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Leadership Highlight: Eugene Nichols, III the Polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi at University of Rochester

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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 Xi Epsilon Chapter at University of Rochester and did an interview with Eugene Nichols, III 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. 21-year-old Nichols 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 Social Advocacy 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?

To be a chapter president is to be selfless, aware and focused. You must be able to lead your chapter, while also allowing others to have a voice as well. Being a chapter president also requires vision and communication. You must set goals for where you want your chapter to go, while also being able to communicate and collaborate those ideas to make the goals attainable.

Photo Credit: @sbsphotogram

What made you decide to attend the University of Rochester for undergrad?

I chose to attend the University of Rochester due to its Interdepartmental major program. The University allowed me to mix courses in Religion, Political Science, African American Studies, and English to better understand contemporary urban problems in the United States. The academic flexibility to create my Social Advocacy major increased my intrigue to attend the university, and ultimately caused me to commit.

What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?

A specific initiative that my chapter is heading up on this year is the Mass Incarceration Symposium. The Mass Incarceration Symposium will take place at the University of Rochester in November and will aim to discuss the mass incarceration crisis at hand, while also allowing attendees the opportunity to further understand and experience this crisis through a prison visitation. This event will be co-sponsored by faculty and staff at the University of Rochester, in addition to the Ghandi Institute, Susan B. Anthony Center, and Rochester Prison Education Project. We are also looking forward to doing an array of community service this semester, in addition to additional programs geared towards inspiring and impacting undergraduate students as well.

What made you want to pledge Kappa Alpha Psi?

I was most interested in gaining members in my fraternity to strengthen my weaknesses, and better access my potential. I was inspired to join the organization due to the mentorship of my 5th and 7th grade teachers, Mr. Pender and Mr. Parker, and due to the overall impact they had on my life.

What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?

The Upper Echelon Xi Epsilon Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. maintains the organizations standards in the highest way possible. We not only pride ourselves on our dedication to academically achieve, but we pride ourselves on the ability to remain resilient and focused regarding our future academic and personal endeavors.

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?

Undergraduate chapters should better represent themselves on social media by working to better showcase their programs, and initiatives in their university community.

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership means being selfless and determined. You must be able to prioritize your organizations missions, while having a targeted goal for your chapter’s own goals as well.

Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?

Watch the Yard serves as the leading platform for the Black college greek experience. The platform inspires youth to go to college, and inspires undergraduate chapters and chapters worldwide to remain active in their local and surrounding communities.

What does brotherhood mean to you?

Brotherhood means love, care and loyalty. You remain steadfast in motivating your brothers, while also attaining your goals as well.

What do you plan on doing after graduation?

After graduation I plan to further pursue a career in Law by going to Law School.

We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Eugene Nichols, III for his work as the president of Xi Epsilon Chapter which has a legacy that spans back to 1991.

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