Posted on: February 19, 2021 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

By T’naya Anderson, JRN 111 Student

So you want to be a member of Delta Sigma Theta? Or is it Phi Beta Sigma? Kappa Alpha Psi? Or maybe you’re an Alpha Kappa Alpha woman, like our new vice president, Kamala Harris.

No matter what Black Greek Letter organization you want to call home, one thing’s for sure, you’ll need a history lesson.

On Wednesday, Greek Organization members Misty Williams and Philip Davis sat down with Moraine Valley students via WebEx and PowerPoint to provide background about their respective organizations and the other Divine Nine organizations. Williams is Moraine’s director of the Upward Bound project, and Davis is educational case manager for TRIO/Student Support Services.

The Divine Nine is made up of nine historically Black fraternities and sororities, formally known as the National Pan-Hellenic Council. All of the Divine Nine organizations began between 1906, with the creation of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and 1963, with the creation of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity. Williams explained that these dates have direct correlation to the oppression of Black people in America.

(CNN) Vice President Kamala Harris is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, one of the “Divine Nine” sororities and fraternities.

The organizations’ history include some notable members: Maya Angelou, Thurgood Marshall, Toni Morrison, and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as U.S. ambassadors, business leaders, and members of Congress.

The meeting started with an explanation of the purpose of the fraternities and sororities. Simply put, it’s all about service to the community and camaraderie among brothers and sisters in arms.

For Williams, who has been a Delta since 1995, those relationships were exactly what she needed: “ I don’t have sisters, so one thing that has truly impacted my life is having a sisterhood.”

National fraternities and sororities each have individual chapters for their organizations at different colleges and universities, both for graduate and undergraduate students, according to the presenters.

The question is, why join? With more than 200,000 active members worldwide, these fraternities represent leadership skills, networking, support and mentorship, and of course community service, Williams and Davis said.

Davis, or “Showgun Blue” as he’s known amongst his brothers, saw firsthand just how involved the Sigmas were on his Rust College campus.

“I had very little knowledge of sororities and fraternities,” he said. “I just started watching. They hosted a lot of the events [on campus].”

Unfortunately, life happened and Davis had to defer his membership to a later time.

“I still had Sigma in my heart,” he said. This fall, he became a graduate member of Phi Beta Sigma.

A member of the audience showed concern about joining post college, but Davis reassured her that he was still accepted with open arms.

To be eligible for BGLO membership, one must attend an accredited four-year institution for an undergraduate chapter and attain an adequate grade point average of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale. An act of community service is also required.

Graduate students must possess a four-year degree from an accredited institution. Oh yes, higher learning is a must, so much so that at most institutions, freshmen are not allowed to pledge and must wait until their sophomore year.

“They want you to understand that your education is a priority,” said Williams. Another thing that want you to understand is that it’s a process and it’s not a cheap one. Dues, as they are called, help to support the organization in endeavors. Back in 1995, Williams dues were about $700! The economy has certainly grown since so, save your coins especially if you are a graduate student. Davis and Williams also provide the audience with some much needed Do’s and Don’t: Do research on the organization you’re interested in and learn it’s history; Don’t be interested based on superficial reasons. Do inquire about volunteer opportunities with the organization’s chapter; Don’t Publicize you’re interested. Remember discretion is key. Do support the organization and events; Don’t imitate organization calls or signs or wear the Greek letters. This is a sign of disrespect. Finally, Do make yourself known to the organization; Don’t chase the organization. There’s a thin line between stalking and getting to know the members.Slot of information was offered through this meeting and can help you make your decision. If you missed the WebEx, no worries, the recorded live stream will be uploaded to Moraine Valley Panopto page. Another thing that want you to understand is that it’s a process and it’s not a cheap one. Dues, as they are called, help to support the organization in endeavors. Back in 1995, Williams dues were about $700! The economy has certainly grown since so, save your coins especially if you are a graduate student. Davis and Williams also provide the audience with some much needed Do’s and Don’t: Do research on the organization you’re interested in and learn it’s history; Don’t be interested based on superficial reasons. Do inquire about volunteer opportunities with the organization’s chapter; Don’t Publicize you’re interested. Remember discretion is key. Do support the organization and events; Don’t imitate organization calls or signs or wear the Greek letters. This is a sign of disrespect. Finally, Do make yourself known to the organization; Don’t chase the organization. There’s a thin line between stalking and getting to know the members.Slot of information was offered through this meeting and can help you make your decision. If you missed the WebEx, no worries, the recorded live stream will be uploaded to Moraine Valley Panopto pag