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 Epsilon Chi Chapter Chapter at the University of Dayton and did an interview with Jordyn Mitchell 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 Mitchell 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 Sport Management 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?
When I was inducted into my position of Basileus, I knew I wanted to leave a legacy. I have been Basileus for almost a year now and it has been a rollercoaster! The Illustrious Epsilon Chi Chapter is a hardworking group of individuals that all want to make a difference in some way, and it was my goal to make it happen. Holding this position has given me the opportunity to make a difference in my chapter member’s lives by; helping them enhance their leadership skills, checking in on their mental health, making sure their education is still top priority, and pushing them to be great. I am grateful that I am able to serve my chapter in this role and I can’t wait to see what the next Basileus has in store.
What made you decide to attend the University of Dayton for undergrad?
I went on a visit to the University of Dayton during my senior year in high school and as soon as I stepped on campus, I fell in love! I applied to UD initially for the top tier Sport Management Program and the more I looked into it, the more I wanted to attend. In addition to my program, UD gives out a lot of scholarships to underrepresented populations and that was the deciding factor for me. UD is a great school that supports my personal and professional growth and I wouldnâ€™t change my decision for anything. GO FLYERS!
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
This year, Epsilon Chi is focusing on leadership and service development. We are not only following the five national program targets that are under the theme Exemplifying Excellence Through Sustainable Service, but we are also implementing Epsilon Chi specific programs that will benefit our campuses and surrounding communities. Initiatives we have for this year include; collecting and donating school supplies to schools that were affected by this summer’s tornadoes, handing out “HBCU Cookie Facts” during AKA’s national HBCU Observance day, volunteering at after school centers with students in the Dayton Public School system and showing them that there are successful college students that look like them, and more. As for leadership development, we have recently had two members serve and lead regional committees for AKA and are working on sending more members to Greek leadership conferences to further their development.
What made you want to pledge Alpha Kappa Alpha?
The people who have influenced, inspired, and believed in me most in life are my mother and God-mother, who are both Alpha Kappa Alpha women. I have known pink and green and Skee Wee my entire life because of those two. As I got older, I learned more about AKA and the history and initiatives aligned with it and it was my goal to be an Alpha woman just like them. AKA holds a legacy like no other, as we continue to grow and develop leaders and be a service to all mankind. I couldn’t wait to be a part of history by being a member of the FIRST historically black sorority.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
Epsilon Chi is a joint chapter that serves the campuses of the University of Dayton and Wright State University. EX is unique because of our dedication to our illustrious sorority, but also to our campuses individually. All our members are leaders outside of AKA and most of us serve on multiple executive boards for other organizations as well. We also have a bond like no other. We always hold each other accountable, push each other to our fullest potential, and even though we have our differences at times, we always come together for the betterment of the chapter. EX is well rounded with different majors, career paths, and outside passions that bring new and exciting ideas to the table and also break the stereotypes associated with AKA. We are all different but our love for our sisterhood will always be great.
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?
I think as undergrads we have a huge social media presence individually, however, what do my personal pages say about the work my chapter does? Not much at all. We are moving away from hanging up flyers in the student union and moving towards using social media platforms as our main provider of chapter information. I think that’s great because more people are paying attention to Instagram and Twitter more than anything else. We just have to be strategic about what our chapters are posting to make sure everyone knows we are out here being great and doing the things we were founded to do. Post support for other organizations, promote voter registration and blood drives, make a story highlight of motivational quotes, etc. Put the work in on your chapter page, that you do on your personal page.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership is a value of mine. To me, being a leader is being ready to serve, being passionate, being confident, being empathetic, and being able to lead by example. Leaders have to be willing and able to believe in themselves first before they can expect others to believe in them. Oprah Winfrey once stated, “Leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate to and connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives.” I embrace those words 100%.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Watch the Yard is the most uplifting and empowering source to ever come to Black Greek life. WTY highlights our accomplishments and is constantly promoting the success of the Divine 9. This is something I don’t think a lot of people know is NEEDED. There are so many stigmas and stereotypes that surround all of our organizations that WTY strays away from, and by doing this, they make sure we continue to uphold our values and reminds us of why we were founded.
What does sisterhood mean to you?
Sisterhood is powerful. When you belong to a sisterhood, you have thousands of people who love and support you and will always have your back. It is an everlasting bond that cannot be broken. It is loyalty, respect, the ability to be your true and authentic self without judgement or retaliation. Sisterhood is truly something special that I will never take for granted.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
After graduation, I plan on attending obtaining a master’s degree in a business-related field or finding a job that relates to my major. With the opportunities I have been given through internships and the work I have done in my program, I don’t see myself having trouble finding a job in the sports industry, however, I also have the desire to challenge myself by furthering my education. At this point, only God knows what’s to come after May 10th, 2020.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Jordyn Mitchell for her work as the president of “The Illustrious” Epsilon Chi Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to 1970.