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Leadership Highlight: The Polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi at Southern University, Kristofer McKinney

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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 Sigma Chapter at Southern University and did an interview with Kristofer McKinney the Polemarch of the chapter.

The position of Polemarch in Kappa is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. 22-year-old McKinney 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 nursing major and talked about his position, goals, future and what it means to be a member of a Black fraternity in the digital age.

Read the full interview below.

What does it mean to be a chapter president to you?

It is an honor to be Polemarch of such a noble chapter with such a rich history. It requires commitment and pure dedication to the business of the fraternity.

What made you decide to attend Southern University for undergrad?

What made me want to attend this institution was the legacy that was held by the infamous band program and its #1 Ranked nursing program in the state of Louisiana. It was the “S” on their chest that let me know they were the best! “The moving, the grooving, and the high stepping” that inspired me to march. I watched the Southern University “Human Jukebox” Marching band since the age of 6 years old. It still fascinates me how the precision, and masculinity of the bands still stands today. This band has made huge impact on my academic career and afforded me many opportunities as a student. Along with my love for health care, the nursing program has invested countless hours in me as a processing student. The instructors are diligent in the teaching of the students and are working each and everyday to make sure we graduate as competent nurses. While doing this, they are making sure that we uphold the standard of the legendary Southern University School of Nursing.

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

The initiatives that we have targeted for this year have been oriented around health and wellness. It is imperative that we maintain a healthy physical and mental state as college students and as normal people in our community. We want to improve on sharing information by getting the the entire city of Baton Rouge engaged in what it is we need to do to keep our city healthy.

What made you want to pledge Kappa?

What made me pledge this fraternity was from the exposure from The Elite Chapter of The Mobile Kappa League. Being a part of this leadership development program showed me many things that I lacked as a growing black male and what I needed to be taught to be successful in the real world. My advisors/mentors were exemplary of the things that they taught us. One concept that we were taught that had an impact in my life and showed me the image of a Kappa man was the modeling of the 5- Wells. They are. Well-Read, Well-Spoken, Well- Traveled, Well- Groomed, and Well- Balanced. These essentials helped me see the light to Kappa Land

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

My chapter, Alpha Sigma, is the first undergraduate chapter in the Southwestern province which was founded in 1935. We are known as the Mothership Chapter in this province. We pitch a saying that states, “At Alpha Sigma, where I was made, where all the pretty NUPES lay their heads in the shade”. We also are known for our unique way of strolling. It consist of a smooth glide and keeping the train “playa”. The style is very distinct and goes way back in chapter history.

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 think all undergraduate chapters should continue to fulfill the objectives that have been in place to run the organization. However, adding a modern day twist to ensure that it is enlightening to the community in which they are serving. Posting the results of community service and sharing informative items that could be beneficial many others.

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership is being able to serve those who are wanting to see action executed and actions that are meaningful to a cause. The goal is to achieve a goal that has been set by those who want to conquer a task. It’s all about serving, advocating, training, and achieving.

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

It allows Greek orgs and the world to see the positive things that are taking place in Greekdm. Also, it shows us where we stand as members of Greek organizations and what we can do to continue impacting.

What does brotherhood mean to you?

Brotherhood, to me, is having connection to another person without involving blood, but treats this individual like family. Showing that they care and have genuine concern for these individuals is what I call true brotherhood.

What do you plan on doing after graduation?

Upon graduation, I plan on finding a job at a health facility and applying to an accelerated DNP program to work towards a doctorate in nursing practice. I plan to grow my scholarship foundation to even higher heights for students who seek interest in healthcare and who are in need of financial assistance or afford college tuition.

We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Kristofer McKinney for his work as the Polemarch of Alpha Sigma Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to 1935. 

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