UWG National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) held its annual Convocation on Sep.11 in the Campus Center Ballroom. NPHC is a collaborative organization of nine historically African- American, International Greek-lettered fraternities and sororities. The nine NPHC organizations are collectively referred to as the “Divine Nine”.
NPHC Convocation provides interested students with information about NPHC fraternities and sororities. Topics that were discussed included membership requirements and the benefits of joining Greek Life. Convocation also provides an opportunity for the Office of Greek Affairs to discuss important information about hazing as well as the various guidelines specific to joining an organization at UWG. Each chapter presents information about the organization’s history and values.
After each organization presented information, they either performed a step or a stroll. Strolling functions by having members of a particular Greek organization line up one after another. Similar to saluting, they begin to move forward in the same dance motions, or many times alternating dance moves. Organizations show pride in their chapters by stepping and strolling with chapters working in unity to create music through their steps and calls.
Stepping is a performance that melds folk traditions with popular culture and involves synchronized percussive movement, singing, speaking, chanting, and drama. Developed by African American fraternities and sororities, it is now practiced worldwide. This tradition gradually became to be used to celebrate initiations into the world of Greeks. The chapters would gather on campus and sing uplifting songs and cheers about their fraternity or sorority. In later years when the Greeks sang songs, they added movements such as walking in a circle and clapping hands. The sororities were singing songs up to the early eighties, and all of the sororities still have traditional songs that they sing today.
UWG only has only seven out of the nine which include: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, founded in 1906 on the campus of Cornell University, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, founded in 1908 on the campus of Howard University, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, founded in 1911 on the campus of Howard University, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, founded in 1914 on the campus of Howard University, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, founded in 1920 on the campus of Howard University, and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, founded in 1922 on the campus of Butler University, and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, founded in 1963 on the campus of Morgan State University.
Convocation also provides an opportunity for the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life (OFSL) to NPHC fraternities and sororities participate in a requirement process called Membership Intake. Before a student can join an NPHC organization, the student must have accumulated 12 or more semester hours at UWG, earned a 2.5 cumulative GPA, be in good standing with the university.