Friday, June 26, 2009

"The Greek Experience"

A couple of years ago…well wayyy more than a couple of years ago, I had the greatest undergraduate privilege bestowed upon me as I like to see it. I became a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, Inc. It was definitely an uncanny experience and most college individuals do not get to take on that challenge at such a young age. Personally, I believe being a part of black letter Greek organization is an honor. Each organization represents a sub culture of a college community that represents a larger culture as a whole. What I enjoying seeing the most is Greek unity. For anyone who doesn’t know anything about “The Divine Nine” or didn’t go get that book and read it forty times because you were “interested”, I am going to try and shed some light on this great and powerful community! As people in Florida commonly say, “at the end of the day” it’s all about networking, scholarship, unity, personal growth, service, brotherhood and sisterhood. Those are some of the most common goals and strengths of these nine unique organizations.

A couple weeks ago, one of my fraternity brother’s magazines (Inspire Magazine) hosted an eventful weekend for the Tallahassee community. Apart that weekend included an open panel discussion concerning the state of black Greek letter organizations. The panel consisted of national representation from each of the NPHC (National Pan- Hellenic Council) organizations. The panel was amazing! It was like watching “real talk with real people” (yes I just made that up, but it sounded like a good show to watch for the facts...right?). The panel also included national presidents, which is very rare. These national presidents not only run their perspective organizations, but they are also full time parents, businessmen and women, international, and very involved in their community as a whole. So for them to take the time and chat about the issues and positive aspects that black Greek letter (BGL) organizations are experiencing is very noble. It made me once again see what I feel honored to be apart. The discussion ranged from the quality of the members of the organizations, belief systems, the evolution of hazing and the consequences and how each organization have overcame obstacles.

I was very disappointed in the attendance. The event was well attended, but I expected to see more individuals who are not affiliated with these organizations. Tallahassee has two large college institutions, both with BGL representation on their campuses. Every year many people put on their best poker faces and chase the members down trying to be a part of these organizations; Doing and saying whatever thinks will get them brownie points is what I call them. Everyone wants to know about these BGLs beyond what they read on the chapter website. So I was slightly bothered by the lack of interested people. When I found out that the panel was going on... I felt like an “IG” who just found out about the “interest meeting” and had to be there! On the other hand, I was disappointed in the lack of new members that attended. These are individuals who just became a part of these BGLs and as a new member you don’t know all the good, the bad, and the ugly first hand. You deal in what your older (sometime jaded) chapter members tell you. So this would have been a chance to see and experience for yourself the power of a BGL and discover a path to take to help the organization to continue to grow! But overall it was a great experience and I would do this blog an injustice if I don’t mention how stellar of young man my frat brother Charles Davis is as well! The event overall was a great success in my opinion and anyone who had the opportunity to attend truly treasured the moment.

The next weekend I took a road trip to Atlanta for the “Atlanta Black Greek Picnic”. The picnic is a vivid example of Greek unity amongst BGLs. Even though it was so hot that it felt like hell’s kitchen on the 4th of July, it was still great to see all the Greeks fellowshipping with each other. It is always interesting to see the individual chapters culture fused with the organization cultures. Lol...sometimes it can be a little confusing. Like the definition of a pretty boy and pretty girl in the south and be totally different from the north...extremely different. Or how laxed some chapters are compared to others. IDK…just most view. But I had a good time all and all… seeing old friends and meeting new ones.

1 comment:

  1. Good write.... I was actually able to attend the inspire mag. banquet. They raised a lot of good points and it was good to hear issues finally being addressed.. because for a while... no pun intended to any org. But there has been a huge elephant in the room for HBCU's and any school with BGL's.

    To answer your question why the forum didn't have a tremendous turn out... Well think about it.. and lets be real about what is real and not always said... Even though there was a wealth of knowledge that any person could have obtained by attending the event... The second a non-affiliated student attends an event like this. they are labeled and everything goes downhill from there... It's an unfortunate but true fact especially on HBCU campuses... if not all HBCU's then For certain FAMU...

    I too have an article on this subject. check it out