded those. Now, not only can we offer you rush t’s and Buggy t’s, you can also get banners, pens, postcards, or any other accessories you would like to promote your organization.”

The website began taking shape in fall 2008, when Matt Glantz, a senior business major and member of Alpha Kappa Psi, was contacted by Andy Bernstein, the owner of a marketing company based in Philadelphia called Non-Traditional Media. Bernstein had already started similar websites at schools like Georgetown and the University of Pennsylvania, and he wanted some help creating a website for Carnegie Mellon.

Members of Alpha Kappa Psi are committed to helping each other in areas of professional development like résumé writing, improving interview skills, and hands-on business experience, so helping to start this website was in direct correlation with the mission of the fraternity.

Although there are similar websites available, the members of Alpha Kappa Psi improved and enhanced their site to ensure they were offering the best option to Carnegie Mellon students. Non-Traditional Media provides a template to every school that they work with for the website. Alpha Kappa Psi thought, however, that the template was not user-friendly and that it did not allow them to offer the same features as their competitors. They redesigned the template by changing some of the layouts, creating a logo, and adding the design tool.

Kim Chan, another member of Alpha Kappa Psi and a junior business major, explained the tool. “The design tool allows you to pick a T-shirt and then design it on the computer. We saw that it was a big selling point for [a similar website], so we used it for”

There are many benefits, besides the ease of using the website, for students choosing rather than its competitors like and has all of the same features as these websites, but offers better prices. It also offers a student-to-student relationship.

“If you have a question, you can easily find us on campus, whereas you would have to call [our competitor’s] 1-800-numbers and go through all this jazz that can be very annoying,” Chan said. The fraternity also has samples of possible products that you can see, pick up, and decide if they are right for your organization.

Norlex Belma, a junior ethics, history, and public policy major and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, said, “I think this website would be great for our organization because it’s reasonably priced and it would provide us with more than just matching T’s, but also matching hoodies and bags.”

Another thing that separates from its competitors is that if you get a quote from the website that doesn’t fit your organization’s budget, the company will see if they can find a lower price.

“Andy has a lot of contacts with manufacturers, so we can work to find a better price if the organization cannot afford the one that is given,” Glantz said.

Although this is the first business the fraternity has helped start and promote since its founding at Carnegie Mellon in 2004, they have high hopes for future business ventures.

“This is really big for us,” Deychman said, “and we’re excited for the future.”