It is not a widely known fact that the University”s Greek System is comprised of more than just the fraternities and sororities in the Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils. In addition to Panhel”s 16 sororities and IFC”s 30 fraternities, two other councils, the National Panhellenic Council, formerly known as the Black Greek Association, and the Multicultural Greek Council exist within the broader Greek community. NPC, which changed its name last semester in order to connect on a nationwide level with other sororities and fraternities of the same affiliation, was originally established with the intent of uniting the underrepresented population of black students at the University.

Perhaps the reason why so few are aware of the presence of a more ethnically diverse group of Greek members on campus is because NPC”s vision is far from the common mindset of so many others. While the four Greek councils work together within the Office of Greek Life, the NPC has a separate purpose upon which it was founded that being a commitment to the betterment of society through acts of philanthropy and community service.

Bryan Cook, current NPC advisor as well as full time doctoral student, said what he finds unique about the Black Greek community is that it is “a place for black students to gain this (Greek identity) and accomplish service goals for their community.” These fraternities and sororities were established as a way for black students to get their voices heard at a time when they were prohibited from joining other fraternities or sororities on campus. The four fraternities and sororities that are currently part of the NPC have come a long way since the first black fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, was founded on campus in 1909.

Although they are significantly smaller in number, making it difficult for these organizations to acquire the houses that are often associated with the larger Greek community, those members of the NPC have remained strong at heart, committed to making an impact.

Adrian Reynolds, LSA junior and current president of both the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and National Panhellenic Council said numbers, houses and social events were not principles upon which he decided to join the Black Greek community.

“I decided to join because there are a lot of social issues in the African American community that need to be addressed,” he said. “We”re about business and giving back.”

Ronda Tate, an LSA senior and member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, says that her involvement in the black Greek community is due to “the extremely strong historical impact the black Greek organizations have made and continue to make on the African American community.”

For Tate, being a part of a racially defined sect within the Greek community often produces mixed feelings about the organization as a whole.

“To a certain extent, there is some level of segregation,” she said. However, Tate said that the NPC is an inclusive organization.

“We do collaborate with other non-black organizations on programming, invite all students to participate in our events and engage in community service for those of different races,” she added.

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