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 brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.’s Tau Omicron Chapter at Davidson College and did an interview with Allen Clay Jr. the president of the chapter.
The position of president of an undergraduate chapter of a Black fraternity is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. 22-year-old Allen Clay Jr. has used the position to gain new leadership experience, improve the lives of other students on campus and help the community around him.
We interviewed the Hispanic Studies major and talked about his 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?
Being a chapter president is an honor as I have to be a leader among leaders. I have to always be in top of my game so I can continue the business of Alpha while forming brotherhood bonds. Through this practice, our chapter won Undergraduate Chapter of the Year in North Carolina.
What made you decide to attend Davidson College for undergrad?
I attended Davidson College because it provided an opportunity for me to play D1 College Football while attending a small and prestigious, liberal arts institution. I knew that the rigorous workload of academics and athletics which Davidson provides would push me to reach my full potential.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
One of our community initiatives is called Staying PHit, where we go to a nearby school and tutor/educate underrepresented populations. For example, our focus in Fall 2018 was on health, where we created a cookbook with children full of healthy foods such as smoothies. In addition, we tutor them in subjects such as reading and math.
What made you want to pledge Alpha Phi Alpha?
I joined Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. because I wanted to surround myself around men who value scholarship and love for all mankind, while aiding down-trodden communities to stimulate their economic and intellectual capacities, In addition, I look up to leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr and Jesse Owens.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
Even though our chapter is in North Carolina, only 2/12 people are actually from North Carolina. We have brothers from California, Nebraska, Washington, Ohio, Georgia, and much more. In addition, our chapter is racially diverse, as we have a mixture of African-Americans, Caucasian, Asian, and Latino brothers.
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?
Organizations need to be active on social media and share the great things that their chapter does with the world. Otherwise, people will not know the great things that chapters outside of the immediate community are doing.
What does leadership mean to you?
My father who passed in 2015 once told me: “The quality of a leader is reflected in the standard they set for themselves.” One must always hold themselves to a high standard and never settle for anything less. However, at the same time, one must uplift the people around them so they can also reach their potential.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Watch The Yard is important because it highlights all of the fantastic work that chapters from each NPHC organization complete. In today’s environment where the perception of Greek Life holds a negative connotation, articles and posts that features the service that the NPHC does around the world is extremely important to break the negative stereotype that is associated with fraternities and sororities.
What does brotherhood mean to you?
Brotherhood is when you can call a brother at any time and they are willing to help. They can sympathize and constructively criticize you at the same time so that you can be the best person you can be.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
I plan on attending graduate school to earn a M.A. in Higher Education Administration.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Allen Clay Jr for his work as the president of Tau Omicron Chapter which has a legacy that spans back to 2003.