Six international fraternities and sororities met for the first time yesterday to discuss how the organizations within the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) can promote unity within the council, as well as across K-State’s campus. The NPHC is an organization composed of nine international but historically black fraternities and sororities.
With emphasis on the topics of greek, political and campus issues, the small group of about 30 members of NPHC discussed how to raise student interest in speakers, performers and exhibitions put on by different organizations.
Though the group said social events provide good ways to bring in money, they want to make sure their focus stays on enriching the community and bringing important issues to light. The students also encouraged one another to reach out into the community by getting to know people as individuals, rather than always associating people with their organization.
Rayonna Thomas, senior in apparel and textiles, president of the NPHC at K-State and planning coordinator of Delta Sigma Theta, said the best approach to take when trying to promote unity across campus is to start small and slowly influence other organizations.
“Here at K-State, we have a really good relationship compared to other universities, and we’re just trying to keep improving,” Thomas said. “One way we can start is to co-sponsor events within the council.”
Marcus Gladdis, vice president of the NPHC, said a lot of the stereotypes that used to exist between the fraternities and sororities are deteriorating. The fraternities took a step toward getting past former differences by holding a brotherhood retreat and building up the relationships between fraternities.
“I think there’s a lot of stereotypical retention within minorities, especially in men, and we’re trying to get past that,” Gladdis said.
Along with boosting bonds, Gladdis saw increased diversity as an important goal for the greek organizations as well.
“A lot of people see K-State as a pretty diverse campus, but what would they think if we could double it, or even triple it?” he said.
Thomas and Gladdis both said they thought the meeting was a success, but were hoping for more members of the Manhattan and K-State community to be there to share their interests and goals.
“We still got a lot of different viewpoints,” Thomas said. “It was a really good starting point.”