The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) fraternities and sororities showcased their chapters’ heritage and talents last night in the Spring 2013 “Meet the Greeks.
The event took place in Heritage Hall at the HUB-Robeson Center 7 p.m. Monday and featured four fraternities — Alpha Phi Alpha, Iota Phi Theta, Phi Beta Sigma and Kappa Alpha Psi — and one sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha.
The NPHC is the council of historically black fraternities and sororities and has nine chapters nationally, referred to as the “divine nine,” but only five of them are currently active on campus at Penn State, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority President Courtney Rose said.
“Meet the Greeks is a presentation of all the divine nine we have on campus, one sorority and four fraternities,” Rose (junior-health policy administration) said. “It gives people more information on what we’re about and awards we’ve won, and afterward they can walk around and meet us.”
The event opened with the NPHC executive board introducing themselves and giving a brief history of the NPHC, as well as a history of “stepping,” a form of dance performed by all NPHC chapters.
According to the video shown, stepping originated with a type of dance called “Gumboot,” which was a way for miners in South Africa to hold the people together through apartheid by stomping their boots to communicate.
This dance style was then influenced by the dancing of the 1950’s and 1960’s and evolved later into stepping and then into “strolling.” Each NPHC chapter has their own unique and recognizable stroll.
Four of the organizations began their presentations by detailing their chapters’ founders, mission statements, philanthropic efforts and historic milestones, but all five of the fraternities and sororities incorporated stepping into their showcases.
The chapters all performed their own unique step routines, accompanying the beats with chants and singing, and each followed their traditional strolls with step routines choreographed to music.
Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity performed their routine with red and white curved canes, originally used by the fraternity’s founding members to represent gentlemanly social status and later shortened for use in performance, Kappa Alpha Psi member Kyle Paolucci said.
“The canes are curved to represent a ‘J’ for ‘Jesus’ because we’re a historically Christian fraternity, and there used to be three red and white stripes on each — representing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit — but now they’re all our own designs,” Paolucci (junior-management) said.
NPHC President Ezedube Eze said “Meet the Greeks” sells out every semester, and this was made obvious by students filling the seats in Heritage Hall just minutes after the doors opened and seeming engaged and entertained throughout the entire event.
“[Meet the Greeks] is one of our most popular platforms for students to find out more about chapters and meet the members,” Eze (senior-health policy administration) said. “The people who attend are either prospective members or just students who are supportive of Greek life.”