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 Pi Lambda Sigma Chapter in Kalamazoo, Michigan and did an interview with Rashidi Shobowale-Benson 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. Rashidi, who is a production supervisor, has served in the position of chapter president for one year.
We interviewed Rashidi 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 does it mean to be a chapter president to you?
It means I am responsible for guiding the trajectory of the chapter. I am to uphold the fraternitys principles and ensure that we are striving to be high examples of Brotherhood, Scholarship, and Service for our community.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the surrounding community?
Our primary goal for the year is to form and structure our youth auxiliary program. By doing this we will be able to mentor young men to strive for achievements that will make a positive impact on the world and other people.
What made you want to pledge Phi Beta Sigma?
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Appealed to me based on the principles and business initiatives that are stressed in member development. At each major turn in my life, i found myself, knowingly and/or unknowingly, discussing it with a man of Sigma. I do not believe that was by chance. I believe it was preordained inthe path of my life.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
Our chapter is a small and growing chapter. Our uniqueness comes for what we have the opportunity to accomplish in the community.
We now live in a digital world, what do you think alumni chapters across all orgs need to do to represent themselves online in 2019?
Absolutely, you have to broadcast your works to inspire others to be involved and do more.
What does leadership mean to you?
Setting the example. Carrying yourself in a manner that above reproach so that when setting the standard, it is already shown in your character.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
The ability to reach out and inform Greeks of the work happening from other Greeks allows a since of unity in purpose. Watch The Yard is a staple in showing this works.
What does brotherhood mean to you?
Being there for each other in all things. Good, bad, indifferent we hold each other accountable and celebrate each other’s victories.
How is your chapter providing for the undergraduate chapters you support?
We are the direct line of mentoring for undergrad. Using our life experiences we are there to provide sage advice and an outlet for personal development and problem solving.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Rashidi Shobowale-Benson for his work as the president of the Xi Phi Lambda Chapter which has a legacy that spans back to 2014.