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 Epsilon Chapter at Lincoln University of PA and did an interview with Nadir Banfield the 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 Nadir Banfield 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 Mass Communications and Psychology major 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?
Being the chapter president means I am responsible for all the highs and lows of the chapter. I’m the point of contact in regards to whatever goes on in the chapter on a national, regional, or local level. Above all, I am the leader of whatever brothers are on the yard.
What made you decide to attend Lincoln University of PA for undergrad?
I applied to multiple high schools during my senior year and was accepted to very few. Lincoln accepted me but I was still awaiting decisions from my top schools (North Carolina A&T, University of Maryland College Park, and Towson). I lost my grandmother the summer going into college which halted my aspiration of going to college. Lincoln reached out to me once more and I decided not to question God twice.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
The Epsilon Chapter “Star of the East” of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. is the FIRST chapter under the name Kappa Alpha Psi. Elder Watson Diggs HIMSELF traveled on horse and buggy to Lincoln University and signed the charter himself. The name “Star of the East” was given to our chapter, it is not a nickname. The Epsilon Chapter is not only the first chapter under Kappa Alpha Psi but it is the first chapter on the east coast.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
Along with following the national undergraduate initiatives, the Epsilon Chapter “Star of the East” is focusing on improving our communication with the campus community, improving our relationships with faculty and staff, and bringing things we need to our historic campus. Bridging the gap between faculty and students will help build a stronger sense of culture for our University and knowing what the campus wants as a organization will improve the students experience. One thing we plan on having is Free HIV testing for our campus due to the rise of STD’s among men and women between the ages of 15-24.
What made you want to pledge Kappa Alpha Psi?
First impressions are everything and when I got to college I did not know anything about Greek life. The persona of the Kappas on the yard was “about our business” and that resonated with me. I did my research and went to the interest meeting and met someone from the same city as me, he told me he’d look out for me and he actually did. Him being from the same city as me and achieving motivated me to do better for myself. I learned about the goals of Kappa, the main one being achievement and from then on I was focused on becoming one of the members of the greatest fraternity in the world. Being around people that would make me better and becoming apart of a bond that was bigger than me are things that drove me to become a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.
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?
Representatives from all organizations need to watch what they feed their energy into, with us being greek we have more of an influence on individuals than we may think. Undergraduates should use their platforms to highlight the great programs and initiatives they host. Social media should be used to connect with other local chapters to collaborate with programs or just simple meet and greets. The way social media is being used in this era we can become connect with people easier.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership means that you are at the forefront of whatever you do and that you are not afraid of trial and error. Failure should not break you instead it should be a learning experience for you that helps build character. A true leader has the ability to delegate tasks/ put others in the position to succeed. Leadership also means that people gravitate towards you with hopes that you can bring the best out of them. Being a leader means that you are respected and have experience dealing with multiple things at once.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom because it gives ALL organizations the spotlight that the mainstream media does not, especially with undergraduates and it helps bring together chapters all over the world. Watch The Yard is a platform for Black greekdom and also builds a connection to other fraternity/sorority brothers/sisters.
What does brotherhood mean to you?
The underlining meaning of brotherhood is accountability. Brotherhood is an unwavering loyalty that ranges from watching each others back to correcting each other when someone is in the wrong. Through various hardships your brother should always be your brother. True brotherhood is something that cannot fade.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
After I graduate from Lincoln University I plan to pursue my master’s degree in Editing/Production. After obtaining my degree I plan to be a producer. When I make enough money, I want to open up a recreational center for children that has counseling services where they can speak one-on-one with a psychologist, a gym, classrooms with tutors, and above all a safe environment which gives children an escape from the sometimes harsh realities that may go on in their everyday lives.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Nadir Banfield for his work as the president of Epsilon Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to 1915.