Meet three historically black greek organizations on campus

News, Student Life

There are nine historically African American Greek organizations today. Three of them are present on campus and gave insight into their beliefs and operations. Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, and Alpha Phi Alpha are the three that can be found on Capital’s campus.

Alpha Kappa Alpha

Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) is the first sorority established by African American women. It was founded at Howard University in 1908, with a mission to be of service to all mankind.

Notable alumnae include Phylicia Rashād, who played Mrs. Huxtable on The Cosby Show; acclaimed novelist Toni Morrison; Senator Kamala Harris; and Wanda Sykes, a comedian.

In Ohio, AKA can be found on campuses including Denison, Ohio Dominican, Ohio Wesleyan, Otterbein, and of course, Capital. The citywide chapter has 15 members total.

“There are currently five members at Capital,” Brianna Charles, senior and member of AKA, said.

Alpha Kappa Alpha members Brianna Charles (left), senior. Deja Malone (right), junior. Photo by Robert Cumberlander.

There are quite a few women at the university that proudly represent the sorority. 

“If I could break it down into three tenents, I would say sisterhood, scholarship, and service,” Charles said. “Not necessarily in that order.”

Joining the sisterhood comes with the expectation of a lifelong commitment to the sorority. There are members ranging from 18 years old to women nearing 100 years old.

Through service and events, the bonds between sisters is strengthened and a foundation of knowledge is fostered.

Alpha Kappa Alpha regional undergraduate roundup. Photo courtesy of Brianna Charles.

“Our official mission is to promote unity and friendship among college women, to study and help alleviate problems concerning girls and women,” Deja Malone, junior and member of the sorority, said.

So far this year, AKA has participated in a financial literacy event with other National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) organizations, such as Delta Sigma Theta and Alpha Phi Alpha.

This event, which took place at Ohio Dominican University, covered topics such as money management and budgeting while in college.

Delta Sigma Theta

Delta Sigma Theta was founded in 1913 at Howard University.

Notable alumnae include Actress Kym Whitley and Actress Aunjanue Ellis.

It’s a sorority consisting of predominantly black college women that are dedicated to bettering themselves and providing public service, primarily toward the black community. 

This is a goal that a lot of other NPHC organizations center around.

“We all differ in a sense of what our focuses are,” Dominique McIntyre, senior and member of Delta Sigma Theta, said. “But all of us are committed to developing the black community because it was a time when black people couldn’t do everything.”

This is Dominique McIntyre, senior, and a member of Delta Sigma Theta. Taken by Robert Cumberlander.

There are currently 940 chapters across the world, but there’s only a small slice of membership that is present on campus.

“So currently, in my chapter, there are four girls, and my chapter works on seven different campuses,” McIntyre said. “I’m actually the only one from Capital right now.”

Due to confidentiality reasons, McIntyre could not disclose any information in regards to their recruitment numbers.

It’s important to note that Delta Sigma Theta does not follow a traditional recruitment process. They instead do “intake.”

If a Capital student wants to join the sorority, the best person to go to would be McIntyre.

Alpha Phi Alpha

Alpha Phi Alpha is the first fraternity formed by African American men. 

It was established in 1906 at Cornell University.

Notable alumni include Martin Luther King Jr., first black Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Thurgood Marshall, Track and Field Athlete Jesse Owens, and Actor Omari Hardwick.

The fraternity looks for aspiring recruits that have a strong sense of academic excellence. They look beyond a good GPA, they want to know what other efforts you’ve put into your academic career.

“It’s a gift that we’re even able to be in higher education,” Malik Murray, senior and member of Alpha Phi Alpha, said. “We’re here to graduate. So we look at that.”

Through a strong sense of brotherhood, the fraternity hopes to uplift members and the community.

Alpha Phi Alpha members Malik Murray (right), senior. Nick Whitiker (left), junior. Taken by Robert Cumberlander.

“I’m a firm believer that steel sharpens steel, so man sharpens man,” Nick Whitiker, junior and member of Alpha Phi Alpha, said.

Their intake process typically includes an informational seminar where aspiring members will receive study guides that will aid in preparing for their tests.

You must score at least 90 percent on each test in order to be considered.

In closing, Murray wanted to make a comment not just about Alpha Phi Alpha, but other black fraternities and sororities as well.

“While we are historically organizations for black people, first and foremost, you do not have to be black to join,” he said. “Our membership is literally global. The only criteria is ‘Do you identify with what we stand for?’”

Robert Cumberlander

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