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 Gamma Chi Chapter at Savannah State University and did an interview with Donald Moore Jr the president/polemarch of the chapter.
The position of president/polemarch of an undergraduate chapter of a Black fraternity is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. 26-year-old Donald Moore 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 Homeland Security Emergency Management major, Criminal Justice minor 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?
The Gamma Chi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. has been on the campus of Savannah State University (SSU) since Saturday, April 29, 1950. Being Polemarch of this chapter is a distinct honor. My brothers have trusted me to take the lead and steer the chapter to even greater heights; I can say we have. I’ve had the opportunity to continue the legacy established by Brother Taqwan Jordan (2004) by campaigning to become Junior Vice Polemarch of the Southeastern Province of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. I followed his leadership blueprint and campaigned to become Junior Vice Province Polemarch of the Southeastern Province. Although my efforts were unsuccessful, I used this experience to reinforce my passion and desire to welcome leadership in the fraternity locally, regionally, and internationally.
What made you decide to attend Savannah State University for undergrad?
Before me being enrolled in Savannah State University, I attended Savannah Technical Peace Officer Academy where I became a Peace Officer in 2014. During my time in the academy, my sister, Naiyana Johnson, an SSU Alumna, recruited me to follow in her footsteps and attend SSU. Also, the rich academic history and environment were other factors that impressed me and confirmed SSU was the place for me. The interactions with the faculty and staff also reinforced the fact that I would receive a quality education with hands-on and engaged professors. The professors’ notice when your grades are slipping, or you missed class. The University by the Sea has MOLDED and PREPARED me for life after college.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
Along with completing the National Undergraduate Initiatives, as well as crowing Miss KAPsi, the chapter is focusing on Mental Health Awareness. In the black community, there is a negative stigma surrounding mental health. Instead of seeking professional help, many people on campus and the surrounding community resort to self-medication such as drugs or alcohol to solve their problems. This issue is most prevalent among Black Men. Speaking from experience, Black Men grow up in a culture that tells us “Men are not supposed to cry” or “We should deal with our problems on our own.” Those ideologies positions us to believe that we are WEAK or LESS of a man if we engage in those behaviors. This is true for me as well; there were moments in my life where I was afraid of sharing my emotions due to the stigma. Those experiences led me to choose mental health initiatives so we can shine a light on those dark areas in the Black Community and campus
What made you want to pledge Kappa Alpha Psi?
I am originally from a small town called Shellman, GA. I had no Greek background or information before my sister enrolled at SSU. When my family and I visited my sister at SSU, I always noticed men with canes that were dressed nicely, holding doors for our female students, and helping students move into their residential buildings. It was this gentleman persona they gave off which caught my attention. I instantly did my research. Out of all the Greek fraternities, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. was the only Greek fraternity that emphasized the word “Achievement.” I then googled the word achievement; achievement means “A thing done successfully, typically by effort, courage, or skill.” I asked myself what that means to me. I interpreted that to say “ Doing the best you can to your full potential in everything that you do, or put your mind to.” At that very moment, I knew I wanted to be a Kappa Man. Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. is more like a family. No matter the year you crossed, the Brothers are always there to assist whenever needed. “Yo the Nupes!!! “
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
A Gamma Chi Nupe is unique, an older Brother Jeffrey D. Dinkins, Sr. (Winter 1989) told me these very words. “To be a Gamma Chi NUPE is very different from any other chapter. We treat women with respect, we show love to the other fraternities, and most of all, we take care of business, that’s a Gamma Chi Nupe.”
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?
Being a student at an HBCU, Black Greek Letter organizations must understand social media can be very informative and a great source of communication to a large mass of people. In contrast, we must recognize the reach of social media can also erode the image of the organization and the chapter. For example, if my chapter does something against our Constitution, the activity will be published on the official fraternity’s website — also, the presence of the various social sites posts and share activities that are not aligned with the organization’s core values. The irony is you rarely see a post sharing a positive movement in the community, but you always see a post that does not represent the organization. All undergrad chapters need to understand our actions, good or bad can impact your image. We need to use social media to market our great work in the community.
What does leadership mean to you?
My idea of leadership inspires others to make people feel comfortable, getting along with others, believing in what you say, and say what you mean, motivate, set a vision, have integrity, communicate, be able to light the room with your appearance, and respect others. A leader must have an honest understanding of who they are, what they know, and what they can do.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Watch the Yard is essential to Black Greekdom because it highlights the positive impact every organization has throughout the world. It goes beyond the lit strolls each chapter submits; it’s an excellent networking tool. It shares stories that inspire, motivate, and encourages the positive efforts of all Greek Letter organizations. No other site shares the accomplishments, impact, and continued need for the Divine 9. Regardless of the Greek Letter Organization, Watch the Yard is tirelessly continuing to tell our story as we make a difference on various college campuses.
What does brotherhood mean to you?
The word “Brotherhood” is used from the time we start recruitment and continues to be used every day to describe why we joined or what we are looking for in a fraternity. Few people ever find their true meaning of the word “Brotherhood,” but for some reason, Greeks everywhere use it because that term brings us together. Brotherhood is not something that can be explained with words, but more of a feeling when you are surrounded by those you call your Brothers. It’s that feeling we all get when we see a Brother doing something that represents our values as a fraternity and chapter. It’s that feeling we get when we think of the person that brought you into this Fraternity. It’s the feeling we get when we’re proud of our accomplishments as an organization or as an individual chapter. The act of Brotherhood is both phenomenal and life-changing.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
I am a Senior and that question crosses my mind every day. Upon graduation, I plan to work for the Federal Government utilizing my degree in Emergency Management. I aspire to become a member of the Homeland Security Emergency Management (HSEM) Department. My grandma would always say “Son you must crawl before you walk, and sometimes you have to do things you’re not willing to do to get where you need to go.” With that, I plan to learn, grow, and advance to my desired position.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Donald Moore Jr for his work as the president of Gamma Chi Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to 1950.