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 Iota Mu Chapter at Middle Tennessee State University and did an interview with Deshaun Covington 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. 20-year-old Deshaun Covington 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 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?
To help keep our traditions going and keep our ship afloat. Me and my brothers want to make sure that we are known on campus and that we keep our title as “The People’s Frat”. So we all do our parts and my part is to make sure everything is going smoothly.
What made you decide to attend Middle Tennessee State University for undergrad?
I been wanting to come to Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) since I was in middle school. I’m from Knoxville, TN and all we have down there is the University of Tennessee Knoxville. That school was too close to home and I wanted to get away fro my mother. Don’t get me wrong I love her to death but, I needed my own life. So MTSU was great enough distance away from home to where if I wanted to go home I can go back home.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
Every year we have our Stepping for a Cure event. That’s a event that allows Panhellenic sororities to participate in something similar to a step show. Part of the proceeds we raise goes to March of Dimes organization. We also have a Women’s Appreciation: Speak Your Peace. It is a event that allows women to speak on issues that might have. This event is always great because we talk about so many great topics.
What made you want to pledge Phi Beta Sigma?
It all started with my mom. She is a Zeta and so all I knew growing up was the blue and white family. Her best friends where Zetas and Sigmas and I was always told when I come to college I would join the family. In middle school I was actually a sigma beta, a affiliation group under Phi Beta Sigma. Then my brother ended up becoming a Sigma Spring 16 at Tennessee Tech University. And so my path was pretty clear to me.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
My chapter (Iota Mu) is probably the realest chapter you can ever be part of. We keep it real with everyone but at the same time we are cool with everyone. We have the title as “the people’s frat” because we interact with everyone. Stereotypically Greek life as a whole tend to scare people and we’re the total opposite. We love interacting and talking to people.
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?
Just always take pictures or videos of your events or what you got going on campus. It shows everyone that you are active and doing stuff for your community. My chapter is always posting when we do community service or campus events. Technology so advance you can do live videos of events your doing.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership means you are not afraid to take charge. You not afraid to take the bullet if anything goes wrong. Leadership is not telling people what to do but it means to delegate and make sure things are getting done.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
To see black excellence and encourage us to live up to higher standards everyday. I know for myself it motivates me to do better so one day I can be on their page and young black men can do the same when they see me.
What does brotherhood mean to you?
Brotherhood means a bond that should never be broken. Whenever I need something I know my brothers have my back. If I’m going through something I know I can contact one of my brothers and talk to them about it. So pretty much brotherhood really means a lifelong relationship between people who shares the same values and share same goals.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
I hope to work with a big company like apple or Google and help them endorse their products.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Deshaun Covington for his work as the president of Iota Mu Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to 1978.