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 Epsilon Xi Chapter at Western Michigan University and did an interview with Brandon Harlin 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. 21-year-old Harlin 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 Business Management & Entrepreneurship major and talked about his 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 means a lot! Epsilon Xi is one of the most historic chapters in the state of Michigan, so many people speak highly of EXi and for me to be added to a list of leaders to guide that chapter to greater accomplishments, I am honored. The direction in which we are moving is one to be remembered. Again, I’m honored to lead this chapter.
What made you decide to attend the Western Michigan University for undergrad?
I was accepted to a total of 15 colleges. My top 3 were Maryland, Nebraska, and WMU. With being born and raised in Michigan, I took the cheaper route and decided to attend WMU.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
We are hitting every national program that there is multiple times. We are getting students registered voters, mentoring and tutoring STEM students, acknowledging and protecting the women on and off campus, and raising funds/clothes to donate to those in need throughout the school year.
What made you want to pledge Alpha Phi Alpha?
Perfect Match! If anybody knows me, I’m super chilled and calm. So it was something I could relate to more than any other organization. On a more broader scale, what Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. stands for matched with me. Manly Deeds, Scholarship, and Love for all Mankind are personal core values of mine. The rich tradition and and 100+ years of service and noble men who paved the way before me, Alpha was the only way.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
Diversity, none of us fit a stereotype. Our personalities and backgrounds range in so many different ways it’s crazy. The people love us for it, we can mingle and connect with any crowd!
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?
Be efficient, effective, and have a purpose!
What does leadership mean to you?
Everything, your literally put in a position to lead and guide people in the right path. Leadership is a trait of few and of your one of those few you canâ€™t be stingy and hold the keys to yourself. Leaders breed leaders!
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
It’s not a toxic or messy following. It exposes the good and true meaning behind D9 orgs rather it be involving the org or a personal accomplishment. We need more like it but you can’t be like the originator!
What does brotherhood mean to you?
Everything, I can’t express that enough to have someone lean on you or vice versa is something earned. I love all my brothers unconditionally, we saw the light together. Them my body for life, nothing you can tell me about them. We push and motivate each other to do great, nothing average. Brotherhood is what we stand on!
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
Moving out the state, it’s time to see the other side of the country. And of course I’d love to have a job lined up. But as long as I can still be the loving caring person I’ve always been, I’m ready to go lol!
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Brandon Harlin for his work as the president of Epsilon Xi Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to 1962.