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 women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.’s Lambda Theta Chapter at Clemson University and did an interview with Tehya James the 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. 22-year-old Tehya James 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 Recreational Therapy major and talked about her position, goals, future and what it means to hold a leadership position on campus in the digital age.
Read the full interview below.
What does it mean to be a chapter president to you?
To be a chapter president means to be a leader. You are given the task to ensure that a group of individuals work cohesively and successfully. You are the face of that organization on campus so it is up to you to make sure everyone is aware of the chapter’s presence.
What made you decide to attend the Clemson University for undergrad?
I always wanted to attend Clemson. The academics are great, the athletics are amazing, and the family atmosphere is unbeatable.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
This past year, our chapter has done a show drive with Soles 4 Souls, a glasses drive with the Lions Club, Walk to end Alzheimer’s, campus cleanups, volunteering at retirement homes, health forums, I have taught several self defense classes, and we adopted children for Christmas.
What made you want to pledge Alpha Kappa Alpha?
My Aunt is an AKA and growing up around her and her LSs, I saw how focused they were on their academics, their dedication to service, and their strong personalities and wanted to be just like that.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
We are thriving on the campus of a PWI. We have partnered with white sororities, competed in pageants and other contests, and we’ve won. We are known in more than just the world of NPHC. We also have one of the highest gpas among the NPHC organizations.
We now live in a digital world, what do you think undergraduate chapters across all orgs need to do to represent themselves online in 2018?
I believe they need to try to get their faces on social media outlets that are more than Greek related. Have memebers featured as students of the week for their universities or be involved with other clubs and organizations and educate them on your Greek life.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership means taking the imitative and being able to handle the good, bad, and ugly. When things are going good, enjoy it. When things are going bad, do what it takes to make them good again.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Watch The Yard has a lot of reach in the social media world. It brings awareness to the positive aspects of what being black as well as greek is. It’s not focused on just AKAs or just Alphas. Everyone gets their props and we get to see each other prospering.
What does sisterhood mean to you?
It means having someone or a group of people I can count on. I’ll have someone to vent to, a shoulder to cry on, and someone to take trips with that I know I can trust and love.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
I’m hoping grad school for Occupational Therapy.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Tehya James for her work as the president of Lambda Theta Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to 1977.