NHPC hosts event to showcase USC’s chapters Wednesday
De’Earnte Adams was out of breath, the overwhelming crowd closing in on the stage with shout-outs and far-off cheers ringing in from the wings.
Students flowed beyond the Russell House Ballroom doors, cheering from the outermost sidelines and enveloping the stage with standing-room only, but still Adams was beaming after leading the members of Iota Phi Theta, Inc. in their step routine.
“Stepping was something that was present at the start of our fraternity. It shows brotherhood,” said Adams, a third-year criminal justice student and the fraternity president.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council — which represents a predominantly African-American community at USC and across the country — hosted “Meet the Greeks” Wednesday night to showcase step dances from each of its nine fraternities and sororities.
Derrick Roberts, a fourth-year psychology student, and Ashley Silvera, a fourth-year history student, organized the annual event. Both serve on Fraternity and Sorority Council and are vice presidents of the NPHC.
“We wanted to introduce Carolina to NPHC greek life in a fun and informal way,” Roberts said.
The event started with an interactive roll call, filled with each organization’s rallying cry. Humility wasn’t in play, as each fraternity and sorority attempted to out-do its predecessor, with the crowd rallying around their favorites.
Sisters from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. wore black, white and red Run DMC–style shirts that read “Run the Yard” and cuffed denim shirts. Layered and knotted pearl necklaces swung from side to side as the girls ran through their routine.
The Theta Gamma chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. lined up in baby pink jerseys for a performance of in-sync steps.
There was hip-hop, twerking and all kinds of hip movements. Pockets of the crowd broke into their own dance circles, building upon the featured, center-stage routines.
Some groups worked spoken word into their routine to educate the audience on their chapter’s origins, values and pride.
“We’re trying to educate people on every organization and show society that we can come together in unity,” Adams said.
However, the performances, each entertaining in its own right, took work. In preparation for the event, Adams held more than 15 hours of dance practice with his brothers.
The event rang through the second floor of the Russell House, with applause ringing from the packed ballroom. It’s a show, with each performance building a greater energy for a night of meeting each fraternity and sorority and its individual characters.
But for those students who crossed in years past, their place in Greek Life and “Meet the Greeks” is about more than just dancing with friends.
“I always have my brothers to rely on,” said Rio Britts, a former USC student.