The NPHC Comes to JU

The Navigator

The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) is gearing up for its first semester on campus by introducing new members of three different Greek organizations.

In Fall 2011 the NPHC, a coordinating body for the nine historically African-American fraternities and sororities, will be active on JU’s campus.

“It is important that these organizations get recognition since they represent a minority,” said Davon Phillips, senior at JU.

Phillips is one of the students who are instrumental in getting the NPHC situated on JU’s campus.

Five historically African American fraternities and sororities, Kappa Alpha Psi, Alpha Phi Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Alpha Kappa Alpha, and Zeta Phi Beta, will be united through the overarching organization. The other four members of the Divine Nine do not have chapters at Jacksonville University.

“It’s a system that is built to support the culture and history of our organizations,” Philips said. “It is important to have a connection.”

Alyssia Cousins, member of Delta Sigma Theta, also helped to initiate the formation of the NPHC on JU’s campus. As a group that unifies minorities, Cousins thinks the new organization will help to showcase JU’s diversity.

“We are kind of under the radar right now,” Cousins said. “It’s exciting to see that our Greek life is growing from the ground up and is getting better.”

A JU alumni and current graduate student recalled her experience of African-American Greek life.

“Non existent,” said Danielle Gray. “There was one girl and another who was a commuter. It kind of made me regret going to JU. I thought there would be more black events.”

A probate is a traditional ‘coming-out show’ that members of the Divine Nine use to introduce new inductees of their individual organizations. Four members of Alpha Phi Alpha had a coming out show on Saturday, April 9.

Members of the NPHC from other schools came to the JU Alpha Phi Alpha in support of their Greek family. It was surreal for some. For others, it was a rebirth.

In the beginning of the festivities, a loyal crowd waited for 60 minutes outside the boundaries of the yellow tape surrounding the doors of the Howard Building. Finally, after the hired DJ showcased an hour’s worth of music, the boom of the bass gave way to a still hush.

A familiar childhood crone of an ice cream truck’s siren filled the air and a ‘Honey Dripper House’ van pulled up alongside the gathering. Four men in tan jumpsuits and a sheer black cloth covering their entire heads and faces hopped out of the back of the Honey Dripper House along with other members of Alpha Phi Alpha.

Mike Henzie was one of the new fraternity members who declared his “greekdom” on that evening by claiming his colors of black and gold.”

“We plan on doing lot of community service events,” Henzie said. “We really want to get ourselves out there and get our name out there to be more well known than it is now while doing a lot to benefit the campus.”

Henzie and his three brothers strolled and stepped for the first time as new members of Alpha Phi Alpha.

This was the first time that some members of the audience ever encountered the traditional performance.

“I like it its entertaining,” said Alexis C., sophomore. “I definitely prefer it to what the other fraternities and sororities do.”

Alexis said she was impressed when they did the fireman pushups and the wall sit squats because she knows how hard they are. She said she is definitely planning on going to the next probate that JU hosts.

“It will definitely increase the social aspect and increase activities for students,” Alexis said. “It will put JU on the map for social aspects-academics are not the problem, it’s the social department.”

Two more probates of NPHC sororities will occur at Jacksonville University before the semester ends and each will embody the flair of their respective organizations. New members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated were presented in front of the Howard Building Tuesday, April 13, at 8:08 p.m.

A Zeta Phi Bata probate will occur on Saturday, April 16 in the Gooding Auditorium from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.