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 Xi Lambda Chapter at Kentucky State University and did an interview with Jalen Dingle 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 Jalen Dingle 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 Mass Communications 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?
It means a lot to me. The fact that 10 other people voted to follow my lead is truly a honor.
What made you decide to attend Kentucky State University for undergrad?
Well I did some school jumping in my past, I started my freshman year at Bowling Green State University where I decided to accept a full football scholarship. Unfortunately I made a lot of immature mistakes that year and got kicked out of the school. I transferred to the junior college Iowa Western where I continued to play football and get back on track. After 2 semesters there I earned a couple new football scholarships and decided to go to Kentucky State University after a visit. This place was the first to give me a second chance to attend a 4 year school and play NCAA football again. Plus I always wanted to go to a HBCU.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
I’ve always notice a lot of different organizations hold a lot of events that cause awareness. Well This year The XI Lambda Chapter is looking to focus more on our initiative Social Action by not only causing awareness but also implementing a solution to the problem. We started that with our 25th Annual Sleep Out For The Homeless. Usually we’ll choose a night in November during Homeless and Hunger awareness month, set up tents and invite the campus to put themselves in the shoes of the homeless with us. we’ll Take the time to educate them with some statists and then spend the night outside in the tents. Well this year as a chapter we decided that each of us would buy a turkey and ham a piece and donate them to the shelters and the less fortunate families around the surrounding areas. We invited other orgs along with the whole campus to donate, we donated 24 turkeys and hams that event along with various amounts of clothes and shoes students donated that night.
What made you want to pledge Phi Beta Sigma?
I am the first greek member of my family. So when starting my freshman year of college other than what I seen in the movie Stomp The Yard, I knew nothing about greek life. Quickly into my freshman year a grad student name Greg took me under his wing. For about 4 months I didn’t know he was a sigma. Quickly he grew from friend too mentor, most of college I’ve looked up to him. Even after I left Bowling Green we stayed in touch and he made sure I was staying on track which really went a long way with me. Fast forward a year and half and ironically I ended up instantly clicking with the Sigmas on Kentucky States campus. With the addition of I just liked how they were always involved on campus, they carried themselves a certain way and the morale towards them from the campus was impressive..
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
What makes Xi Lambda unique is that we are the only chapter at an HBCU surrounded by PWI’s. We have a very rich and strong tradition that other chapters around the state and region try to duplicate. We are the standard for Sigmas in the state of Kentucky.
We now live in a digital world, what do you think undergraduate chapters across all orgs need to do to represent themselves online in 2018?
Police your chapters, watch what you post. Social media use to be for entertainment purposes, but now it’s starting to become a big part of how people paint a picture about you on a personal level. Its bigger and bigger every year.
What does leadership mean to you?
At times Leadership can be hard to define and it means different things to different people a lot of the time. Leaders set direction and help themselves and others to do the right thing to move forward. To do this they create an inspiring vision, and then motivate and inspire others to reach that vision.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Its a platform for us to show the world all the positive things that we are doing on our campuses and around the surrounding areas. As well as it shows how cool it is to be greek with all the hype videos and pictures. Greek has taken a hard hit this year with negative media, its good we have people like WatchTheYard to highlight the positive.
What does brotherhood mean to you?
Brotherhood to me means at all times you have your brothers best interest in mind. It means you are expected to praise your brothers when they do good, get on them when they bad, protect them, help them, check on them, and you should expect the same from them.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
Awh man that’s a very hard question to answer right now. So many great doors have open for me I have so many different roads I can go down. I could stay in Kentucky go to grad school and start a job placement internship. I could pursue a shot in the NFL, I could start possible internships with radio stations in Atlanta or LA. I could also move back to Detroit and run the family counseling center that I inherited from my grandfather 2 years ago. I’m excited to see where I am next year around this time
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Jalen Dingle for his work as the president of Xi Lambda Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to 1935.