Greek Life

Why Do We Exist?

In 2006, the first of the nine National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) organizations will celebrate 100 years of existence. Contrary to the current perception of Greek letter organizations, predominately African American fraternities and sororities were founded to foster personal development. Success in academia was a must! While six were founded at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, three were founded at predominately majority institutions. Just imagine attending an institution where you’re not always welcomed, and you rarely see someone that looks like you for days or weeks.Fraternities and sororities have meaning…Our organizations create relationships between men and women of similar interests and provide added spiritual and intellectual sustenance. Many members enjoy networking, fellowshipping, or just the sense of belonging to an organization that cares and is compassionate about the communities in which they serve.

Our organizations work to develop a sense of purpose, a sense of responsibility, and a sense of judgment within the context of personal conscience. They assist youth in choosing careers, ensuring continuing happiness and productivity to themselves and families while contributing to social advancement.

Our organizations foster and supplement the principles that determine meaningful family experience; principles of morality, ethics; commitment to worthwhile community service; and respect for self and others.Our organizations provide on-the-job training for undergraduate students in the art of leadership, distinguished by recognition of responsibility, a sense of purpose, intellectual competence, courage, character, and moral decency. NPHC organizations create a reflective and perspective review of past achievements, preserving the lasting good that was accomplished over the years that we have been in existence, preparing to meet the demands of another day, and staying relevant to the membership and society.

Our organizations integrate the objectives of the colleges/universities where we exist. ALL Greek letter organizations exist in part to serve the purposes of higher education. Active chapter programming in our fraternities and sororities must emphasize the objectives of institutions of learning, which is primarily excellence in scholarship. We plan and implement programs of leadership development, financial aid awareness, student guidance, community service, group think, and networking, just to name a few. One thing is certain—NPHC organizations can do little to ensure good members, but good members can do much to ensure good and meaningful NPHC organizations. With the never-ending debate concerning pledging and hazing, which is against the law in many states, we always question why students should join our organizations? The answer to that question is within you; we just provide an outlet to better your college experience. So whether you decide to be a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., or Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., please keep in mind that these timeless organizations have withstood the test of time because they all have a common purpose: to continue to uplift the interests of the communities in which we serve—college, university, and local.


This article was written by André G. Early

André G. Early is the director of undergraduate and university affairs for Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

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