By JOEL REIHMER
As most people have recently become aware, a historically black fraternity, also known as an HBC (house of black culture), is trying, as the recent email states, “to start a chapter here at Georgetown College in the very near future.” This fraternity is called Alpha Phi Alpha or referred to as “the Alphas,” and it is the one the college has chosen to pursue.
Alpha Phi Alpha started in 1906 on Cornell University’s campus in Ithaca, NY. Alpha was started for minority students who faced racial prejudice, both educationally and socially, at Cornell. It is the oldest traditionally black fraternity or HBC in the nation. The brotherhood includes members such as W.E.B Dubois, Martin Luther King Jr. and Thurgood Marshall. The fraternity’s mission statement is to “develop leaders, promote brotherhood and academic excellence, while providing service and advocacy for our communities.” It also has the reputation of being the best historically black fraternity.
Tevin Lloyd is one of the students spearheading this recent development with the fraternity. “Georgetown has been working for six years with the diversity initiative brought on by Dr. Crouch. One of the goals of the initiative was to bring a historically black fraternity and sorority to campus. This is the best time because with the numbers of support we have and campus life at the point where it is right now it would incorporate into the college community smoothly.” One of the main aspects of this diversity initiative is the well-known Bishop Scholars Program that gives scholarship money to students whose parents were alumni at Bishop College. Bishop College was a traditionally black college that shut down in the 1990s, and Georgetown College is the first to start up a program like this. It also includes partnerships with four national black Baptist conventions and the creation of the Underground Railroad Research Institute on campus.
Getting a charter for a college starts with seeking individuals who are interested in joining the fraternity.
The next step is to contact the local district office and fill out the application. They then have to build a memorandum of understanding. They also have to complete a five year financial plan and a five year strategy plan. They then send the information to district and it will be reviewed in February at the district convention and in April at the regional convention. If the application passes both conventions it will be looked at during the national conference in June. Lloyd is very optimistic and believes the fraternity will come in the near future.