When most people think of Greek life they think of big houses, pomping, or parties, but there is another side of Greek life at OSU that isn't housed in the Greek neighborhood. It contributes to the community, leadership, service, and family that is OSU, and that side is the National Panhellenic Council (NPHC).
NPHC is composed of nine historically black sororities and fraternities, often called the “Divine Nine.” The Divine Nine consists of the five fraternities (Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma and Iota Phi Theta) and four sororities (Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta and Sigma Gamma Rho).
NPHC was Formed in 1930 at Howard University and focuses on scholarship, giving back to the community, family, and the betterment of African Americans and others. On campus, NPHC strives to stay involved and engaged.
Political science junior Dezavia Taylor, member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, has seen how NPHC works to be involved on campus.
“The NPHC has done many events like the NPHC welcome week, which held a new event each day like a free cereal bar for students and a bowling night, community service, karaoke nights, and study nights,” Taylor said. “These events are open to anybody, with a purpose of bringing the community together, and there are many more events to come.”
NPHC operates differently from other Greek organizations on campus. For example, NPHC has a tradition of strolling. Strolling is a cultural expression of strength and unity performed by sororities and fraternities through dancing. Strolling is an outward expression of their inward values of, scholarship, retention, and family within the black community.
Construction technology senior Kyron Sanders, member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, talked about how NPHC involvement works to retain students.
“The retention rate of my chapter is one hundred percent, which means that a lot of us don’t drop out or switch,” Sanders said. “When you join, you’re joining something bigger than yourself. Strolling, or having a letter is cool, but the purpose of being in the NPHC is so much deeper than that.”
NPHC is also deeply family orientated. There are nine organizations that make up the divine nine, but despite their differences they all care for each other, and want to see the progression of all organizations. For NPHC, it’s a lifetime commitment.
“The culture is completely different," Sanders said. "we’re a very close family despite our letters, it makes us different, but our letters bring us closer. It creates a source of unity anywhere.”
With so many organizations on campus, it’s hard to know about all of them. Members of NPHC believe that collaborating with other campus organizations, more publicity, pairing with other Greek councils for events, and advertising to a broader audience will help spread the word about the NPHC and their events.
Theater senior Kevin Hayes, member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, discussed working to get more involved with other aspects of campus.
“On our part, we can host more events that engage more people on campus or try to appeal to different types of people more,” Hayes said. “Gaining more support from different organizations who know about us will allow us to reach different audiences as well as spread the word about their upcoming events to our general audiences. That would be a great way to spread the word while meeting and engaging with new and diverse groups of people."
Whether studying, strolling, community service, or hosting campus events, NPHC is active on campus and the continuous hard work and dedication of each member, not only shows their pride in being a part of NPHC, but their pride of being a part of the cowboy family. Taylor is proud of NPHC and wants people to know they're welcome.
“We’re here,” Taylor said. “We are very friendly, fun, close, and we have a lot to offer, if you see one of us say hi and ask questions, we are more than happy to inform anyone about the NPHC.”