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 sorors of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.’s Zeta Gamma Chapter at Norfolk State University and did an interview with Anaya Artopee the president of the chapter.
The position of president of an undergraduate chapter of a Black sororityis a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. 21-year-old Artopee has used the position to gain new leadership experience, improve the lives of other students on campus and help the community around her.
We interviewed the Business Management major and talked about her position, goals, future and what it means to hold a leadership on campus in the digital age.
Read the full interview below.
What does it mean to be a chapter president to you?
Being the president of the Zealous Zeta Gamma Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. means leading by example. The other chapter members look up to me for guidance in Zeta as well as everyday life and that has pushed me to be a better me. We have faced many trials and tribulations, but they all have taught me how to be a better leader as well as better communication skills. It also means continuing on a legacy that my big sisters laid the path for, while also building our own.
What made you decide to attend the Norfolk State University for undergrad?
When I was researching universities to attend, I dreamed of going to a school that was as far away from home as I could possibly get. With that being said, Norfolk State University was my last choice, being only an hour and forty-five minutes from my hometown. My best friend asked me to attend NSU’s open house with her and it sparked my interest in the business department here. After researching, I found out how acclaimed the business department here is and four years later, I can honestly say that attending Norfolk State University has been the best decision I could have made.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
This year we are aiming to do monthly financial literacy events that we feel will be helpful to our fellow students because in college our view of the real life is skewed. Many of us live on campus so we do not necessarily have that many bills, so we don’t make it a priority to budget, so when we get out on our own, we struggle because we were never given the necessary tools to succeed when it comes to budgeting. We are also implementing a nutrition and fitness series to help teach students about being healthy while in college based off of the options that we have. We think this will help students be a little bit more in-tune with their bodies and what they need to do to remain healthy, which can be hard being college students on the go with tight budgets. We want to improve the campus community by giving them real life knowledge that they will be able to apply to their every day lives while making it fun at the same time.
What made you want to pledge Zeta Phi Beta?
Coming to college, I knew of Greek life but the information that I knew was very vague because it was all from social media. When I arrived at Norfolk State University for a open house during my senior year in high school I met a young woman at the Honor’s College table during the organization exposition that happens during open house. She informed me of all the things she did on campus and in her community without outwardly informing me that she was Zeta. As she was talking to me i was in awe and I knew that when I arrived to college, I aspired to be like her. After the exposition is when I became aware that she was a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. When I moved on campus as a freshman, all of the Zetas on campus were so warm and welcoming and made me feel like I could be me no matter what.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
The Zeta Gamma Chapter is unique because of our positive image on campus. We have so many different personalities in our chapter, but one thing you can find in all of us is a positive attitude. We believe that it is important to remain open and friendly, as this is how our fellow students will view us. We also hold a lot of different leadership positions on campus; we always want people to know that once you become Greek, you do not have to drop everything else that you are apart of. We were able to win “Most Outstanding D9 Organization”, as well “Greek’s in Leadership Award” during the 2018-2019 school year not only because of what we’ve done on campus, but because of who we are as 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?
As a millennial, I know the importance of social media and what affect it can have on your image. I think that undergraduate chapters need to take this into account when promoting themselves online. Undergraduate chapter pages should be public so that other students on campus, and in the community, can easily see what you are up to. It is also important for chapter members to maintain integrity on their individual social media accounts as well. A lot of times, what people will think about our undergraduate chapters is not based off of our chapter social media pages, but what we post on our individual pages. You are a member of your respective organization 24/7 and in order for our chapter pages to do well on social media, our individual ones also need to be representative of how we uphold not only our organizations, but ourselves as well.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership is not only about taking charge and making the right decisions for everyone as a whole, but also about knowing when to follow. Nobody knows everything that there is to know in the world, so a good leader has to know when to take a step back and let somebody else lead so that they can gain the more knowledge on things they are not experts in. Leadership also means stepping back and letting other people take the lead so that they can learn how to be good leaders. As a leader, you want the people under to you to some day be able to take your spot and do twice as well as you did, and that is impossible if you never give others the chance to lead as well.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Watch The Yard is important to Black Greekdom because it highlights a multitude of positive things about all of our organizations. It gives people one unique location where they can go to find everything from throwback pictures going back many decades, to personal statements from organizations national presidents. With so many negative views about Black Greek life, Watch The Yard sheds some much needed positive light on all of the Divine 9’s organizations; they do not just cater to a few select organizations. They feature every organization equally and give non-Greeks one place where they can see what all of us do to help better ourselves and our communities.
What does sisterhood mean to you?
Sisterhood means having each other’s back no matter what. It means sticking by each other’s side through any ups or downs. It means being able to be honest and open with one another to maintain open communication. A true sister is able to tell you when you are wrong no matter how much you think otherwise. They are there through the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sisterhood is knowing that no matter where you go, you will always find someone who will have your best interest in heart.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
After graduation, I wish to attend Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island to get my MBA. From there, I want to work with a consulting firm and do business and organizational consulting for small and/or failing businesses.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Anaya Artopee for her work as the president of Zeta Gamma Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to 1962.