National Pan-Hellenic Council Presidents Promote Unity

By Federico Ghelli

National Pan-Hellenic leaders speaking during the “Change the Face of the Yard” forum on Oct. 25 at the Annual Legislative Conference of the Black Caucus Foundation.  Photo credit: Federico Ghelli

National Pan-Hellenic leaders speaking during the “Change the Face of the Yard” forum on Oct. 25 at the Annual Legislative Conference of the Black Caucus Foundation.
Photo credit: Federico Ghelli

WASHINGTON-The National Pan-Hellenic Council presidents shared ideas on how to change the lifestyles of fraternal communities on and off college campuses.

According to its mission statement, the council promotes interaction between Pan-Hellenic organizations to facilitate programming of events and functions. It is currently composed of nine international Black Greek letter sororities and fraternities, also known as the Divine Nine.

During the “Changing the Face of the Yard” forum, held at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 44th Annual Legislative Conference, organization leaders addressed several issues about Greek unity, including the growth of African American communities, concerns with hazing, along with other issues on the behaviors of members in Greek organizations.

“We need to take action together in order to better society,” stated Jonathan Mason, International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., referencing the necessity of why Greek organizations need to work as one unit.

Divine Nine leaders agreed on sponsoring Greek unity as a way to help the community, create more future leaders of tomorrow, and erase negative stereotypes.

William Bates, Jr., Grand Polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, stated that the media does not help to portray how fraternities and sororities contribute to society. He explained the media only reports about Greek organizations  when something bad happens, specifically with hazing.

“We all are one lawsuit away from going out of business,” stated Bates.

The council collectively expressed that it wants to eliminate its concern with hazing.

Many council leaders agreed that Divine Nine organizations have gradually lost their main focus, switching from community service to membership recruitment.

Paulette Walker, president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, stated the Divine Nine needs to work together to eliminate the problem.

“The importance is what you do with your color, not which color you wear.”

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