In an effort to spotlight the younger leaders who’re main undergraduate chapters throughout the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.’s Mu Xi Chapter at The University of Southern Mississippi and did an interview with Ryan Johnson the president of the chapter.
The place of president of an undergraduate chapter of a Black fraternity is a extremely revered position and there’s a particular delight that one takes. 20-year-old Ryan Johnson has used the place to realize new management expertise, enhance the lives of different college students on campus and assist the group round him.
We interviewed the Political Science (Pre-law) main and talked about his place, objectives, future and what it means to carry a management place on campus within the digital age.
Learn the complete interview under.
What does it imply to be a chapter president to you?
To me, being the chapter President is the epitome of management. The position of main those that are leaders themselves is a large duty and honor. I can’t understate the worth of this place in my life. I’m appreciative of the life classes and private improvement that being President has granted me. Once I arrived on this campus as a freshman, I appeared as much as the leaders on this chapter. Now, being one of these leaders represents the distinctive progress and acquisition of management expertise that I’ve had over the previous three years. I’m past grateful.
What made you determine to attend The University of Southern Mississippi for undergrad?
I’ve household roots embedded into this college. Whereas I had no relations from earlier generations attend school, my older sisters and brothers broke our household limitations for greater schooling proper right here at this college. To me, that was sufficient motivation to proceed the custom. On reflection, it was the most effective choice of my life. The connections I’ve made right here, in addition to the friendships shall be enshrined in my life ceaselessly. This place has grow to be my true house away from residence.
What particular initiatives is your chapter heading up this yr and the way do you assume they may enhance the campus/surrounding group?
This yr our chapter has targeted on making intimate connections with the group surrounding our college. We have now realized that what makes for efficient service is constant service. The key to constructing relationships with the youthful generations in our group is to offer trustworthy mentorship and steerage. With this in thoughts, we’ve made it our obligation to dedicate our service this yr to a nonprofit after-school program referred to as Aldersgate Mission. Aldersgate works to construct upon the religious, instructional, and social improvement of underprivileged youth in our group. We’re so excited concerning the outcomes we’ve got been getting from working with the members of this ministry. Our chapter has labored extensively to reach at the middle and assist the scholars with their homework and construct relationships. We sit up for persevering with this initiative and constructing on the connections that we have now already made.
Our chapter has additionally targeted on fulfilling an initiative that could be very pricey to our group – A Voteless Individuals is A Hopeless Individuals. The members of our chapter completely perceive and recognize the worth of voting. We understand that voting just isn’t solely the cornerstone of our democracy, however the gateway into permitting our downtrodden communities to flourish. This yr we’ve got labored with different organizations on campus to host a number of voter registration drives, not solely on our campus however at native excessive faculties as nicely. As well as, our chapter partnered with quite a few different campus organizations to have a mass Stroll to the Polls occasion on election day (Nov. 6). As well as, our chapter has additionally had a robust presence at many voter rallies and different political features to satisfy this initiative. We attended the Cory Booker Democratic voter rally for Mike Espy (Nov. 19), Jim Hood Gubernatorial Marketing campaign Fellowship Dinner (Dec. four), in addition to the Poor Individuals’s Marketing campaign: A Name for Ethical Revival lead by Rev. Dr. William J Barber, II (Nov. 21). However our work shouldn’t be carried out. Our chapter will proceed to work extensively to get as many individuals registered to vote as potential, in addition to speaking the significance of voting to all communities. We’re trustworthy to the assumption that workings comparable to these will assist fulfill our fraternity’s mission of offering advocacy. We’ll proceed to assist our communities obtain a better standing in our society.
What made you need to pledge Alpha Phi Alpha?
Alpha Phi Alpha has been nothing brief of instrumental and important to the social, financial, and academic improvement of downtrodden communities in the course of the previous century. Being educated and appreciative of the historical past of our brown and black communities drew me in the direction of this group. I used to be conscious of how a lot I owed to Alphas. I noticed that many of the luxuries that I take pleasure in at the moment have been direct outcomes of the actions of males like W.E.B. DuBois, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Thurgood Marshall. With that being stated, I knew there was no higher approach to present my appreciation for these males than by becoming a member of the identical group and persevering with the fulfill the mission that these leaders lived by. I knew that following within the footsteps of these males would fulfill my ambitions. As well as, I felt that Alpha would offer one of the best gateway for me to serve the group, not solely throughout my undergraduate years however after as nicely. My determination to comply with the street of Alpha was one grounded in my values in addition to inspirations from present members. The determination has been one of the most effective I’ve made and I gained’t ever look again.
