In an effort to highlight the people who are leading graduate chapters across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to the brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.’s Dallas Alumni Chapter and did an interview with Shawn Smith the Polemarch of the chapter.
The position of Polemarch/president of a Black fraternity chapter is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. Smith, who works in IT, is a newly elected Polemarch.
We interviewed Smith, who is a Spring 2013 initiate of his fraternity and talked to him about his position, goals, future and what it means to hold this type of leadership position in the digital age.
Read the full interview below.
What does it mean to be a chapter president to you?
Being a chapter president means the world to me because I have been given the opportunity to lead the most renowned chapters in the city and the fraternity. It is an honor and a privilege to be the president of the Dallas Alumni Chapter.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the surrounding community?
We’re putting a more significant emphasis on community service and expanding our mentorship program through our Kappa League program. We feel it is very important to mentor our young men to help young men grow and develop their leadership talents in every phase of human endeavor.
What made you want to pledge Kappa Alpha Psi?
I had several mentors in my life that were Kappa Men, and their example inspired me to become a Kappa myself. Many of them were leaders in the arts, athletics, business, education, and government levels.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
Dallas Alumni is one of the oldest alumni chapters in Texas, as well as our respective province. We have several members that have won our fraternities’ highest award, and we also have members that serve on our Grand Chapter level. Also:
• We are the oldest and most prestigious chapter in North Texas.
• We are the 2nd largest chapter in the largest state in the largest province in Kappa.
• We support several organizations and causes both locally and nationally • We have produced other officers and leaders at the Grand Chapter and Province levels.
• We have a Kappa League program that is one of the best in the entire fraternity.
We now live in a digital world, what do you think alumni chapters across all orgs need to do to represent themselves online in 2019?
I think alumni chapters across all organizations should highlight to their community the work that they’re doing. Additionally, it is a great way to show younger members of their organization that there is life after undergrad, and that service is ever on-going.
What does leadership mean to you?
Being a leader requires you to make many critical decisions that impact not only the chapter but also the community. Taking on this leadership role means that I have to embody a commitment of service to the fraternity, my chapter, and community.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Watch The Yard is like a preservation archive from a time that once was. Without Watch The Yard’s editorial spotlight on Greek organizations and videos from the day of old would just go to waste. I feel it’s essential that Watch The Yard keeps showcasing old traditions that all Greek organizations take pride in.
What does brotherhood mean to you?
Brotherhood, to me, means that you always have someone there that you can count on and someone that is going to keep you always striving to do better. There’s nothing like altruism for one another in a bond of fraternity.
How is your chapter providing for the undergraduate chapters you support?
We teach our undergraduate chapters on chapter governance, finances, and protocol so they can properly administer their undergraduate chapter. Additionally, we assist them with what life after graduation preparation by engaging them with prominent individuals in the workforce.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Shawn Smith for his work as the Polemarch of the Dallas Alumni Chapter which has a legacy that spans back to 1935.