The Pen, March 1997 page 5
Thinking of pledging?
Guide to the Greeks
by L. Michelle Fox
For Wanda Henderson, last semester was a very emotional
one. She and 15 others made their debut as the newest members
of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority at Saint Augustine’s College.
“I have prayed for this day in and day out,” says Henderson, a
senior from Greensboro. “I thought I wouldn’t make it, but I did.”
While Henderson’s concern hinged on whether she would
secure enough votes to join the “elite,” others thought they would
not get to wear the Greek letters that now give them so much
Dride. The rules include a tougher grade point average require
ment and an elaborate screening process that gives the sorority or
fraternity a better idea of who wants to be “Greek.”
Some students, particularly women, watched admiringly or
enviously, as Henderson’s line crossed over from ordinary to sophis
ticated. Other spectators, from different sororities and fraternities
and some "wannabes," were mesmerized by the songs, high-pitched
voices and breath-taking dance steps.
Then through the crowd, almost like whispers, you could hear
young women talking about becoming Zetas, Deltas, and AKAs
and men wanting to pledge Sigma, Kappas or Qs. No matter what
organization they wanted to join, the colors they preferred, many
want their turn to pledge. They want to be part of a group that
dispels the myth that sorors “are just a pretty, cute bunch” or frats
simply “guzzle alcohol.” They want to be a part of one of the eight
historically black organizations that make a difference.
Here are reasons why students change from “Geek” to “Greek.”
The elite eight,. .er, nine
Alpha Kappa Alpha
If you are looking for a sorority that is commu
nity minded, serious about education, then you are
interested in pledging Alpha Kappa Alpha.
President Angelique Smith and Vice President
Tonya Hill take pride in their sorority. The AKAs
work hard at maintaining good grade point
averages, such as a 3.0 or better.
Community-minded individuals, they volunteer
weekly at a home for the elderly helping and
caring for the needs of seniors.
Also, they volunteer at the local daycare center
on New Bern Ave., where they help teach the kids
various games, etc. They often have candy give
aways, bake sales, and health expos. At the
beginning of the semester the AKAs had a "Mr.
All That" pageant for the males on campus. An
interesting pageant, not only did the men get to
show off their looks, but they got the opportunity
to be asked questions like “What is affirmative
action?” by Cherylle Parker
Delta Sigma Theta
Delta Sigma Theta sorority was founded on
January 13, 1913, when 22 young women attend
ing Howard University, in Washington, D.C.
decided to make a difference both in their commu
nity and for black women. Today it is the largest
black woman’s organization in the world, with
over 125,000 members in 730 chapters in the
United States, Africa and the Caribbean.
On January 20, 1948, the first chapter was
founded on Saint Augustine’s College campus.
Habitat for Humanity is one of the community
service programs in which the Deltas are involved.
Their job with the program is to help build homes
for lower income families.
Occasionally, they donate books to the Prezell
R. Robinson Library on campus, and they are part
of a local day care’s mentoring program.
In September they successfully completed one
of their goals, which was the AIDS walk at N.C.
Jealousy between other sororities is a big issue
at some schools. “All Greek organizations need to
come together regardless of what sorority or
fraternity they're in," says Michelle Stewart,
president, by Adriane Scott
Zeta Phi Beta
Zeta Phi Beta, a sorority formed in January
1920, was founded at Howard University. The
third oldest of sororities, Zeta Phi Beta and Phi
Beta Sigma fraternity consider themselves to be
the “true brother and sister” organizations. The
sorority’s colors are royal blue and white and their
mascot is a dove.
St Aug's Phi Beta chapter, along with other
Zeta Phi Beta chapters that make up the associa
tion in North Carolina, work closely together in
community services; such as. Walking for AIDS at
Raleigh, volunteering services to parents and
children of the Turning Points of Mothers and
Babies of Southeast Raleigh, providing activities at
New Bern Avenue daycare center and collecting
funds for AIDS victims.
The Phi Beta chapter, with Chamus Burnside as
its president, has individual projects that include
community services and campus activities. .
The organization stresses education and attain
ment of high GPAs. Michelle Garvey, a 1996
graduate of St.Aug, was valedictorian.
