Chancellor Sheri Everts announced the plan to create a new tradition honoring the organizations that make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council in her newsletter on Oct. 5, 2017.
“The plots and garden project, I believe, not only benefits NPHC organizations, it will also benefit the campus as a whole,” Appalachian’s NPHC President and member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Malik Hargrave said. “It shows that the university supports its NPHC and its underrepresented communities.”
Appalachian’s chief diversity officer, Willie Fleming, wrote to the members of the Appalachian community about the plots and garden, in which he described himself as “a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha,” proving the lasting impact an NPHC organization can have on its members.
The NPHC officially came to Appalachian State’s campus on March 23, 1992, and has grown to include seven of The Divine Nine organizations, which is made up by the nine historically Black Greek letter organizations, over the past 25 years, as well as Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority, Inc.
“I think we are unique to other schools in the state because we work with such small numbers,” Hargrave said. “I feel we work well with low numbers, and I feel like we have the best collaboration efforts with the Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Council.”
The Appalachian NPHC has about 60 members, but they are working to create the Multicultural Greek Council to add more organizations of various cultures to be as inclusive as possible, according to Hargrave.
“I feel like coming into NPHC, I was confident and had connections, but the process of joining my organization has made me such a more well spoken, compassionate and caring leader,” Dejon Milbourne a sophomore quadruple major in: finance and banking; risk management and insurance; accounting and economics of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc said. “It has also made me a lot more disciplined in my personal life because we have values that we have to uphold.”
Many members of the NPHC organizations value the impact that being a part of their organization has made on their college career.
Despite there being seven separate organizations, the Appalachian State NPHC’s objective is, “the unanimity of thought and action as far as possible in the conduct of the African American Greek letter collegiate fraternities and sororities, and to consider problems of mutual interest to its member organizations,” according to the NPHC’s website.
Darius Floyd, a junior computer science major and member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., said, “There are a ton of great people in NPHC, from my brothers to people of other fraternities and sororities, that I would not have known or come in contact with if it weren’t for NPHC.”
With only around 60 members, the NPHC has made a mark on Appalachian’s campus by continually contributing to service-oriented projects and connecting the students to administration. The NPHC will be hosting their annual carnival on Sunday, April 8 to engage with the Appalachian community.
Story by Rachel Greenland, News Reporter