While most students at EKU may know about big sorority and fraternity events such as AOII Lip Sync, many do not have a clear understanding of the different chapters and councils on campus.
The two most well-known councils on campus, North-American International Fraternal Council (IFC) and National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), are two umbrella organizations for fraternities and sororities dating back to the nineteenth century. The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) is the third of campus Greek councils, and is composed of nine historically black fraternities and sororities—all of which are represented at EKU. The council’s goal is to strive to uplift the EKU community by providing the tools for achievement, scholarship, service and brotherhood/sisterhood to black students on EKU’s campus.
Aside from having nine historically black chapter, NPHC also differs from its counterparts in each organization’s name. All NPHC chapters, and the council itself, are incorporated, meaning it is a legal corporation—a feat that meant much to the community in a time of racial segregation and disenfranchisement.
NPHC was established in 1930 at Howard University as national coordinating body for the nine historically African American fraternities and sororities which had evolved on American college and university campuses by that time.
In order to overcome many African-American issues in the United States, NPHC was founded to develop a unity and bring African-American students together on college campuses. The council was created with a mission to bring “unanimity of thoughts and action as far as possible in the conduct of Greek-letter collegiate fraternities and sororities, and to consider problems of mutual interest to its affiliate organizations.”
The council at Eastern Kentucky University was created in 1993 featuring all of the “Divine Nine”: The Rho Eta chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, Zeta Nu chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Eta Alpha chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, Delta Sigma chapter of Omega Psi Phi (no longer active), Eta Rho chapter of Delta Sigma Theta (no longer active), Iota Delta chapter of Phi Beta Sigma, Mu Lambda chapter of Zeta Phi Beta, Rho Psi chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho (no longer active) and Eta Delta chapter of Iota Phi Theta (no longer active).
“We’re small and very personable,” said Nakia Marrow, Mu Lambda chapter president. “We’re able to make close-knit relationships with students and form mentor relationships.”
Each organization has a rich history that includes stepping, strolling, hand signs and calls, which are done as a sign of respect.
“What makes my chapter different is our trend of leadership since 1977, along with our scholastic achievements,” said Quran Craig, Iota Delta chapter president.
Two chapters of National Pan-Hellenic Council, Zeta Phi Beta and Alpha Kappa Alpha, had grade point averages above the all women’s, men’s, fraternity and sorority averages.
The intake process for the National Pan-Hellenic Council is informal and can occur at any point throughout the semester. Students interested in joining any NPHC organization should contact the Greek Life office or the specific chapter they are interested in. The chapters usually accept individuals who show exceptional leadership ability and are committed to education and service.
To be considered, candidates must have completed at least 12-24 college credit hours at EKU, must have a 2.5 or higher cumulative grade point average, must attend an interest informational meeting and must complete an application for membership along with any additional information the chapter requires. Membership requirements vary from one organization to another.
NPHC chapters will be hosting several public events this semester. including Zeta Phi Beta’s Finer Womanhood week Feb. 12-18, ending with their annual Royal Blue and Pure White ball on Feb. 18, cohosted with Phi Beta Sigma. Tickets for the ball are on pre-sale now, and those wanting to attend can find more information at Zeta Phi Beta’s instagram account: @ekuzetas.
The five other fraternities and sororities will also be hosting their own weeks filled with events for the student body later in the semester.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The printing of this article incorrectly said EKU’s chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. was no longer active instead of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Kappa Alpha Psi is present on EKU’s campus.