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 Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.’s Omicron Zeta (Beta Theta) Chapter at the University of Northern Colorado – Greeley and did an interview with Alfred “AJ” Johnson Jr the Polemarch/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. 22-year-old Alfred “AJ” Johnson Jr 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 Nursing 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?
Serving as a chapter president carries a lot of weight. It signifies that you have been viewed by your peers as someone who can conduct business and drive the chapter in the direction everyone can get behind. You are a direct representation of what it means to be a member of your organization, and enforce the ideologies and values on your organization on a daily basis.
What made you decide to attend the University of Northern Colorado – Greeley for undergrad?
I originally attended Colorado State University as an undeclared student. After some soul searching, I decided to not commit to the path of psychology but rather transfer schools and begin my journey into nursing.
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 looking to establish a scholarship and female pageant in the coming school year. This will help strengthen our relationship with the community by highlighting students who are working hard in their academics and making a difference in their communities. Financial support is a big priority for college students, so we would like to reduce some of that stress and make them feel appreciated.
What made you want to pledge Kappa Alpha Psi?
I wanted to become a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. because I’ve acknowledged their persistent will to achieve and make a difference. I did not join this fraternity for friendship, but rather to learn from the many distinguished men who hold themselves to a higher standard and morale. Understanding that no matter what title/occupation you hold, it is important to ensure you are continually progressing in some aspect on a daily basis. Being around so many likeminded men whom settle for nothing but the best allows me to reflect utilize a deeper level of productivity and to challenge myself. Becoming a Nupe taught me a lot, and being able to pay it forward and show the world what Kappa is about gives me great satisfaction while I serve my chapter and fraternity.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
Being a city-wide chapter, we are fortunate to conduct intake on 5 campuses. These campuses include: University of Denver, University of Colorado – Boulder, Metropolitan Sate University, University of Northern Colorado – Greeley, and finally Colorado State University!
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?
Social media is a powerful tool! Be mindful of your audience and be sure to keep your page as active as possible to increase engagements. Allow for opportunities where the community can ask or request specific events so you can tend to the community you stay in.
What does leadership mean to you?
To me, leadership is being able to collectively assimilate the various ideas of your team and carry out the vision of the group. A group consist of many great individuals, but a leader is a direct representation of the group and someone who the group considers trustworthy. Good leaders listen to their team and do more than dictate decisions for the group.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Watch The Yard gives college students a platform to promote organizations on a global scale. With over a quarter million followers, WTY is growing at an exponential rate, all while educating the rest of the world on what D9 culture is.
What does brotherhood mean to you?
Brotherhood to me, means more than just being there for a friend. Sometimes whenever we are going through it, it is important to have someone to call on in your time of need. Whether it’s a phone call, a video chat, or even an email it’s important to check on your brothers. School can stress out even the most put together individual, so being an attentive listener and being there during the good and bad times is what brotherhood means to me.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
After I graduate, I plan to work as a Registered Nurse (RN) within Denver for the next year or so. Following, I will sign with a travel agency and begin my career as a traveling nurse. I later plan to attend an HBCU graduate school to become a Nurse Practitioner.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Alfred “AJ” Johnson Jr for his work as the Polemarch of Omicron Zeta (Beta Theta) Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to May 29, 1939.
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