This article was published in The Appalachian.
There are three Greek councils at Appalachian State University: the Interfraternity Council, the Panhellenic Council and the National Panhellenic Council (NPHC).
While the IFC and PHC held their annual Greek Week from April 7 to 11, April 11 to 16 was NPHC Week for the eight fraternities and sororities of the National Panhellenic Council.
The week’s theme was “A League of Extraordinary Greeks.”“It’s a week set aside from Greek Week to highlight and draw attention to the National Panhellenic [Council]. We are smaller than the other two councils, so this week helps draw attention and recognition to us,” said Everette B. Nichols, senior broadcasting major and member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
The week also draws attention to the NPHC’s strong background of service, both nationally and at Appalachian.
Nichols noted several large service projects the NPHC has planned and participated in; among them “A Walk to Remember,” which promoted remembrance of minority history, and Delta Sigma Theta’s “Soul for Soles,” which collected slightly worn shoes for homeless children.
This year’s NPHC Greek Week kicked off Monday, April 11 with a talk in the Multicultural Center titled “How Do You Feel About Greeks,” an event which focused specifically on perceptions of NPHC Greeks.
“We wanted to debunk some of the stereotypes…that the only thing we do is step or party hop and make a bunch of loud noises, and things like that. We wanted to show people what we actually do; that our organizations are service-oriented first,” Nichols said.
The week continued the next day with a celebration of faculty and staff who have supported the NPHC. Nichols said people in various positions at Appalachian have supported the NPHC, including Vice Chancellor for Student Development Cindy A. Wallace and the Multicultural Center’s Augusto E. Peña.
“They’ve always been there when we needed someone to advocate for us, and they’ve been there for a long time,” Nichols said.
After saluting their supporters, the NPHC continued their Greek Week Wednesday, April 13, with an open mic night at Whitewater Café. Between 50 and 60 people attended the event, which provided an opportunity for students to get acquainted with the NPHC in a casual setting.
Thursday evening, the NPHC banded together for a campus cleanup effort from 5 to 6 p.m., with each member removing trash and cigarettes from the campus grounds.
Friday and Saturday brought more social events, with a yard show Friday at 4:30 p.m. and a step show Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
The yard show entailed the stepping and party-hopping “people like to see,” Everette said, but also gave each organization an opportunity to share more information about itself.
During Saturday’s step show, each Appalachian NPHC organization invited a chapter from another North Carolina university to perform. The show, held in Legends, was the largest event of the week.
Nichols said NPHC Week is an important time to express the importance and significance of the NPHC.
“To me personally, it means that I have a strong connection with over 250,000 other men that I have never met, but we share a common ground. I have a whole list of people that I could call on in every city and they’ve never met me. It’s important to me to make sure that the NPHC stays relevant to our campus,” he said.
Assistant Director of Multicultural Education Joanna T. Arrington, who helped plan the week, agreed.
“Most of these organizations were founded at a time when African-Americans were denied education or it was very hard to come by,” Arrington said. “That’s something current minority students here at Appalachian or across the world need to hold onto.”