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 Pi Mu Chapter at Davidson College and did an interview with Roy Toston 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. 22-year-old Roy Toston 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 Biology 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?
The role of chapter president is a huge responsibility that should be held in the highest regard. As the chapter president, I am looked at as the current face of the chapter both on campus and in our province as it is my job to uphold the standards that were laid before me by my predecessors. After crossing as a solo in Spring 2017, it was an honor to be chosen by such a strong group of men to guide our chapter for this academic year and build upon the legacy of my prophytes. Though it is a daunting task for me to live up to the numerous on-campus organization of the year awards and most recently winning both the Edward Giles Irving Award for Undergrad Chapter of the year at Conclave and Chapter of the year for the Middle Eastern Province, I am excited for the challenge. I am driven to lay a foundation for my chapter’s continued success.
What made you decide to attend the Davidson College for undergrad?
I attended Davidson College because it provided me with the opportunity to wrestle at the Division 1 level and attend a prestigious and academically rigorous institution. I had also learned about Davidson’s strong pre-medical track and felt that it would be the best place to propel myself towards my goal of becoming a physician.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
An important event we hold every year is Let’s Talk About Sex during which we bring in the school’s director of health education and the student health advisors to have important and candid conversations in order help to demystify and destigmatize sex and talk about how to have health sexual relationships.
What made you want to pledge Kappa Alpha Psi?
I joined Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. because I was immediately drawn to the organization’s commitment to achievement in every field of human endeavor. As I became more involved at my university my freshman year, I consistently saw the Kappas on campus serving the college and larger community through their various forms of leadership and quickly realized that this was a group I needed to be part of.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
I believe the strong bonds between both the undergrad and alumni brothers is incredibly strong and they are consistently in the lives of our undergrads.
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?
I think it’s important for chapters to be active on their social media platform to engage both the on-campus and off-campus community. The more we are able to showcase the important work we are doing the better we are able to control the narrative surrounding Greek life and spread is positive aspects to the masses.
What does leadership mean to you?
I believe that leadership is about being able to guide a group with confidence and think pragmatically to find solutions. As a leader, you need intimately understand the strengths and weaknesses of the people you lead so that you are able to put those individuals in positions that will allow them to use their strengths to develop their potential.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
I think Watch the Yard is important to Black Greekdom because it gives a platform to all the great things the Divine 9 and its members are doing everyday. At times, it can be easy to focus solely on your organization or your chapter but Watch The Yard allows both greeks and non-greeks to see that our organizations and their reach is far greater than their immediate surroundings.
What does brotherhood mean to you?
To me, brotherhood means a network of support that also pushes you to grow into your best self. I love being able to come to my fraternity brothers, both those who have graduated and are currently on the yard, for advice as I know that they have my best interests at heart. It has also been great to have my brothers around to push me to achieve my goals and celebrate my accomplishments.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
I am currently applying for the Thomas J Watson Fellowship and if given the opportunity I will be traveling to Cuba, Peru, Germany, and South Africa to investigate the intersection of race and racism in healthcare. If I do not get the Watson I will most likely take a gap year to work as a scribe or interpret in a clinic while I work on my medical school application.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Roy Toston for his work as the president of the Pi Mu Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to 2008.