Members of Zeta Phi Beta base their pride on
“sisterly love, scholarship, service and finer woman
hood for the attainment of their desired goal s.”^3’ Lisa
Sigma Gamma Rho
Sigma Gamma Rho is currently left with just one
member on campus, a situation that sometimes
happens in the roller coaster life of sororities and
For young women who are interested in helping
rebuild a sorority from the ground up, this may be a
golden opportunity. Obviously, social life will be at
a minimum, but the opportunity for community
service will be great. Edith Ward, in the business
division, can be contacted for further information at
exL 4043. by Maurice Clarke
Kappa Alpha Psi
Brothers, tonight look outside your windows
towards the heavens, and “Behold the Only Thing
Greater than Yourself is Kappa Alpha Psi.”
The men of Kappa Alpha Psi are known for their
image as the Pretty Boys. The organization was
founded on the campus of Indiana University on
January 5, 1911. The original colors are crimson and
cream although you often see red and white. Each
organization has a particular call or hand gesture,
the Kappa's call is "Yo Yo." You can spot a Kappa
walkihg around campus with a cane taped red and
white colors, by Quinhon Goodlowe
Phi Beta Sigma
Phi Beta Sigma fraternity was established at
Howard University in Washington, D.C., on January
9, 1914. The founders wanted to organize a Greek-
letter fraternity demonstrating brotherhood, service
Phi Beta Sigma strives to be an organization that
is a vital part of the general community. Rather than
learning skills to be utilized for themselves, the
Sigmas believe they should return their skills to the
community in direct relationship to their motto,
“Culture For Service and Service For Humanity.”
To enhance this conviction, Phi Beta Sigma
nationally has established a Federal Credit Union to
build educational and financial equity in the African
Phi Beta Sigma consists of over 100,000 men in
more than 700 chapters across the United States,
Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean, by Gregory Bell
Omega Psi Phi
Greeks do more than walk around campus
giving off hand signs and shouting at step shows.
They give a sense of responsibility and loyalty to the
campus and community.
Reo Horton, junior engineering major from
Nassau, Bah., says a lot of people have misconcep
tions about fraternities and sororities.
He explains that members are more than just
step shows and parties. A member of Omega Psi
Phi, Horton says they do a lot of things; such as
helping the elderly in the Oakwood Avenue commu
nity and having a clothes drive for the homeless.
When asked about the other Greeks, he says that
all of them work together well and there are no
problems between them. The 85-year-old fraternity
has three members on campus.
A "Q-Dog" for one year, Horton says you are
expected to set examples for the college. He chose
this fraternity because he had friends who were part
of the fraternity and he wanted to make a difference
in the community. By Corey Freeman
Alpha Phi Alpha
It’s an organization that’s almost a hundred years
old. Founded by seven young men on the predomi
nately white Ivy League campus of Cornell Univer
sity in 1906, as a cultural and social club. Now it is
a fraternity with over 100,000 members.
The organization encourages young men in local
middle, and high schools to achieve academic
excellence by offering scholarships.
In 1974, Gilbert Knowles, dean of students,
pledged Alpha Phi Alpha. "I was an honor student
and I wanted to be a part of a fraternity that sought
to exploit my academic accomplishments."
He calls the Alphas on campus his sons. “ I’m
so excited about these young men and the future
because we will become more involved in the
com m unity and the w oiking cm m unity." by
Beta Phi Pi
The newest addition to the St. Aug Greek family
is Beta Phi Pi fraternity.
Founded April 6, 1986, on the campus of
Western Illinois University, fraternity members of
Beta Phi Pi adherestrictly to non-hazing guidelines,
stress public service, and pride themselves on being
Although Beta Phi Pi is a relatively new organi
zation its membership is rapidly growing.
Transferring from the University of Illinois this
year. Beta Phi Pi Arthur C. Hickman says, “I
searched for the organization that was right for me
and that I could bring my talents to. Beta Phi Pi is a
strong, growing fraternity, and I felt I could share
my talents with them. At the University of Illinois,
we were known to be strong steppers. We have the
‘pretty boys,’ the ‘dogs,’ the ‘intellects,’ and the
‘party people’.” by Sharon Salley