This summer, the brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi held a conference for their Junior Vice Polemarchs (JVPs), the undergraduate brothers who have been chosen by the fraternity to represent regional leadership of the fraternity.
In an effort to highlight these young brothers, we at Watch The Yard reached out to the fraternity and were put in contact with them for interviews. Among these JVPs was Justin Sinclair, a 22-year-old Spring 2016 initiate of the fraternity’s Pi Psi Chapter at Penn State Harrisburg who is the Junior Vice Polemarch of the Northeastern Province which is made up of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware as well as Germany and the United Kingdom.
We talked to the electrical engineering major about his position and goals.
Read the full interview below.
What does it mean to be a Junior Vice Province Polemarch to you?
To me being a Junior Vice Province Polemarch means being the voice of undergraduate brothers and serve as their advocate when decisions need to be made for the welfare of each chapter and my province as a collective. Our great and noble clan was founded as an undergraduate fraternity. At times, our thoughts and opinions are cast in the shadows of our alumni. I feel as though it is my responsibility to be the factor that changes that dynamic and the driving force that is able to reintegrate undergraduate leadership within the bond.
What are the specific initiatives you are working on this year in your province?
Specific initiatives that I am working on this year in my province are financial literacy, mental health awareness, voter registration, extended community service, sexual awareness events, improving undergraduate involvement within the organization, forging stronger relationships with alumni brothers, police interaction events, improve the experience of our C. Rodger Wilson Leadership conference through better undergraduate engagement, and lastly reclamation of distant brothers.
What are you doing this year to specifically support the undergraduate chapters that you represent?
My main goal for the year to help support the undergraduate chapters that I represent is to be a change agent. My primary goal is to bridge the gap between alumni and undergraduate chapters by working synonymously to make effective and impactful decisions for the welfare of our organization. We are opposite but equal forces that depend on each other to preserve this bond for years to come. Alumni need the undergraduate brothers to make our brand attractive for our future and current leaders, while on the other hand, the undergraduate brothers need alumni as our resources, connections, and most of all mentors. I plan to maintain and enhance this relationship by implementing the requirement for both alumni and undergraduate chapters to delegate a representative to attend three meetings and three events that are hosted by their respective chapters each semester. Consequently, the local alumni and undergraduate chapters will become more familiar with each other and able to not only build a stronger bond and support system internally but also the community as a whole.
What made you want to pledge Kappa Alpha Psi?
Coming to college I did not really know much about Greek life, not to mention Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. However, after I discovered Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated, I quickly became intrigued by what the organization offered and the brand that was portrayed to me. Following the introduction, I began to take strides toward becoming a member because I knew the organization fostered morale, principles, and leadership that could improve my character, and I knew I could add value and to the present chapter and the organization as well. This organization is known for its legacy of achievement and a steady but firm foundation that I was attracted to and still am to this day. The organization is filled with numerous prestigious men that seek achievement and never fail to persevere through any adversity or challenge. Joining this organization was a goal that I aspired to be a part of that I could incorporate into my personal set of values as well as a brotherhood that would help me reach my full potential.
What is it about your province that makes it so unique in Kappa?
What makes the Northeastern Province unique in my opinion is the unity and a true sense of brotherhood that chapters posses and display throughout the province. The chapters within my province are all very close-knit and everyone typically knows each other, whether it be an undergraduate brother or an alumni brother. At times, brothers will even travel to other chapters for hours just to show support at events. Brothers who travel to support other chapters can expect hospitality of the highest standard. No matter where you are within our province, brothers know that the support and brotherhood is unquestionable.
In what ways have you experienced mentorship from alumni brothers as a JVP?
Before I became a JVP, I was blessed and fortunate to have received mentorship and encouragement from brothers in and near my chapter that realized the potential in me. Since becoming JVP, more alumni brothers have recognized my work ethic, dedication, and diligence. I became a mentee and began to learn more about the bond, about life and about what it is to be a true Kappa man. I’ve learned about professional appearance and conduct, how to have a clean, concise resume and LinkedIn, as well as guidance down the right path towards internships and full time offers.
We now live in a digital world, what do you think undergraduate chapters across all organizations need to do to represent themselves online in 2018?
In 2018 I believe that despite us living in a digital world it is important to remember that some information does not need to be disclosed. Social media can be used as a weapon that can be dangerous and seriously hurt our personal, chapter and organization character. When you join an organization you are upholding an image that may hurt your organization through one post, one tweet or one snap. Therefore we have to make conscious decisions on what we place on the internet. In contrast, social media is a great tool to utilize as well. It is a fantastic way to promote ourselves, our chapters, and our respective organization as a whole.
It enables one to highlight the successful programs they are creating, the leadership positions they are holding on campus, and the community service they are participating in. Therefore, we need to ensure that the brand we are showing is positive to potential members, our corporate sponsors, and the community as a whole. If we want our organizations to be around for our children and the following generations to be able to join and become members, we need to make cerebral choices that focus more on the great work and accomplishments that are being obtained.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black geekdom?
Watch the yard is important to black geekdom because it is a medium that cultivates harmony, identity, and unity. Watch the Yard is important for our community because it highlights the great events and actions black Greek letter organizations are doing on college campuses and in the community. It helps bring awareness to accomplishments and a sense of positive comradery that members in organizations are able to display. Also, being proactive in forums on current issues and events transpiring in the United States and around the world increase the level of knowledge both domestically and internally.
What does brotherhood mean to you?
To me, brotherhood is to be a “Brother’s Brother.” This means that you are selfless in your endeavors and ready to put the needs of others above those of yourself at times. It is to showing an unmatched level of love, empathy and appreciation towards others is what true brotherhood entails.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
After graduation, I plan on gaining some years of professional work experience and gaining in my field of study. Or, I plan to enroll into an accelerated MBA Program at Penn State University Smeal College of Business Management and Organizational Leadership. In addition, I want to continue to grow into the man God has directed me to be by constantly learning, evolving, and turning back to uplift and teach younger brothers to surpass my accomplishments and continue to raise the standard of achievement.
We at Watch The Yard would like to thank Justin Sinclair and the brothers at Kappa Alpha Psi including Ryan E. Tucker, MPA, the Director of Undergraduate & University Affairs for making this interview possible.
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