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 Lambda Iota Chapter at Brown University and did an interview with Patience Adegboyega 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 Patience Adegboyega 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 Public Policy and Africana Studies 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?
Being Chapter President of the Lambda Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. means first continuing the work of the amazing sorors that came before me. It also means challenging myself to be as communicative and receptive to feedback as possible which maximizes effectiveness as a leader. Being president allows me to improve a plethora of skills such as time management, event planning, creativity, and attention to detail for which I am grateful. It is an honor and privilege to be the president of the Lambda Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
What made you decide to attend Brown University for undergrad?
I decided to attend Brown University for several reasons. Paying for college was a huge source of worry for me as I come from a low-income background. Brown alleviated that stress by offering the most financial support. As a first generation college student, it was hard to think about going far from home for college. I am a Rhode Island native and live close to campus, so attending Brown allowed me to remain close to my family. Lastly, Brown’s open curriculum presented the opportunity to truly take charge of my education and study what I am interested in. So far, that has proved true as I have been able to examine systems of oppression and explore solutions to social problems through my majors of Public Policy and Africana Studies.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
The Lambda Iota chapter hosted a book drive primarily of books about children of color, to donate to low performing schools. We aim to make the book drive an annual endeavor to promote the importance of literacy in Rhode Island. Knowledge is power and the best way to gain knowledge is through reading. We hope to increase access to knowledge in schools that are challenged with education disparities. We also plan to establish a mentorship program between alumnae of our chapter and current undergraduate members. Through this mentorship program, we hope to assist young Black women as they explore possible career paths.
What made you want to pledge Delta Sigma Theta?
Being from Nigeria and growing up with no Black Greek presence in my life, I was introduced to Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. only after arriving at Brown. I was impressed by the confidence, leadership and humility of LI’s members and enjoyed attending their programs on important issues facing Black collegiate students in the Rhode Island area. For that reason, I began doing more research on the organization. I wanted to become a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. because of its dedication to the service and sisterhood. I was drawn by my sorority’s huge emphasis on public service to marginalized populations. Personally, I had been trying to increase the amount of public service that I was involved in, and I knew that membership in this distinguished organization would hold me accountable for that. The Five Point Programmatic Thrust, Economic Development, Educational Development, International Awareness and Involvement) aligned with the ways that I wanted to provide service to the Black community. Secondly, the women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. are incredible leaders in many fields. To enter a sisterhood of such inspiring women was something that I aspired towards.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
The Lambda Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is unique because we are a small, close-knit chapter. Our chapter sorors are very supportive, always willing to provide insight as well as to lend a helping hand for matters outside of chapter business. Members of Lambda Iota bring so many different experiences and backgrounds that culminate in a rich culture within the chapter and a wealth of ideas to draw from when it comes to initiatives. Although we are small, our size allows us to work like a well-oiled machine and accomplish many things. Additionally, being that we are located in such a small city, we are better able to cater our initiatives to the needs of the campuses and communities around us.
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?
The digital world allows for the dissemination of information at an incredible speed. Unfortunately, a lot of negativity is spread through this extensive digital network. Undergraduate chapters of all organizations need to use social media platforms to promote the incredible initiatives that they implement and to demonstrate the ideals of their respective organizations. Additionally, they should focus on promoting positivity and unity among Divine 9/NPHC organizations.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership is essentially the opportunity to be a public servant. A true leader listens to and respects those that they lead and engages the opinions and perspectives of others in their decisions. Leadership is not about being the boss, but instead about approaching tasks with a collaborative mentality. A leader should use their skills for the betterment of a cause and a people.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Watch the Yard is important to Black greekdom because it remains dedicated to spreading positive news of Black Greek organizations. It is very easy for Black greekdom to be overshadowed by the negative press but Watch the Yard serves as a reminder of the positive purpose of Black Greek organizations.
What does sisterhood mean to you?
Sisterhood means having people to lean on and always being there for others to lean on you. A sister is someone who always wants the best for you and helps you become the best version of yourself. A sister is someone who doesn’t give up on you, celebrates your accomplishments and mourns your losses as their own. Most importantly, a sister is someone that loves you unconditionally.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
After graduation, I plan on working for 1-2 years either as a paralegal before attending law school. Ultimately I would like to be working in education policy because I believe that improving education is the solution to many social inequities. I know that obtaining legal experience will be extremely beneficial in helping me achieve my goal. However, I know that often times our plans are far from what actually happens has other plans so I really plan on being wherever God would have me after graduation.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Patience Adegboyega for her work as the president of Lambda Iota Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to 1974.