As the president of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity and first vice president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), I want to clarify some things as related to my quotes in the Dec. 3 article “Black fraternities and sororities follow their own traditions in choosing new members.” First, the idea of the “inclusive we” is specific to Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, not the entire NPHC. Second, we are HISTORICALLY black organizations, not black organizations.
Finally, I understand that some of my quotes make it appear as though I am anti-IFC or anti-Panhel. That’s simply not true. I appreciate everything that the Panhellenic Association and the Interfraternity Council do for the Duke and global communities, both socially and philanthropically. Neither the NPHC nor I have any desire to belittle the way those councils operate. I simply wanted to make clear the fact that the NPHC does operate in a different way than those councils, but definitely not in a secretive way. We have our NPHC showcase at the beginning of the year, explaining what our organizations are about and how one can express interest in a specific organization. Each organization hosts multiple events per year that are open to the public, and we publicize these events through social media as well as flyers.
It’s my opinion that many people believe we are secretive because our numbers don’t allow us to be as pervasive as we would like in the greater Duke community. Simply put, Duke students are knowledgeable about things that interest them, and chances are the majority of Duke students will see a flyer put up by an NPHC organization and not give it a second thought, even if it’s an event that’s relatable to them. I hope that does not remain the status quo for much longer. I encourage everyone to learn about all four Greek councils and the methods needed to join each organization, because Greek life is more than just one council.
Ehizele Osehobo, Trinity ’13
First vice president of National Pan-Hellenic Council and president of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity