In an effort to highlight the young leaders who are leading undergraduate chapters across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to the sorors of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.’s Sigma Psi Chapter at Davidson College and did an interview with Bailey Norman the Basileus/ president of the chapter.
The position of president of an undergraduate chapter of a Black sorority is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. 21-year-old Norman has used the position to gain new leadership experience, improve the lives of other students on campus and help the community around her.
We interviewed the Africana Studies major and talked about her position, goals, future and what it means to hold a leadership on campus in the digital age.
Read the full interview below.
What does it mean to be a chapter president to you?
It has been an honor to serve as President of my chapter for the past year. Through this position, I have had the wonderful opportunities to gain valuable leadership experience, watch my chapter grow and improve, and represent this illustrious organization on the campus of Davidson College and at various national sorority events. Being a chapter president means advocating for success of your chapter in order to serve your community and continue the legacy left by those that came before you.
What made you decide to attend the Davidson College for undergrad?
I first heard about Davidson College through a college guidebook and was interested in the small class size and liberal arts curriculum that it offered. When I visited the school during the summer before my senior year, I fell in love with the campus and the atmosphere of the college and surrounding town. I knew that Davidson would be a perfect fit for me, so I applied Early Decision and am very glad that I did.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
As part of the international programming initiative, the Sigma Psi chapter has been devoting particular attention and effort to raising awareness and funds for HBCUs. We recently had a fundraiser, called What’s Poppin’ with HBCUs?, that raised almost $200 to be donated to our sorority’s Educational Advancement Fund. We also highlight an HBCU every month on our social media and through flyers posted around campus. These programming efforts are particularly significant because HBCUs around the country are in danger of losing funding and accreditation. By raising funds and awareness, we’re taking part in a fight to prevent this from occurring.
What made you want to pledge Alpha Kappa Alpha?
As the daughter, granddaughter, and niece of Alpha women, I always knew that I wanted to join this illustrious sisterhood. These women instilled in me the importance of making a difference in the world through service to all mankind. Coming to Davidson and meeting the women in the chapter, with one of them being my mentor, convinced me that pursuing membership through the Sigma Psi chapter would provide me the opportunity to become a part of something bigger than myself and make an impact on our community.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
Although the Simply Phenomenal Sigma Psi chapter is one of the younger and smaller chapters in the sorority, we’re already making a name for ourselves. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated became the first sorority to be chartered on Davidson College’s campus on Sunday, November 23rd, 2008 by 13 trailblazing women. Sigma Psi is also an award-winning chapter. We’ve taken home twenty-one awards during the 65th Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference and seven awards from the 66th Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference. Setting this standard so early on in our chapter’s history creates a lasting legacy for future members of Sigma Psi.
We now live in a digital world, what do you think undergraduate chapters across all orgs need to do to represent themselves online in 2019?
Social media provides an amazing platform for Greek organizations to reach a wider audience while promoting their individual organizations’ mission and service. Undergraduate chapters should use social media to highlight their achievements as a whole and as individual members. Seeing the service, programs, and academic endeavors undergraduate chapters are doing portrays the national organizations in a positive light as well as honors the legacy our founders left for us.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership to me means having the capacity and vision to effectively direct a group towards the fulfillment of their mission. Leadership is not a solitary, singular effort as the support of members of their organization, knowledge of the organization’s history, and passion for their organization’s mission are crucial aspects for a good leader.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Watch the Yard is important because it highlights the achievements of various leaders and chapters throughout Black greekdom. This positive depiction creates an avenue for people to see the good work Greek organizations are carrying out which in turn reflects positively on our community as a whole.
What does brotherhood mean to you?
Joining this sisterhood meant joining a network of support, advice, and understanding from women across the world rooting for your success. Attending regional and national conferences allows me to see this network in action as members of Alpha Kappa Alpha come out in seas of pink and green to carry out the business of our sorority and interact with members from different areas. I know that these women will support me in any capacity that they can if I were to ask.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
After I graduate, I hope to obtain a Masters degree in either Public Health or Social Work in order to provide much needed services to disadvantaged communities.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Bailey Norman for her work as the president of Sigma Psi Chapter.
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