Joseph Leonard / The Daily Gamecock

NPHC celebrates The Divine Nine with week of events

The National Pan-Hellenic Council celebrated its organizations, The Divine Nine, with NPHC week. The week featured events such as professional workshops, Black History Month trivia and the Wild 'N Out event on Thursday night in Russell House Theater.

The event was modeled after MTV2’s hip-hop show "Wild 'N Out." Two teams competed against each other in multiple rounds and different games, and the team with the most crowd appreciation won the round.

Wild 'N Out is the final event of NPHC week where members of all chapters come together to poke fun at each other and bond. Kaelyn Heyward, co-president of NPHC, believes ending the week with a light-hearted event like this shows how connected the chapters are.

“The love and compassion is just awesome," Heyward said. "The bond between all the councils regardless of what letters you wear — everybody kind of just enjoys each other’s company.”

NPHC was founded in May 1930 at Howard University, a historically black university in Washington D.C. The organization was formed to better the black community, and some chapters arose in response to the fact that black students were not allowed to join any Greek organizations on predominantly white campuses.

Heyward said that NPHC is important to minority students because it gives them a close-knit community through the historically black fraternities and sororities on USC's campus.

“But these organizations kind of make a big school such as USC feel a little bit smaller like we have a home wherever we go,” Heyward said.

Heyward said this close-knit community is for life, and wherever alumni go there will always be chapters and a chance for them to serve.

“It’s not just a college thing for us, this is a lifetime commitment," Heyward said. "We pay dues for life, we are active throughout our entire lives until we die."

Unlike some Greek organizations, students are not asked to partake in initiation as freshmen. Instead, Heyward said they encourage students to adjust to the college life and research each organization before finding one that best relates to their own personal beliefs and upbringing.

Jawaun Mcclam, Alpha Phi Alpha member and fourth-year geography and environmental science student, participated in the event and became a crowd favorite at the conclusion of the show. He said NPHC and The Divine Nine are important to minority students because they can see people who resemble themselves succeeding in their lives.

“Seeing other people that are doing great things, that are doing community service, that are throwing events and that are graduating and getting jobs after, it is very important to see that, especially at a large university like USC,” Mcclam said.  

Mcclam is thankful for the networking and self-development opportunities Alpha Phi Alpha has provided.

"You get to travel and meet other people and network with people higher up, and also network with people under you that just became a brother so you can tell them your experiences as well,” Mcclam said.

Todd Clifton, Omega Psi Phi member and fourth-year sociology student, said he enjoyed having his fraternity present at the event because it gave them a chance to represent and support the black community of USC. Clifton said without Omega Psi Phi, he would've never matured into the person he is today.

“I definitely grew as a person," Clifton said. "As a man it helped me reach limits I probably would never reach if I was never to join this organization.”

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