What’s it about your particular chapter that makes it so distinctive?
The Mu Xi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha has been extraordinarily influential to the event of black tradition on the campus of Southern Miss. The flourishing of our NPHC group on this campus has been a direct end result of my prophytes throughout their time within the chapter. From the second I stepped foot on this campus, I used to be conscious of Mu Xi’s presence. This chapter is particular. The status surrounding membership into the chapter can’t be understated. With that being stated, it is very important observe that the status that Mu Xi Alphas carry doesn’t end in conceit or vanity. The members of this chapter attempt to be amiable, hospitable, and congenial with all people strolling on this campus. Mu Xi is a hardworking, service based mostly chapter, and we make it our obligation to be social with everybody we encounter, whether or not they’re affiliated or not. That’s what units this chapter aside.
We now stay in a digital world, what do you assume undergraduate chapters throughout all orgs have to do to symbolize themselves on-line in 2018?
It’s a necessity that we use our platforms on social media to showcase the tradition surrounding our organizations. Typically occasions I really feel as if we turn into so intently embedded and hooked up to our organizations that we shut off the workings of our orgs to outdoors individuals. We should always embrace all of the substantial issues that our organizations stand for, in addition to the work that we’re placing into fulfilling our Founders’ imaginative and prescient. We also needs to need to proclaim this to different individuals, to allow them to be impressed to hitch a corporation that fulfills a standard objective. If we will persistently publish on our social media platform and encourage our followers to turn out to be engaged by means of these platforms, we’ll see our orgs develop in high quality.
What does management imply to you?
Leadership to me is extra than simply having authority over a gaggle. It’s extra than simply merely displaying the ropes to these underneath you and delegating duties to somebody. Being within the position of a pacesetter is paramount. To me, management is essential as a result of it’s such a dynamic and necessary position. Typically it appears as if we get caught up within the title of management and overlook to truly outline what makes an incredible chief. It’s necessary that our leaders know that simply setting the path for these following shouldn’t be sufficient. That path have to be the right course. If our leaders can do that in an environment friendly, clear trend we could be destined for fulfillment.
Why do you assume Watch The Yard is essential to Black greekdom?
Watch the Yard is paramount to D9 life. The platform permits our organizations to be equally and completely represented to not solely these inside Greek Life however to these outdoors of it. This enables our orgs to proceed to develop into enriched with high quality members. Moreover, WTY balances the social features of our orgs with the service-based actions that we carry out. The platform is efficient in stimulating the curiosity of outdoors members and educating the viewers on the historical past and missions of our organizations. Black Greekdom undoubtedly owes a lot of its success to Watch The Yard.
What does brotherhood imply to you?
An essential facet of brotherhood/sisterhood is uplifting our colleagues when they’re in want. We can’t understate the worth of a serving to hand to the uplifting of our associates. Black Greeklife exemplifies this idea by bringing this bond right down to a extra intimate degree. We convey individuals collectively who share widespread values and assist them construct lifelong connections, simply as one huge household. As well as, we deliver this notion of brotherhood/sisterhood to a bigger degree by aiding our communities. Once we can efficiently carry up those that have been victims of hardship, we’re actively training the valued idea of kinship. To me, this can be a very important cornerstone to the success of our communities. We should actively be our brother’s and sister’s keeper, with a purpose to overcome to the deprivations our communities face.
What do you propose on doing after commencement?
After receiving a Bachelor of Arts diploma in Political Science, I plan on pursuing a profession within the area of regulation. My dream profession is turning into a civil rights Lawyer at a corporation such because the American Civil Liberties Union, or the Equal Justice Initiative. At present, I’m hopeful to realize admission into Howard Faculty of Regulation in Washington, D.C. or the University of Alabama Faculty of Regulation in Tuscaloosa, AL. Persevering with to construct upon my educational success is a close to and important half of my future.
We at Watch The Yard want to commend Ryan Johnson for his work because the president of Mu Xi Chapter which has an extended legacy that spans again to 1976.