In an effort to highlight the people who are leading graduate chapters across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. in Bloomington, Indiana and did an interview with Samuel R. Young, II the President of the Sigma Kappa Lambda Chapter.
The position of president of a Black fraternity chapter is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. Young, who is a Associate Director of Groups Scholars Program at Indiana University, has served in the position of president of his chapter for two years.
We interviewed Young, who is a Spring 1989 initiate and talked to him about his position, goals, future and what it means to hold this type of leadership position in the digital age.
Read the full interview below.
What does it mean to be a chapter president to you?
I think that being a chapter president you have to bring passion, motivation, and determination. When deciding to be a chapter president you have to be able to reach the entire brotherhood, express the importance of the initiative to the community, and enjoy the true experience.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the surrounding community?
We initiated the Charlie and Jeanetta Nelms Leadership Academy. This initiative mentors and educates high school males within Bloomington, Indiana.
The goals of the Nelms Leadership Academy:
- To develop leadership qualities in young men and encourage self-examination to achieve self-actualization.
- To institute academic discipline and techniques for developing personal goals and habits.
- To create an understanding of social engagement, civic engagement, service to communities, and advocacy.
- To promote wellness in all forms (mental, financial, emotional, etc.) in young men.
What made you want to pledge Alpha Phi Alpha?
During my undergraduate experience at Indiana University, the leaders that I gravitated around were men of Alpha. Their actions and work showed the importance of working hard and not always receiving accolades, but knowing the benefit of doing service was the goal.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
We are a very young chapter that is bridging the college brother experience within an Alumni Chapters. We have professionals throughout our community as well as educators on Indiana University’s campus that are moving towards the betterment of the Bloomington community.
We now live in a digital world, what do you think alumni chapters across all orgs need to do to represent themselves online in 2019?
I think it is important that we understand and best utilize all aspects of social media. We know we do service because this is what we do. In order for others to know and support our efforts, we should bring the information to them.
What does leadership mean to you?
I’m a servant leader by heart. Leaders should be in the acting piece of the work. By our actions and support of the group, you are more able to get the work accomplished and are able to celebrate with the brotherhood. Leadership allows you to take the criticism and evaluate the effectiveness of your programs in order to better serve the population you desire.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
I appreciate Watch the Yard. This medium continues to bring vital information to the forefront and remembers our rich history of not just my organization, but the entire greekdom. It is a place where we celebrate and be proud of our accomplishments.
What does brotherhood mean to you?
Brotherhood is unique in itself that you bring like minded men who believe in the mission of the organization. We also support those with their individual endeavors, because they are our brother. The unique piece brings another level of support and accountability we have for one another.
How is your chapter providing for the undergraduate chapters you support?
We have a great opportunity to support our college chapter at Indiana University. I am also the chapter advisor for Gamma Eta chapter. I was made here in the spring 1989. I understand the need for advocacy. As a staff member on campus and now the president of our alumni chapter, this gives the students resources to create interesting and active programs. We are also a guide for their career objectives once they graduate.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Samuel R. Young, II for his work as the president of the Sigma Kappa Lambda Chapter which has a legacy that spans back to 2017.