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Monday, March 20, 2023

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SDSU’s NPHC raises the bar for community engagement

The historically black fraternities and sororities create programs and volunteer events in hopes to better the communities around us.
By JohVonne Roberts

There are 8,427 people experiencing homelessness in San Diego, with a record high of 1,609 people living without shelter, according to an annual count conducted by the Regional Task Force on Homelessness. These individuals are in need of food and water but, most importantly, a helping hand; something the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) of San Diego State University does best.  


The NPHC is a coalition of four sororities and two active fraternities on campus. NPHC of SDSU engages in a variety of programs and volunteer work for the benefit of the San Diego community.


From campus beautifications to feeding homeless individuals, these organizations continually represent SDSU and show pride through selfless service.


“The overall mission of Phi Beta Sigma is to uphold our principles of brotherhood, scholarship, and service,” said Amari Jackson, president of Phi Beta Sigma. 


Jackson is a fourth-year Psychology major who also serves as the president of NPHC and an academic mentor for the Black Resource Center. His involvement is as impactful on campus as it is off campus. 


His chapter organizes different ways in which SDSU students can be more involved with changing communities for the better. The annual event of feeding the homeless invites students to prepare peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and deliver them Downtown. 


“It definitely feels nice to help and try to lift others up,” he added. 


In August, Phi Beta Sigma participated in the beautification of Lincoln High School’s campus.


“The impact of seeing a group of unified young black men giving back was incredible,” said James Wiley Jr. about Phi Beta Sigma’s contribution in the community. Wiley is the event’s coordinator and a Lincoln High alumni. “It’s important for our students to come back to school with a clean environment to make focusing much easier.”


Kappa Alpha Psi also does its part to make sure that things stay clean and tidy by joining cleanups in various San Diego neighborhoods. 


Earlier this month, Delta Epsilon chapter’s Cristian Johnson and Tristan Thomas volunteered at the Community Housing Works After School Program where they helped children with their homework. 


Zeta Phi Beta recently volunteered at Sharia’s Closet, an organization that promotes essential assistance for those who are experiencing financial hardship. The group assorted clothes and inspected donated goods to ensure their quality.


“There is such a need for families and children to get clothes and be able to be a part of providing that was special,” said Kiara Prak Perry, Xi Kappa chapter president. Perry emphasized the feeling of the impact Sharia’s Closet had on her. “There were so many donations and it was amazing to see.” 


Last semester, Delta Sigma Theta contributed 335 children books to Garfield Elementary School. With their “Day N’ Daygo: Investing in Education” program, they created a week full of events that focused on academic and personal goals. 


Delta Sigma Theta’s Cierra Watkins notes the book drive as a special event that personally resonated with her. Watkins’ parents are both educators in Los Angeles’ Compton neighborhood where reading resources can be scarce.


“Being able to give books to children who need it and desperately want to immerse themselves into different stories was special to me,” Watkins said. 


Even with the recent return of the Mu Iota Chapter, the AKAs wasted no time getting out in the community. Their commitment to “Service to Mankind” was proven through their Feminine Product Donation Drive during Women’s History Month.


“All the items we were able to collect for these women made me so proud. It made me want to do this drive again so we could impact more people,” said Morgan Skoog-Green, secretary for the Mu Iota chapter.


The ladies of Sigma Gamma Rho give back to the community through service events and their informative programs. The Ego Trippin Chapter has done cleanups in the surrounding area, passed out hygiene kits in Downtown San Diego, and volunteered at the Miracle League’s baseball game. Their value truly aligns with their slogan “Greater Service, Greater Progress”.


The National Panhellenic Council of SDSU proves that change is more effective when done together. 


Watkins emphasized the impact NPHC has on changing the community altogether. “The unity with all of the NPHC organizations coming together is what makes it so special. We’re all a part of these different organizations but when we come together we have such a bigger impact than just doing things ourselves. It’s better when we all do it together.”


SLIDESHOW: SDSU’s NPHC raises the bar for community engagement