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 women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.’s Kappa Upsilon Chapter at Auburn University and did an interview with Chelsey Holland the president of the chapter.
The position of president of an undergraduate chapter of a Black sorority is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. 20-year-old Chelsey Holland has used the position to gain new leadership experience, improve the lives of other students on campus and help the community around her.
We interviewed the Healthcare Administration major and talked about her 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 more than being a great leader. It means you’re also a great follower. It means not being the sole voice of your chapter but the voice of all your sisters. It is not about smiling and having the title “president.” It means you are about business and anything mediocre is not accepted. It means pushing your chapter, as well as, yourself when everyone else feels hope is gone. K-OOP will always be the ONLY Killas. What does that mean? We excel in academics and rid of any obstacles that may confront us. It means more than you think to be a chapter president. You are one of many, however, you are the one that decides who your chapter will be on the yard an anywhere you may go #RUNIT.
What made you decide to attend Auburn University for undergrad?
Auburn University was a good distance from home, but not too far. It was the first school I applied to and the last school I was accepted into. Auburn also gave me the best scholarship.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
There are various projects and activities our chapter is heading up this year, but the highlighted initiatives for us this year are increasing social action initiatives especially among historically silenced groups (ethnic and social minorities, students and the elderly), promoting comprehensive health education on campus in the forms of mental and sexual health, and also increasing awareness and involvement in international issues like global aids crisis and other areas concerning public health.
What made you want to pledge Delta Sigma Theta?
I decided to pledge Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. because it was the one thing that I have always wanted, the one thing I could do for myself. Yes, I was involved in Delta Academy and Delta G.E.M.S. and this gave me the opportunity to be around Delta women on a daily basis. Outside looking in, Deltas had so much to offer and left behind so much history that would stay forever. I asked myself, “What do I have to offer?” I have always been heavily involved in service and where I am from it is scarce that young women see the opportunities that God has given me. After pledging, it felt amazing for young girls to see my letters and myself and look up to me. It gives me more opportunities to show my city that possibilities are endless. There is life after high school, college. It does not have to stop there either. Be something that you can be proud of and that people love to be proud of as well, however, do it for you.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
The bond. The atmosphere is not “guest-like.” We are sisters. We hold each other accountable and we love each other endlessly. We are not copies of each other. We are all different and have so much to offer in different parts of our chapter. What one of us lacks, one can pick up. We push each other and we never turn our backs on one another. We have our problems, but what family does not? All of our problems are nonexistent when it comes to the love we have for ourselves, especially our chapter.
We also have two charter members who are blessed to be here and see the progression Kappa Upsilon has made over the years.
We now live in a digital world, what do you think undergraduate chapters across all orgs need to do to represent themselves online in 2018?
Be present (if it is your thing), but be original. A lot of chapters use social media as their voice and that is not how it works. Social media can be a place to express who you are, but it should not make you who you are. Do not let social media be the place where you post your chapter’s events and that is it. Strike a conversation on a post. Ask what audiences want to see. Make up good debates. Spotlight you members/advisor(s). Be social on your SOCIAL MEDIA. Clean and neat. You cannot go wrong.
What does leadership mean to you?
Knowing when to observe and when to step in. As president, you are not a band-aid. You are literally apart of your chapter but you just have a different prospective as to how you serve your chapter. Leadership ultimately means being equipped with abilities to keep everyone on one accord to handle business and being able to separate what is accepted and what is not. You are slow to anger and aggression, but firm when it comes to sound decisions.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
It gives other greeks/chapters the ability to see other greek traditions or what greek life is like on other campuses. You are “watching” different yards. You are also giving chapters more attention. When videos/pictures trend for the right reasons, it is gives a positive image of us. It makes you want to seek more and do more especially when it comes to your chapter.
What does sisterhood mean to you?
Sisterhood means you are actually linked by a common interests. It means appreciating that everyone is different but we have a common goal. We seek each others fears and push for each others success. We want to become one so there is no confusion when it comes to the relationship you share with each other. It is an unbreakable bond.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
I plan to be interning in the Birmingham, Al area or somewhere where I can successfully obtain more knowledge about the healthcare field. I would like to work in a small practice (physician management), but a hospital is still an option (hospital/department administrator).
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Chelsey Holland for her work as the president of Kappa Upsilon Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to 1974.
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