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 Beta Alpha Chapter at Southern University and A&M College and did an interview with Sarah Robinson 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. 20-year-old Sarah Robinson 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 Computer Science 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 chapter president means taking on the responsibilities to accomplish the goals that have been set forth by the members of the chapter, past and present. To me, it is withholding the standards and setting the bar even higher than it was before. As chapter president, my advisor and chapters members are literally putting all their faith in me, and it is my job to not disappoint them.
What made you decide to attend Southern University and A&M College for undergrad?
Though being accepted to many colleges and universities, I always knew that I wanted to go to a Historically Black College/University (HBCU) and I wanted to get away from home in Las Vegas. Southern University and A&M College runs in my family’s blood. I was destined to be a Jaguar. My mother graduated from Southern University and I wanted to keep the legacy alive.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
After already exceeding the requirements set forth by the university’s Greek life council, the Beta Alpha chapter wants to become more in-touch with the students on campus. We want individuals to know that they do not have to be afraid of us or think that we are above them. We are here to help. We are already well-known around the Baton Rouge community and surrounding areas. We have already been to several high schools and numerous city-wide community service events, but we would like to do so much more for our university. We have a lot in store this coming semester.
What made you want to pledge Zeta Phi Beta?
I actually love answering this question! I wanted to pledge Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated because I wanted to become a part of a true sisterhood. I am an only child and growing up I longed for sisters; not friends, sisters, a bond. Also, in high school I loved to help others through community service and I wanted to continue to do community service in college. Basically, everything I had already valued, Zeta stood for. I can remember the first Zeta event I ever attended, it was a girl code/guy code that was partnered with the Sigmas. I had never felt so “in” place. I felt like I belonged for once. The Zetas there were so welcoming and so sweet (no pun intended). I knew that if the Zetas were having an event, I needed to be there. There was no high horse riding. When they talked to me, they talked to me like I was already a sister, like I was already one of them. Also, being that finer womanhood is a core principle of Zeta, it attracted me even more. My first couple semesters were very rocky, and I felt like I was losing a grip on my life so the idea of becoming a finer woman really drew me in, especially after seeing such fine, excellent young women. I wanted to be just like them.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
The Beta Alpha chapter is unique in sooo many ways. I really do not even know where to start. We were the first sorority founded on Southern University’s campus on February 13, 1932. The chapter has been crossing outstanding and exquisite women for almost 87 years. What a blessing it is to be a part of such rich culture. Also, our sponsoring graduate chapter has been home to two past International Grand Basileus. The Beta Alpha chapter just brags different! And here I am, the president! What an honor it is just to be a part of something so great.
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?
I think what undergraduate chapters (or any chapter for that matter) can to do to represent themselves online is really just being present and putting out content that really highlights the chapter and the organization as a whole. Be out! Be visible. For example, my chapter has started to do “Finer FridayZ” on the chapter Instagram page that spotlights different sorors from the chapter and the great things they have and are doing.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership to me means really stepping up to the plate. I am a spring 2018 initiate, and also the youngest member in the chapter. Literally all odds are stacked against me, but since I have such a great team of strong women I cannot fail. They always have my back. Part of being a leader is knowing how to serve. Leadership to me is not knowing the words “give up,” I always have to keep going. Leadership is knowing that if something isn’t good enough for myself, then it is definitely not good enough for my chapter. Lastly, great leadership to me is creating a legacy that will inspire others.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
I think Watch the Yard is very important to Black greekdom because it displays Greek life in a positive light. Oftentimes Greek life is portrayed as negative and some sort of cult. However, Watch the Yard shows that Greek life is fun, positive, and beneficial. Not to mention, very rich in culture. My favorite thing is seeing all the vintage throwback Greek photos. I love how Watch the Yard isn’t biased and gives everybody their shine. When I was a prospect I was always on Watch the Yard looking at all the things that not only Zeta, but every organization was doing.
What does sisterhood mean to you?
Sisterhood to me is a pure relationship that goes way beyond friendship. Sisterhood is doing something you don’t feel like doing for your sister just off the basis of the principle that she would do it for you if you asked her. Sisterhood is helping your sister out when you see fit because you know she’s too stubborn to ask. Sisterhood is love and kindness. Sisterhood is wanting to see your sister shine her light so bright that it comes around full circle and inspires you. Importantly sisterhood is knowing that your whole support system behind you.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
After I graduate I plan on furthering my academic career and going to graduate school. Which graduate school? I’m not sure yet. Being that computer science is a very competitive field I want to make sure all my skills are polished and on point, plus I have always wanted to do research. Besides that, I want to also continue doing community service and help Zeta in every way that I can.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Sarah Robinson for her work as the president of Beta Alpha Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to 1932.