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 Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.’s Mu Epsilon Chapter at Winston-Salem State University and did an interview with Jaylen Brown the Basileus/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 Brown 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 Exercise Science 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 Basileus to you?
It’s an honor to be elected to serve as Basileus for the Mighty Mu Epsilon chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated. My line brothers and those before me have entrusted me with ensuring the legacy enhances as it continues. I have had the opportunity to meet brothers from near and far that have provided me with resources for my success as a Basileus as well as my life.
What made you decide to attend the Winston-Salem State University for undergrad?
My parents met each other while attending Livingstone College. I spent a good amount of my childhood on the campus so there was no doubt when enrolling in colleges that I chose a HBCU. On top of this Winston-Salem State University is ranked nationally for their Physical Therapy program. Being a former athlete and assisting those recovering from injuries, I developed a desire to want to be around rehabilitation.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
This year our chapter strategic plan is centered around community service and what we can do to enhance it. We plan to make that happen through tutoring in the community to bring out help identify academic strengths and work on weaknesses, getting the youth involved to display their talents, raising awareness for the unexpected incidents that occur throughout the world and simply doing our part to support the positive things occurring and make a difference.
What made you want to join Omega Psi Phi?
My uncles, god father and father all pledged Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated prior to me crossing. I feel like it was one of those things that was destined for me. The way the bruhz took me in before I could even walk and displayed what the fraternity and what it truly means for friendship to be essential to the soul.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
The Mighty Mu Epsilon chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated has existed going on 71 years. I, along with my 7 other line brothers, had the privilege to the 70th anniversary line. Having this honor has allowed us to first hand experience the chapter’s meaning of friendship being essential to the soul.
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?
It is indeed a digital era, my view is that it’s almost to the point where if there aren’t pictures or video footage nobody believes it occurred. Since this is the case almost everything is recorded for proof which can be a good thing. This allows undergraduate chapters to not only provide documentation of the work they have done for their community but also a visual to be archived. The once word of mouth communication has now transformed to a simple share button which allows chapters around the world to easily support.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership requires an understanding that you can no longer think strictly for yourself and how it effects you but you have to think about those around you that will be impacted and in what way. It means possessing discipline to handle responsibilities at all times.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
There have been several videos of me on Watch The Yard. The first being a stroll video in a wheelchair. This was at the result of a head on car collision In December of 2018. The second coming from me taking my first steps walking again after being wheelchair bound for three months and the most recent being my father unmasking me at my probate in 2018. Each time Watch The Yard sharing my testimony and perseverance has brought a great amount of support which helps keeps me motivated as I recover. This platform allows members all over the world to be informed on what is going on within greekdom. The positivity that is spread on Watch The Yard brings presents the opportunity for members from all over to connect and support whether it be testimonies such as mine or becoming the first at accomplishments.
What does brotherhood mean to you?
I believe Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated is the perfect example of a brotherhood. Brotherhood to me is not just being there for someone when you feel it’s necessary but being available at all times of the day. Its understanding that at any given moment a brother may call for assistance and even if you miss the call you return it with every intention to assist.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
Following graduation I have a desire to work with individuals who are now being challenged to perform some type of rehab. Working in rehabilitation services is a result of being a traumatic car accident survivor. I understand that the process of participating in rehab to regain your mobility and strength can be both frustrating and difficult. This is why I want to make it my obligation to be there step-by-step with individuals that have found themselves in a position that require rehabilitation.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Jaylen Amir Brown for his work as the president of Mu Epsilon chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to 1948.
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