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 Alpha Beta Iota Chapter at Florida Atlantic University and did an interview with Jeffrey Ferdinand 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. 21-year-old Jeffrey Ferdinand
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 Biological Sciences 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?
A chapter president to me is someone who can lead by example and someone who is not afraid to fail. We as social beings want to succeed in everything that we do, yet we’re afraid of failure. What we fail to take from failure sometimes is that it promotes growth. With that growth we can turn around and speak wisdom to those following behind us.
What made you decide to attend Florida Atlantic University for undergrad?
I decided to come to Florida Atlantic University because of the close proximity to home, having close friends attending the same university, and the fortune of getting a full ride to attend.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
Our upcoming initiative for the year is focused on mental health. As the frat that focuses on “Culture for Service and service for humanity,” we look to uplift our community. Our goal is to promote positive mental health on campus through events and activities that will remind the students of their self worth and how they can turn negatives into positives.
What made you want to pledge Phi Beta Sigma?
I wanted to pledge, in general, for professional development, brotherhood, and the social aspect of Greek life. I also felt that I had something to offer to my chapter.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
My chapter is honestly unique for a couple of reasons. One of them being our strong showmanship. We put in a lot of time and work in our performances and it reflects in our winnings. Another reason is the immense support from the grad chapter and chapter Old heads dating back to ‘99.I feel as though that is a big reason why ABI has continued to thrive on FAU’s campus.
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?
Undergraduate chapters should definitely share community service on their digital platforms. From the start many, if not all, of the D9 fraternities and sororities were heavy on community service. Thus, the dedication to serving the community should hold just as strong today. Now that we have social platforms we should take advantage of it and show the world the great work of the D9 and show that stepping and strolling is not the only thing we do.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership means taking on the responsibility to guide others in the right direction. I also perceive leadership to be a flexible term because as time changes leaders should be able to adapt. By continuing to lead in one way, it can lead to ineffective results as time This is way leadership goes hand and hand with growth.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
I believe Watch the Yard is important to Greekdom because it creates another platform to share the impact of the D9 around the world.
What does brotherhood mean to you?
Brotherhood to me is characterized by showing and having love for one another. Despite any differences, brothers should be able to rise above those differences and meet at a common ground. A brother should be able to look out for another brother within their own capabilities. A brother does not always have to be present, but present at the right time where if a brother falls, another is behind to catch them.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
I plan on going for my Masters in Biomedical Science, Take the MCAT and apply for Med School
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Jeffrey Ferdinand for his work as the president of Alpha Beta Iota Chapter which has a legacy that spans back to 1999.