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 women of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.’s Iota Mu Chapter at the University of Kentucky and did an interview with Anna Bane the president of the chapter.
The position of president of an undergraduate chapter of a Black sorority is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. 22-year-old Anna Bane 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 Elementary Education with an English Minor focusing on African American Literature major and talked about her 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?
Being a chapter president means that I am responsible for not only internal chapter relations, but also external relations. I am honored to hold this position and I use it as a learning experience. I am glad that I have a network of Sisters that support me and when I need help I know I can count on them to see me through it.
What made you decide to attend the University of Kentucky for undergrad?
I decided to attend the University of Kentucky for many reasons. When I was in High School a representative from the University came and spoke to people who believed they might be interested in attending UK. I went to the meeting because I knew a little bit about the school and figured it would not hurt to go to the meeting, and I got to get out of my morning classes. After seeing the presentation and talking to the recruiter I began to research more about UK and started to fall in love. I scheduled a campus tour, sent in my application (blessings to the Common App), and when I was sent my acceptance letter I graciously accepted. I knew for myself that while I love my hometown, I did not see myself flourishing in Dayton. I decided that although it might be tough to be a first generation, out-of-state student, I needed to venture off be able to become the best version of me.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
In the Spring of 2019 this will be our Third Annual Women’s Unity Tea and I could not be anymore excited. Our Unity Tea is a time when we send an invite to all the different organizations on campus that cater to women and we come together to discuss how we can be unified on our campus. We also discuss what we can do individually and we discuss what it means to be a woman in the 2010s. We have keynote speakers and performances and everyone that comes loves it. I love this event because all NPHC organizations strive to help there community and I think this event helps the women on our campus feel empowered.
What made you want to pledge Zeta Phi Beta?
I wanted to join Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. because I felt like I could be myself. When I got to UK it was a culture shock. Coming from a semi-big city, meeting a lot of people from rural towns was odd. When I was at work one day I met a Zeta and we started to become friends. I began attending NPHC events on campus and met some of the people that are now my sisters. I did not have to code switch around them and honestly that was nice. I did my research on all of the NPHC Sororities and felt like Zeta was most like me. I found this quote and it sealed the deal.
“There is a Zeta in a girl regardless of race, creed, or color, who has high standards and principles, a good scholarly average and an active interest in all things that she undertakes to accomplish.”- Most Honorable Founder Viola Tyler
Being multiracial sometimes you do not always feel accepted by either part of yourself, and when it came to Zeta I wasn’t the mixed girl with curly hair, I was Anna.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
The Indestructible Iota Mu Chapter is unique in more ways than one, but one thing I would like to focus on is Z-hope. Zetas Helping Other People Excel is our national service program, and my chapter takes it to heart. We volunteer with local nonprofits in the Lexington area such as Greenhouse17 and the Nest. We had the highest number of Z-Hope hours in for an Undergraduate Chapter for the state of Kentucky in 2017 and we also received second place nationally for the American Cancer Society in 2017.
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?
In 2018 I think Undergraduate Chapters need a positive online presence. Since everything is so fast paced with the importance of social media is at an all time high. Always updating your social media platforms is one way to keep people interested not only in what you are doing as individuals, but as an organization. Showing people snippets from a stroll-practice shows sisterhood, a picture from Study Tables shows scholarship, and the list goes on. Since we have social media we should use it to our benefit.
What does leadership mean to you?
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”–JFK.
Leadership to me means admitting that you do not always know the answer, but you will find out. It can be hard to admit that you are not always the best person for a job or task, but it is your responsibility to delegate and find out who is.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
I believe Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom because it is a media outlet that focuses on showcasing positive content. In a time like this when the world seems to be full of hate and despair, I think it is extremely important to show all the positive things going on. Usually when BGLO are in the media it is for hazing allegations or shenanigans, so to show that we are still upholding our principles is needed.
What does sisterhood mean to you?
I suppose I could answer this in a cliche way with a quote, but I would rather show you.
Sisterhood to me means loving nine different women with all your heart. I honestly can not imagine my life without each of these special souls. I think they would be shocked if I did not find a way to make this article emotional, so here is my chance.
To the DoveZ of DiligenZe:
Janayah: Sisterhood is knowing that I can always count on you to listen to me go on about boy problems, agree with me, and then when I calm down tell me I was wrong.
Ellory: You gave us the most special gift of all, a new bundle of joy! You taught me that unconditional love is not only reserved for blood, because of the way love us.
Whitney: I can always count on a good laugh when I am with you. You knew how to make even the longest Zeta Days seem short.
Crysta: What would I do without my little sister! We fight and argue like no other, but let anyone else try to come for you other than DOD and it is a problem.
Mikyle: What would I do without you checking on me to make sure my basic needs are met? You taught me that there is peace even in a storm.
Amber: You are the epitome of a free spirit and that is what I admire the most about you.
Kierra: You are that tough love that sometimes I need. You remind me that being kind is one thing, but never be weak.
Jada: You are always there for us, even when you were 100s of miles away you would always be willing to make the drive back to Lex if needed.
Victoria: Atlanta, Miami, random hiking, pool parties, family reunions, and the list goes on. I love and cherish our adventures, even when the are just up the street.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
After graduation I plan on teaching. I want to be the teacher that in ten years my students will be like I had Ms. Bane (hopefully a different last name, but you get my drift) was the coolest teacher and she taught me to be the best me. I want to be the teacher that children are excited to come to school to see. After some time teaching I will get my masters focusing on Equity and Inclusion and I want to make culturally responsive teaching the only form of teaching.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Anna Bane for her work as the president of Iota Mu Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to 1983.