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 Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.’s Rho Chapter at Southern University and A&M College and did an interview with Darius Smith 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. 22-year-old Smith 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 Political 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 president to you?
To be a chapter president, means to be a leader. A leader that excels at not only leading from the front but also supporting and uplifting from the back.
What made you decide to attend the Southern University and A&M College for undergrad?
I decided to attend Southern University and A&M College because I wanted to attend an HBCU that has a rich history and that focuses on producing students that uplift the next generation in their communities.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
A very specific initiative that the RHO chapter of Phi Beta Sigma is heading up is working with the Sigma Beta Club. Working with our youth auxiliary group in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is a primary goal. Mentoring those young men and showing them how to navigate through the world and how to change their communities for the better in both big and small ways is important to us. Showing them that by doing service, you can change not only the community but also the world.
What made you want to pledge Phi Beta Sigma?
I became a member of Phi Beta Sigma because of their dedication to working within their communities. The strolling, stepping, and parties were the icing on the cake but going out and volunteering my time. Knowing that even though I’m doing something small, that it could have a big impact on someone. This is the focus of Phi Beta Sigma and it’s what made me want to be a member.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
RHO chapter being the first black greek letter organization in the state of Louisiana makes it very unique. My chapter being a pillar in not only the city of Baton Rouge but also in the entire state of Louisiana.
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?
Focus on improving your communities. Creating new relationships that other organizations can use to help improve themselves. Use the digital world to be transparent and to show that you are doing great things not because it’s mandated but because it’s something that everyone should be doing.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership is excelling at leading from the front but also supporting and uplifting from the back. Understanding situations and then using the tools that are available to produce the best outcome.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Watch The Yard is important to black greekdom because it serves as a reminder to each new generation. The reminder being, the reason why every organizations founders decided to create their respective organization’s.
What does brotherhood mean to you?
Brotherhood means having a new family. A family of people who you may argue with from time to time. Yet they argue with you so you can improve yourself.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
I plan on being an analyst for CNN after graduation.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Darius Smith for his work as the president of Rho Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to 1924.