The Ohio State University is getting a NPHC plaza.
A groundbreaking event was held on April 27th on the campus to kick off the construction of the plaza which will highlight the rich history of Black fraternities and sororities on campus.
According to Rayonna Booth, a Project Lead and member of Zeta Phi Beta’s Xi Gamma Chapter on campus, institutional archives state that the NPHC had been advocating for a space and sense of belonging on campus since the 1970s, when the members at the time, spoke out regarding not having adequate space to convene and engage the community in their initiatives.
The conversation around implementing a space for the council on campus has been occurring since the early 2000s, and the project has never gotten off the ground to come to life for our community.
“Our current council started having intentional conversations about this project and believed it was time to make this project happen in order to celebrate our history, while developing a legacy for our community that will have a lasting impact on the Ohio State community,” Booth stated in an email to Watch The Yard.
“From this day forward, the history and legacy of our Black Greek organizations will be commemorated as part of the physical landscape of The Ohio State University,” Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson at the groundbreaking. “I know that a more diverse and inclusive university is a richer, more complex and more innovative university. As president, I am committed to advancing diversity and inclusion, not just in words, but in action.”
The NPHC Plaza will feature all nine organizations to honor the nine orgs and chapters established The Ohio State University.
“The purpose of the NPHC Plaza is to serve as a space for current members, alumni and prospective members while raising awareness to the entire campus community about the legacy of our council and chapters. The NPHC Plaza will recognize the contribution and impact our council has had on the campus and Columbus community,” Booth stated. “At many large, predominately white institutions like Ohio State, it can be difficult for Black students to find a sense of community. However, it is up to Black students to find that place they can call home, and the NPHC Plaza will be just that and help push the focus on building an inclusive community that is racially and socially just for all people.”
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend the students, faculty and alumni for helping make this happen. Seeing spaces like these dedicated to Black students and Black history is truly a powerful thing.