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 Phi Kappa Chapter at Iona College and did an interview with Matthew Saint-Louis 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. 20-year-old Saint-Louis 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 Accounting 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?
Being a chapter president means to serve the members of your chapter. You lead the chapter by empowering them and motivating them to achieve excellence.
What made you decide to attend the Iona College for undergrad?
The proximity to New York City, but also not being too far from home. The Business program at my institution is accredited and respected.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
Our chapter is putting a large emphasis on our national program “Project Alpha” in order to make sure members of the community are informed and educated. We will also be continuing our annual Ball4Babies 3v3 basketball tournament in partnership with our sponsoring alumni chapter, Eta Zeta Lambda, to raise money for March of Dimes; an organization that leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies.
What made you want to pledge Alpha Phi Alpha?
I pledge Alpha Phi Alpha to be apart of a brotherhood with brothers that would hold me accountable and charge me with the responsibility of reaching my fullest potential. I wanted to be a stronger advocate in my community both on campus and in my surrounding communities. Being a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. also gave me the opportunity to foster relationships with young men and gave me the opportunity to offer them guidance, support, and motivation as the future of America.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
Phi Kappa Chapter, chartered on March 16th, 2019, has 4 members. Each member of the chapter comes from different backgrounds and offer different perspectives. Despite that, we only come together for the common goal of serving and bettering our community. We have formed a bond that will last a lifetime and a chapter on the campus of Iona College that will be the catalysts in pushing forward the struggle for equity at PWIs.
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?
Undergraduate chapters must work together and support one another on social media. Often times I see bashing and negative jokes made about chapters or organizations and we must show endless support in order to build unity within our communities, whether it is digitally or in society. Members must remember that they represent their orgs at all times, especially on social media, and be mindful of the things they do and say.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership=Service. Being a leader means to serve the people you are leading in whatever capacity they need of you. Leading is teaching those you lead while learning and being a constant student from them as well. Leading is empowering those following you and helping them elevate to their highest level. Leading is no easy task, but is rewarding when you get to watch those you lead grow along side you.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Watch the Yard is important because it represents a common bond that individuals share. Whether it is inspiring motivational posts, or posts that we can sit back and laugh together through common experience, it connects the community in a way that few can. It provides a platform for Black Greeks.
What does brotherhood mean to you?
Brotherhood/Sisterhood is holding your brother/sister accountable, while showing them unconditional love and support. Sharing a bond that will connect you eternally and having their back day in and day out, continuing to grow and strengthen the bond. Brother and sisters fight, but never lost sight of what’s important and what connects them.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
After I graduate, I plan to take and pass my CPA exam and accept a full-time offer with Ernest and Young. I hope to one day be able to open my own firm focusing on providing financial support for under-represented groups and hopefully plan to open a shoe store in my community.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Matthew Saint-Louis for his work as the president of Phi Kappa Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to 2019.
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