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 Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.’s Alpha Eta Sigma Chapter in Montgomery and did an interview with Eugene McIntosh the President of the chapter.
The position of president of a Black fraternity chapter is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. Eugene McIntosh, who works as a Drug Program Specialist, has been in the position of president for one and a half years.
We interviewed McIntosh, who is a November 16, 2011 Gamma Beta Chapter 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 motivated you to take on the role of alumni chapter president?
Having the opportunity to lead such an amazing chapter is first a blessing. I am motivated by my brothers, each one of them provides something for me to learn from, in which I am able to use to make the chapter better.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the local community or the broader Black community?
This year we will be conducting a virtual town hall , discussing various topics that are primarily focused on men’s health. In addition we are conducting a toy and a supply drives around the area to provide those necessary items needed for the community during the holiday season.
What made you want to pledge Phi Beta Sigma?
It was really the who, Dr. C.L Flowers was an instructor of my high school who always mention his fraternity motto, Culture for and Service to Humanity. After doing my research on all the BGLOs, even those not in the NPHC, I found the Phi Beta Sigma and myself to be similar in ideals, the rest is history.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
Alpha Eta Sigma Chapter is a multi-generational functioning, which is a true mark of success, in my opinion. Our chapter has members that lived during each pivotal moment of society, so they bring that wisdom to our neophyte/ current membership and they appreciate it.
How is your chapter providing for the undergraduate chapters you support?
Well, we are blessed to advise two amazing undergraduate chapter, Alpha Psi Alpha ( AUM) and Gamma Beta ( ASU ). Being that each chapter has its own unique needs we are able to provide a team of members that can assist them in getting jobs, paying for conferences and many other items. Recently, we just attended our National Conclave and Gamma Beta ( Alabama State University ) competed in step show and won.
How do you approach fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie among alumni members, and what strategies have you found effective?
Providing the members with some downtime ( i.e. not meeting the full year ) and having various fellowship days/nights to make sure everyone knows everyone.
What advice would you give to aspiring leaders within your fraternity/sorority who may aspire to take on roles of leadership within alumni chapters?
Make sure you have an agenda that is flexible. I have one currently and it allows me to gauge where we are before engage in other activities. Don’t stress over the things that you cannot control.
How has mentorship helped you get to where you are today? Are there any specific people in your org who have made a significant impact on your life as mentors?
All I can think of is Isaiah 58: 10-11, I have been blessed to find several mentors on this journey that have poured into me about the fraternity and life. Whether it was advise, conversation, guidance it has allow me to think critically about my next move and how to position myself in the world to be ready for it.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
BGLOs are in need of positive outlets that give the viewer/ reader a visual of how excellent we truly are, besides stroll/ step masters. We are and have been community advocates since the early 1900s and we want to continue that for the next hundred years to come.
Looking back at it, why do you love being a member of your org?
Phi Beta Sigma has always been a grassroots-community focused organization. Phi Beta Sigma challenges its members to think outside the box while keeping the community at the core of its mission.
Lastly, what does brotherhood mean to you?
Brotherhood is an action and not just an ideal. When a brother calls on you, if it is in reason, you should be able to help, simple.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Eugene McIntosh for his work as the President of the Alpha Eta Sigma Chapter which has a legacy that spans back to 1949.
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