NPHC members interested in quad plots
At USCA, there are no plots available to black Greek organizations and no designated area where banners are hung for representation.
Plots are used to symbolize the presence of each fraternity and sorority on the campus and as an area to reflect on history, celebrate success and show pride.
There are three Greek organizations on campus: InterFraternity Council (IFC), National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) and National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), which is a historically black organization.
All three are active through their community service and campus events, growing in numbers every year. They share common goals of high academic standards, philanthropy and campus involvement.
Although similar in these aspects, IFC and NPC are different than NPHC in many ways, including their intake process and overall operations. On the USCA campus, NPC and IFC organizations are allowed designated areas to recognize their respective groups and the events they are promoting. For the NPHC organizations however, the allowance seems to some as unequal.
Of course NPHC organizations are allowed to host fundraising and social functions and invite students to participate. Last semester, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated held a cupcake sale fundraiser and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated held a sip and paint event. Last week Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Incorporated had their trap and paint event.
All of these events and more were promoted through flyers around campus and in student news emails, yet these organizations do not have a spot on the campus quad.
Yasmine Samuel, president of SGRho said that her organization and NPHC discussed the idea of having plots in the quad, stating that the presence of black sororities and fraternities would benefit minority students.
USC Aiken is a predominantly white institution, according to the U.S. Dept. of Education. In light of this, Samuel believes that with an increased presence of black organizations, “minorities would want to stay at USCA and not transfer because they’d see that NPHC and other minority organizations do have a presence here ... ”
“The Deltas are not interested in posters hanging from trees,” said Regina Bolden, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. “We’re more interested in having a tree decorated or rock space to show our pride.”
Bolden said that when her sorority made the request with Christian Medders, the Greek Life adviser of the Office of Student Life, they “got the run around.”
Regardless of whether they want plots, trees, rocks or banners, the NPHC organizations feel that they are not being heard.
“We’ve talked about plots and Greek housing,” said Ariel Middlebrooks, the Zeta president, “but we haven’t been denied for it. The only thing they have denied is letting us use the trees as plots on campus in the Quad.”
“Everyone feels that they are being ignored,” agreed Allan Smalls Jr., president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, although he admitted that he thinks the NPHC organizations who want plots should continue to be persistent.
“As Greeks we should take it even further,” continued Smalls. “Ask ‘why can’t we use this space?’”
“We haven’t forgotten the concerns of NPHC members,” said Medders, in response to allegations against the Greek life office. "I have a meeting with Ahmed next week to discuss possible locations in the quad."
Medders asserted that the Greek life office believes that many questions have not been adequately addressed, such as where designated trees or rocks would be placed.
"They won't be ignored," he promised.
A previous version of this article said that there were two Greek organizations NPC and NPHC) on campus. This was an oversight on our part and has been corrected. There are three Greek organizations: NPC, IFC and NPHC.
Allan Smalls Jr. was originally written as “Allen Smalls Jr.”