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 Gamma Beta Chapter at North Carolina Central University and did an interview with Denzel Goodlin 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 Denzel Goodlin 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 Social Work 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?
It means to serve. Chapter presidency requires selflessness and sacrifice. My assignment is devoted to the better making of men and love for all mankind. Chapter presidency demands a heart for the people.
What made you decide to attend North Carolina Central University for undergrad?
North Carolina Central was an out of state school for Virginia. All of my friends were either going to Virginia Commonwealth University or Old Dominon University. I knew I wanted a setting outside of my comfort zone away from my friends and an HBCU experience. When I got the e-mail to visit NCCU I went to the open house and felt the connection right then and there. It was a place that could feed me, but also a place I could pour into.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
Secret Servants is one of our current initiatives we created. The initiative is devoted to random acts of kindness and service to the student body and community members. You never know how your presence or gift impacts someone. The Golden Shield is our second initiative by my LB Brother Myles Alston which focuses on eliminating Sexual Assault and Abuse across the nation.
What made you want to pledge Alpha Phi Alpha?
The men of Gamma Beta set the tone for me. Our Mister NCCU during my freshman year, Omari Collins was an Alpha. The first male I met and shook hands with at campus was our former Vice Chancellor Mr. Gary Brown, who was an Alpha. My former SGA/Royal Court Adviser Kent Williams was an Alpha. My uncle was an Alpha. All the names listed along with others showed a man of presence, character, scholarship, and devotion to uplifting humanity. That was the kind of man I wanted to be.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
Gamma Beta is the people’s chapter. Our success as a chapter comes from the people who support us and the community we pour into. Everything we do is centered around how can we make our community better. If what we do has no community impact or difference, there’s no use of us being Alpha men.
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?
Love first. Your reputation is built off of what you produce to the public. When you love the people they will show love to you.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership is shown in the character of a shepherd. A shepherd casts a lot of their personal ambitions to the side to focus on the sheep they have to ensure are growing. The sheep have a purpose and assignment to fulfill. It’s the shepherd’s responsibility to make sure that is taking place.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Watch The Yard is our voice. Watch The Yard consistently shows us in positive ways other media outlets don’t. You all show the community what we’re about and that’s what we need.
What does brotherhood mean to you?
Brotherhood is loyalty. You can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your brothers. Siblings don’t always get along or see eye to eye, but they have an obligation to protect and love one another.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
I will pursue my Master of Divinity for full-time ministry in the AME Church. Upon completion, I will enroll in a PhD program in homiletics or theology.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Denzel Goodlin for his work as the president of Gamma Beta Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to 1941.
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