Divine Nine’ comes to Sam Houston

The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Incorporated, is nationally composed of nine historically black international Greek letter sororities and fraternities known as “the divine nine.”

The organizations include: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.; Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.; Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.; Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.; and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.

The national headquarters of NPHC said the traditions of the nine Greek letter organizations must continue, according to http://www.npchhq.org.

“Each of the nine NPHC organizations evolved during a period when African Americans were being denied essential rights and privileges afforded others. Racial isolation on predominantly white campuses and social barriers of class on all campuses created a need for African Americans to align themselves with other individuals sharing common goals and ideals. With the realization of such a need, the African American (Black) Greek-lettered organization movement took on the personae of a haven and outlet, which could foster brotherhood and sisterhood in the pursuit to bring about social change through the development of social programs that would create positive change for Blacks and the country. Today the need remains the same.”

On the SHSU campus, the National Pan-Hellenic Council is composed six of the nine historically black fraternities and sororities which include: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.; Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.; and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

Starting in the spring 2004 semester, SHSU will charter a chapter of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. The SHSU NPHC will host an interest meeting for all men interested in “building a tradition and not resting upon one.”

According to Bethany Duncan, president of the SHSU NPHC and the Kappa Mu chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., it is a year of change for NPHC.

“As a member of DST, I have always wanted to see Iota’s on our campus. The idea was always tossed around, but no one really took charge to make things happen. Everyone in NPHC is very excited about Iota Phi Theta chartering a chapter and are all ready to help aid their smooth transition into Greek life.”

The interest meeting will be held on Oct. 29 in the Lowman Student Center Room 304 at 7:35 p.m., and those that attend are asking to please wear business attire.

Alastair Hunte, national director of information technology for Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. said, “Iota was founded on the ideas of change over 40 years ago in

Baltimore, Md. Today, Iota still stands for a change in the way of looking at fraternities by promoting a high level of scholarship, leadership, citizenship and fidelity and especially brotherhood.”

“Even if a person is not interested in joining Iota Phi Theta, after attending the interest meeting and receiving the information, I guarantee that they will have a new found respect for Iota,” Duncan said.

Founded in 1963, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.’s, purpose is “the development and perpetuation of scholarship, leadership, citizenship, fidelity and brotherhood among men.” Their official colors are charcoal brown and gilded gold, and their motto is “Building a Tradition, Not Resting Upon One.”

“One of our principles is “It takes a man” because it takes an amazing amount of dedication and desire to be a trendsetter; therefore, the men who will charter a colony of Iota at Sam Houston State University will be required to have a unique sense of leadership,” said Hunte. “This leadership will be crucial to the future of Iota at Sam Houston State University; therefore, there will be a careful selection process in deciding on the charter members.”

Jennifer Roberts, Coordinator for the Office of Multicultural and International Student Services, said “There is a misconception of why exactly NPHC is chartering a chapter of Iota due to the members of Alpha Phi Alpha and Kappa Alpha Psi being off of the yard, when the truth is that Iota is a fraternity comprised of men that represent themselves exceptionally well and that have great leadership qualities that would be a great asset to SHSU.”

“One of the unique characteristics in Iota is the time put into developing a sense of brotherhood with the other members of the organization. Iota is not for everyone, however men who are looking for self-improvement, brotherhood and a chance to make a change should come see what Iota is about,” Hunte said.

For more information contact Alastair Hunte, at 1-888-386-7706 or http://www.iotasouth.com.

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