By Benjamin Grove || Layout Assistant
On Tuesday, February 21, F&M’s Faculty Council voted to allow three National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) fraternal organizations to seek establishment on Franklin & Marshall’s campus. These three organizations—Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. sorority, Phi Beta Sigma, Inc. fraternity, and Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc. fraternity—are one-third of the “Divine Nine,” a group of nine historically black Greek organizations. The organizations have been invited to campus as a result of interest from students and with the hope of possibly establishing themselves at F&M.
When asked what the three NPHC organizations could bring to campus life, Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Stuart Umberger was very enthusiastic. He mentioned that there are many students interested in these organizations and that students feel that “this is the time and the place” for the NPHC organizations to come to campus.
IMPACT and SISTERS are two groups at F&M that, historically, have had a large group of minorities represented in their members. When asked whether IMPACT and SISTERS might lose some of their members should the NPHC organizations come to campus, Mr. Umberger was quick to answer. He strongly believes that “there is room for overlap,” as many students can choose to be a part of multiple clubs and organizations at once. With IMPACT and SISTERS having no rules against being a member of their organizations as well as a Greek organization, it is possible for students to commit a portion of their time to both. Mr. Umberger views the NPHC organizations as “added opportunities” for students to get involved in.
Umberger pointed out that Zeta Beta Tau—which was brought to F&M last year—was a historically Jewish fraternity, but modern-day ZBT has members from multiple backgrounds. Similarly, the Divine Nine is a group of Greek organizations that were founded on the need for community for black students at a time when they felt underrepresented and alone. Like ZBT, today the NPHC fraternities and sororities accept members spanning from all backgrounds. The Divine Nine have shown a strong sense of community and leadership throughout their vast history of over 100 years.
“This is a great opportunity for community and networking,” Stuart Umberger said. Students are constantly looking for new ways to get involved and meet others, so bringing NPHC fraternities and sororities here would be beneficial, Mr. Umberger believes. “If it helps students, let’s do it!” Stuart said cheerfully.
On March 7 at 4pm, there will be an information session held in Stager 102/Stahr Auditorium for students interested in learning more about the NPHC Greek organizations of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. sorority, Phi Beta Sigma, Inc. fraternity, and Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc. fraternity. According to Dean Hazlett’s email, “the College is excited by this new initiative and looks forward to developing potential opportunities to foster more diverse student experiences within the Greek system at F&M.”
First-year Benjamin Grove is a Layout Assistant. His email is email is email@example.com.