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National Pan-Hellenic Council features chapters at Meet the Greeks event

AKA+members+Olivia+Plant%2C+Kyra+Lucas%2C+Joann+Nguyen+and+Jasmine+Williams+posing+at+their+table+for+the+Nation+Pan-Hellenic+Council+Meet+the+Greeks+event+in+the+Student+Innovation+Center+on+Sept.+14%2C+2023.
Joseph Dicklin
AKA members Olivia Plant, Kyra Lucas, Joann Nguyen and Jasmine Williams posing at their table for the Nation Pan-Hellenic Council Meet the Greeks event in the Student Innovation Center on Sept. 14, 2023.

At the annual Meet the Greeks event on Thursday, members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) at Iowa State showcased chapters governed by the council and provided resources for students interested in joining.

Iowa State University is home to eight of the nine organizations, often called the “Divine Nine,” within NPHC: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

NPHC is made up of historically African-American international greek-lettered fraternities and sororities, with a mission to unite fraternities and sororities through community service and philanthropy.

Kennedy Howard, a freshman studying sociology, said she is looking for a community built around helping others, something of which she is passionate about.

“I like helping other people, being there for other people,” Howard said. “That’s another reason why I chose my major. Also, I want to be around people with the same mindset and [who] have the same goals.”

While Howard said she had her eye on one sorority in particular, she was still interested in learning more about what each sorority had to offer.

“I’ve always been on my schooling [and] helping others. I never felt like helping someone was a hassle,” Howard said. “I just want to be a better woman in general and learn how to be a better woman.”

At Meet the Greeks, representatives from NPHC chapters presented on their organization’s values, service, mission and purpose.

Sam Reid, a member of the Zeta Kappa Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., said he was initiated into the organization in 2002. Alpha Phi Alpha was the first Black Greek inter-collegiate fraternity, founded in 1906.

“Alpha Phi Alpha has a mission to develop leaders, promote brotherhood in academic excellence and provide service and advocacy to our communities,” Reid said.

Reid said the chapter operates the ZKL Education Foundation in Des Moines, which awards scholarships to students of color from the Moines area.

“There’s strength in numbers,” Reid said. “Part of that mission as we develop ourselves as leaders is you also develop as a better leader when you’re with other leaders and then also the brotherhood piece of it.”

According to the NPHC website, each organization was established on the tenets of brotherhood/sisterhood, high scholarship, leadership and service to others.

“Our organization, our principles are service, scholarship and sisterhood, but we’d like to put a primary focus on service,” said Sharmaine Porter, a previous advisor of Theta Psi Sigma Gamma Rho. “So, giving back to the community any way that we can is where we like to focus on.”

Founded by educators, Porter said Sigma Gamma Rho focuses on philanthropy surrounding education, with projects like an annual school supply drive for underprivileged students.

“We like to go outside of the norm and break barriers, kind of to bring new fresh ideas, a fresh new atmosphere, just trying to put our best foot forward,” Porter said.

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