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Leadership Highlight: Antonio Rivers Jr. The Polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi at North Carolina A&T

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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 Alpha Nu Chapter at North Carolina A&T State University and did an interview with Antonio Rivers Jr the 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. 23-year-old Antonio Rivers 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 Computer Engineer major and talked about his 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?
A chapter president is the number one example of everything their chapter embodies. Being a chapter president is going above and beyond the call of duty. You must uphold the traditions of the chapter all while creating new opportunities for growth and continued success. It’s imperative to know each member within your chapter in order to fully utilize their strengths to push the chapter forward. It means understanding how to be patient, resilient, and resourceful in order to get the results you want.

What made you decide to attend North Carolina A&T State University for undergrad?
Prior to my freshman year of college, I didn’t know much about North Carolina A&T. A close friend of mine who graduated high school three years before me attended A&T as an engineering student. He also was a member in the Blue and Gold Marching Machine as a Cold Steel drummer. He knew I had an interest in engineering and wanted to continue participating in the marching band as well. I was later recruited and started attending A&T as of Fall 2014.

What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
My chapter is currently heading initiatives such as voters registration, financial literacy, mentorships and campus collaborations. Through these, we have brought more awareness to the importance of voting, showed the impact of being financially free and started molding great relationships with other student organizations on campus to host great programs together.

What made you want to pledge Kappa Alpha Psi?
Kappa Alpha Psi has been a part of me since I was born. My father is a Fall ‘96 initiate into the Alpha Xi chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He has been the number one example to me on what it means to be a man of Kappa. Many of the leaders and men that have mentored me have all been brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi as well. I wanted to share that bond with them and my father. I seek to inspire others to be better every day the same way I was inspired growing up
and even to this day.

What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
Alpha Nu is full of rich traditions and achievements. From having Laurel Wreath awardees, to winning National Chapter of the Year; Alpha Nu has always been the example within the Middle Eastern Province. After seven long years, we finally returned in spring 2018 with forty-five initiates. We’ve been tasked with bringing Alpha Nu back while learning how to be brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi at the same time. We’ve had to learn how to function as a unit under my leadership, as a neophyte and Polemarch. With no prophytes on the yard, it is difficult to help guide us. Everything has been a learning lesson thus far. And the pressure we’ve been through has done nothing but made us stronger and prepared us for each new challenge ahead of 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 2018?
I feel like everyone is connected to everything going on around them through social media. Social Media is a powerful networking tool that when used right, can help connect you to exactly what you need. As undergraduate chapters, we have to be those leaders that show the significance of service in our communities and the positive impact we have on everything around us. We have to utilize online resources to the best of our ability in order to help spread all the good things people do every day to make this world a better place.

Photo Credit: FlicksbyJ

What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership to me is knowing how to show others what to do and not just telling them. Everything I’ve done over the years has taught me that true leaders learn the best lessons from their biggest failures. I’ve picked up on various styles, teachings and lessons from my involvement in the marching band as captain of the Cold Steel drumline and active participation in Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity, Inc. I’ve learned that leadership means always being the example and being able to see the bigger picture, even when others don’t. As
a leader of others, you also have to know how to be just as good of a follower as you are a leader.

Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Watch the Yard helps bring all greeks together in a positive way. Watch the Yard helps us newer generation greeks connect to the history of not just our organizations but greekdom as a whole. Watch the Yard highlights all the service, best steps/strolls, and achievements of greeks everywhere. They do this all while being a top-notch social media platform for those who are not greek and might be curious to know more about us.

Photo Credit: FlicksbyJ

What does brotherhood mean to you?
Brotherhood is being there for your brother whenever and however needed. It means being there when times are good and in the darkest of hours. Brothers must be able to trust each other, sacrifice and be accountable for each other. I love traveling to other schools just to meet the Nupes. It’s amazing how people from different places and backgrounds can come together to fellowship and bond from being in the same fraternity. Having that connection and bond in
fraternity could also be beneficial when finding out an employer is in your fraternity. That brotherhood will give you a job based off the strength of being in the bond. It’s a great thing to be able to experience.

What do you plan on doing after graduation?
I’m currently in a transition period in my life where I’m trying to find out what I’m truly passionate about. Even though I am pursuing my degree in Computer Engineering, plans after graduation are not set in stone just yet. Luckily, I have two more semesters to get everything together. I do know that I want to continue to have an impact on my community and those around me. I’m also interested in Project Management and I’m thinking about getting Six-Sigma certified and going to graduate school for Industrial and Systems Engineering..

Photo Credit: @swayyyyproductions

We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Antonio Rivers Jr for his work as the president of Alpha Nu Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to 1933.

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