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 Silas Shorter, a 20-year-old Spring 2017 initiate of the fraternity’s Sigma Chapter at the University of Michigan who is the Junior Vice Polemarch of the Northern Province which is made up of Michigan, New York, and Ohio.
We talked to the Biomolecular Science major about his position and goals.
Read the full interview below.
What does it mean to be a Junior Vice Province Polemarch to you?
Being a Junior Vice Province Polemarch means everything to me. It has built my leadership skills tremendously and exposed me to the true meaning of service. The amount of discipline that is required has allowed me to grow at a rate I would never have imagined before. Having the responsibility of being JVP is not a task nor a chore, but rather a lifestyle to upkeep.
What are the specific initiatives you are working on this year in your province?
The specific initiatives I’m working on this year in my province are catered to reaching more people with our service.
While I feel as though the chapters within my province are doing a great job of giving back and staying involved within the community, there’s always room for improvement. I also want to make sure that our work is reaching beyond just campus community. Since we are undergraduate chapters, we are young. Young enough for high school students to see us as their peers and be inspired/motivated by the work that we do.
What are you doing this year to specifically support the undergraduate chapters that you represent?
What I am doing this year to specifically support the undergraduate chapters that I represent is making sure I am consistently available for open communication.
While I may not be able to have constant facetime with many of the members of the chapters, I want it to be known that I am open and available to suggestions, feedback, and regular conversation. I want the chapters to be comfortable reaching out to me as I will have no problem reaching out to them making sure all relationships are maintained. As I get feedback from the chapters, I will make sure to actually carry on the message, or if it is something that I personally can fix or work on myself, I will be sure to do so.
What made you want to pledge Kappa Alpha Psi?
I wanted to pledge Kappa Alpha Psi because, IT IS THE GREATEST FRATERNITY IN THE WORLD!
But seriously, my father is a member of this great fraternity. Growing up I always had an interest in learning more about Kappa Alpha Psi and what this fraternity really stood for. As I became of age, I knew that I didn’t want to go any other way. I was exposed to true leadership, brotherhood, achievement, and service.
What is it about your province that makes it so unique in Kappa?
What makes the Northern Province so unique in Kappa is that our specific Alumni base is so diverse, successful, and willing to reach back. I know that I will have no problem receiving any assistance that I reach out for.
Also, the Northern Province is know to be “Small but Mighty!”, seeing that the province only covers all Michigan schools, and select few schools in Ohio and New York it is imperative that we uphold the close knit brotherly, relationship within our province. This relationship sets us apart from other larger Provinces.
In what ways have you experienced mentorship from alumni brothers as a JVP?
From the position of Junior Province Vice Polemarch, there are alumni brothers who are willing to lend a helping hand. Whether it’s advice, connections, or just conversation, there is always someone to provide me with honest information and advice when needed.
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?
Well for starters, I feel as though all undergraduate chapters across all orgs should be POSITIVELY representing their brand online in 2018. All posts should be of substance and have a message to get across. It doesn’t always have to be major, but for example, posting when they are doing their community service, posting their achievements, etc. Social media can either be your best friend or worst enemy, but I think it is the perfect platform to market yourself and others.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom because it consistently keeps all of us updated on all of the success happening within the Black Greek community on a larger scale. And that can truly spark some inspiration and motivation for the next to come along and create a major breakthrough. Then this cycle of Black Excellence just keeps going and going.
What does brotherhood mean to you?
What true brotherhood means to me is really something you cannot put into words. It means being willing to truly sacrifice your comfortability, time, well-being, etc. so that your brother can benefit or succeed. If someone is your brother, you would give your right arm or kidney for them if needed. You are in a bond if you are in a brotherhood and to a certain extent you are responsible for your brother.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
Post-graduation I plan to continuing my education at the School of Dentistry. I am pursuing a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) degree, which will be used for orthodontist practices. With that degree I plan to open a private practice facility. Ultimately, I plan to open a chain of orthodontic facilities catered to low-income families.
We at Watch The Yard would like to thank Silas Shorter 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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