In an effort to highlight the people who are leading graduate chapters across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to the sorors of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.’s Omega Mu Zeta Chapter in Middle and Southern Middlesex County, New Jersey and did an interview with Linda Robinson the Basileus of the chapter.
The position of Basileus/president of a Black sorority chapter is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. Robinson, who is the a Telecommunications Specialist for Verizon, is a newly elected Basileus.
We interviewed Robinson, who is a Spring 1986 initiate of her sorority and talked to her about her 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 is an honor and a privilege to be the chapter President. As president, it means you are the example to follow. You have a great responsibility to be the leader amongst leaders. You are the voice of the chapter, you provide the vision for the chapter, and you must set the tone to set the chapter up for success. I am passionate about Zeta, and I am up for the challenge. I am the fourth President of my Chapter, and the groundwork has been laid by the previous three presidents. It is now my mission to elevate the Finer Women of Omega Mu Zeta to new heights!
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the surrounding community?
As we countdown to Centennial, our focus is on making a stronger, bolder impact in the communities that we serve. We have a program coming up in the fall titled “Diversity, Equality, and Unity-Encouraging Women to Run for Office. We need more women to have a seat at the table, to implement laws and programs that directly meet our needs. We need women to speak for women. This program is designed toward getting women more active, engaged and participatory in our communities.
In the spring we are planning to have a Women’s Symposium. The focus of the symposium is to discuss women’s health, finances, and overall empowerment. If we can support, uplift and encourage women with our programming this will have a direct impact on our community. We know that women are the backbone of our society, therefore stronger women will lead us not only to a stronger community but to a stronger nation. We are committed to our National Initiative of Z-HOPE (Zeta Helping Others Excel) and our programming will reflect this. We also partner annually with the American Cancer Society Making Strides against Breast Cancer and March for Babies with the hope that our support will help the necessary research further along and lead to a major advancement in these fields.
We also are returning with two of our very popular, signature events. The Tricky Tray and our All White Scholarship Day Party. These events will allow us to reach our goal of giving away over $20,000 in scholarships. We are dedicated to continuing to be change agents in Middlesex County of New Jersey, where we proudly serve.
What made you want to pledge Zeta Phi Beta?
I chose Zeta because Zetas dared to be different! The Founding principles of Scholarship, Service, Sisterhood and Finer Womanhood aligned with my own morals and values. Community Service and Finer Womanhood stood out for me. On my campus, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Alpha Nu Chapter was the newest on the yard and the most active on the campus. I also loved that they were the only constitutionally bound sister organization to Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. I joined the organization in the Spring of 1986 right after the charter line. I was suite mates with one of the Charter members and my roommate and I was on the very next line. The Blue & White family was winning all the step shows and representing Greek life to the fullest during this time. We stepped back then, there was not a lot of strolling like you see today. Zeta proved to be the community-conscious, action-oriented organization they said they were and the sisterhood was real. There was no other way for me.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
Omega Mu Zeta Chapter is unique because we are innovators, Finer Influencers if you will. We are not your typical stuffy Graduate Chapter. Our members range in age, therefore we embrace technology and new ideas. We are fun-loving, hard-working and about the business of Zeta. We must be on to something because since our chartering in 2012, we grew from 8 members to now having over 80 members. We are the second-largest chapter in the State of New Jersey. We are a premier chapter upholding the legacy of our Founders, willing to be trailblazers in uncharted territory. We strive for Zeta Excellence in all that we do and we Make it Happen!
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?
Alumni Chapters must embrace technology with a social media presence in 2019. You must stay current and post often, use hashtags to gain traction. The amount of people you can reach with the internet is unlimited and alumni chapters must capitalize on this. People are watching from all over the world, this is the opportunity to let them know what your organization is about, your upcoming programs and how you represent your organization. You can reach people in real-time and really take your organization to the next level. Social Media is important to promoting your organization’s events and validating your brand. Pictures are worth 1000 words so post and boast about your organization, you never know where it might take you.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership means bringing your talents and vision to the table so your organization can succeed. It means being a servant leader and showing humility when needed. It also means integrity, doing what’s right. It is a commitment to be the best you can be. It means developing more leaders by guiding and encouraging others. You need to be responsible for your actions and hold others accountable for theirs. It also means knowing your strengths and your weaknesses and delegating when necessary. A real leader is willing to learn and grow as an individual; to evolve. Leadership is not all about the leaders, but the collective good of your organization. Finally, Leadership for me is working not for accolades and awards but simply for the Love of Zeta.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Watch The Yard has become one of the leading outlets to highlight all of the Divine 9 organizations. The importance of having a medium such as Watch The Yard is, it extends the visibility of Black Greekdom. Watch The Yard provides positive images, as well as articles showcasing the worldwide service each organization performs. It also helps followers discover what Black Greek organizations do and what we stand for. You can also learn about our rich legacies and historical significance. It puts into perspective our reach beyond college campuses. Anyone interested in Black Greek life can utilize Watch the Yard to gain insight into the Divine 9.
What does sisterhood mean to you?
Sisterhood to me, means being there for your sister under any circumstances, “When Zeta calls we will answer one and all.” It means sharing a bond and experiences, it means doing whatever it takes to accomplish our common goal. Its loyalty and commitment. It means when you win, I win and when you lose, I lose. It means helping each other, guiding each other and learning from one another. Sisterhood is showing each other sisterly love with action, not just empty words. It also means getting to know each other outside of the organization. Am I my Sister’s Keeper? Yes I am, every day of the week.
How is your chapter providing for the undergraduate chapters you support?
We do not advise an Undergraduate Chapter at this time. However, for Centennial, we are donating funds to assist those deserving Undergraduates who may not be able to afford registration for Centennial. We do have 3 undergraduate legacies from our chapter whom we encourage and support.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Linda Robinson for her work as the Basileus of the Omega Mu Zeta Chapter which has a legacy that spans back to 2012.