During the week of Sept. 9-15 the National Pan-Hellenic Council held its annual NPHC week showcasing the individual fraternity and sorority’s personalities through a variety of informational and entertaining programs.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. is the coordinating body for the nine historically African-American fraternities and sororities. Even though the council contains nine Greek organizations, Mercer currently only has five on campus. There are three sororities: Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, and Zeta Phi Beta as well as two fraternities: Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi. President of NPHC, Shedrick Martin said, “NPHC week is a week designated to inform the campus and anyone else who wants to come about our organizations. Most people because we are small don’t see us a lot or may not even know who we are so this is our big week full of events where people can come and interact with us.” Each of the Greek organizations sponsored a variety of events throughout the week that highlighted the differences between NPHC and the other Greek councils including the way they recruit.
The week kicked off with a pool party and cookout at Plunkett Pool co-hosted by the Organization of Black Students. All students, faculty, and staff of Mercer were invited to come and mingle with the members of each fraternity and sorority in a relaxed and fun setting.
In the past few weeks many students might have noticed the different Greek councils recruiting for their own organizations, but there was no official NPHC recruitment week such as the Panhellenic recruitment or IFC Rush. One of the defining features of the NPHC week is its program called, “Why We Don’t Rush,” which addressed the differences between how NPHC organizations recruit versus other Greek councils. Sophomore Eric Ennuson said, “The event honestly helped me understand the difference between NPHC and IFC’s membership intake process”.
The other events in the week included a switch day where each of the fraternities and sororities would switch places with another and portray their personalities through a skit or stroll. Also there was a game show themed event called Sibling Rivalry, which asked members to answer questions about their brothers or sisters of their own fraternity or sorority. D’Amonta Johnson, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Inc., said, “My favorite program was the Sibling Rivalry game. This game showed how well the members knew those in their organization in a fun and competitive manner.”
Some of the largest attended programs was the cookout and yard show. The NPHC organizations are unique in the fact that each fraternity or sorority have their own strolling or stepping style. A stroll is defined as a traditional dance or “party walk.” The yard show allowed each organization to display their techniques and signature moves. Bria Dobbs, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha said, “I really enjoyed the yard show and the cookout the most because each organization was able to showcase their talents and it was also a fun way to meet and mingle with people.”
By having its own week, NPHC allowed students to come and go as they please without the pressures of a traditional recruitment style. Dobbs stated, “I feel that the week was a success. All of the organizations were able to work together and broadcast NPHC in a positive light.” Unlike other Greek councils NPHC requires that a student have at least 15 credit hours before joining a fraternity or sorority. So the week allows students to gain information from each organization so that they are able to make an educated decision. Freshman, Breyana Ferris, said, “The NPHC week felt more individualized and the opportunities to socialize with current members were plentiful.”
Students can look forward to many programs put on by NPHC and the individual fraternities and sororities through out the year. Melinda Robinson-Moffett, NPHC co-advisor said, “Members of NPHC are very productive either sponsoring or co-sponsoring weekly programs for the campus and community.” NPHC’s next upcoming event is the World Heart Day for Fun Run on Saturday Sept. 29th co-sponsored by Residence Life and AWARE. She added, “We are hoping to have a lot of fun and get support from faculty and staff at this event as well.”