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February 07, 2002 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-02-07

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16B - The Michigan Daily -Weekend Magaive - Thursday, February 7, 2002
Black Greeks impact campus

By Tamara Schweitzer
For the Daily

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 fra-
ternities, 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 estab-
lished 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 ethnical-
ly 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 soci-
ety 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 identi-
ty) 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 sorori-
ties 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 small-
er 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 cur-
rent president of both the Alpha Phi
Alpha fraternity and National
Panhellenic Council said numbers, hous-
es 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 busi-
ness and giving back."
Ronda Tate, an LSA senior and mem-
ber 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 commu-
For Tate, being a part of a racially
defined sect within the Greek communi-
ty 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
"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.

The brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi, Sigma chapter hanging out before their intramural
basketball game.

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Children of Uganda
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