OK, fellow Black Greeks, let’s make the new year great with “divine” nine resolutions. Don’t worry, these aren’t resolutions that I would not do myself. In fact, these resolutions are easily within the reach of each of us and designed to help us maintain the integrity of our fraternities and sororities.
1. I resolve to build my leadership skills by any means necessary.
One of the big reasons you and I were so attracted to our letters is the list of notable leaders in our respective organizations. Leadership is how the Divine Nine played a major part in diversity throughout America. Let’s continue to soak up leadership lessons. Let’s read, interview people we admire, or like our favorite quotes on social media. Let’s just make more leadership happen.
2. I resolve to stay closely connected to social justice in the name of my organization.
Social justice needs the involvement of Black Greeks more than ever. We don’t have to run out into the streets doing a super hero reveal with our letters because it’s not about publicizing our fraternities or sororities. It’s about doing what is already in our hearts as Divine Nine members—giving voice to the voiceless.
3. I resolve to be a leader in diversity.
Greek life is a great place to embrace diversity. Our experiences with our frat and sorors go beyond society’s basic, surface understanding that we all need to get along. Take the kaleidoscope of personalities and the backgrounds around you, and use the cooperation that powers your chapter to make your community a better place.
4. I resolve to practice customer service.
One thing that irks me to no end is seeing fellow Black Greeks turn their noses up at those without letters. That’s just not cool. How soon we forget that once upon a time we were the ones asking silly questions like, “Why do they get so excited when they see each other???” or “Why is stepping so important?” We are servant leaders but that is not limited to community service projects and achievement. Any kind of effective leader is one who operates with a sense of inclusion. So let’s give those around us the respect they deserve and attitudes that will sell our letters, not repel future members.
5. I resolve to be mindful of what prospective members bring to the table as opposed to how I feel.
Some of the worst membership decisions people make in all organizations are based on personal feelings and biases. Heck, people’s feelings even interfere with hiring decisions in the workforce. In the Divine Nine, however, we have to be true to our missions. The way to uphold our missions is to evaluate prospective members based on the facts of their candidacy.
6. I resolve to stay connected to issues that affect the Divine Nine.
One of my favorite reads is the blog of Dr. Gregory Parks. He does a ton of research to maintain a deep understanding of issues that are critical to the Divine Nine. While some are highly critical of his perceived pessimism about Black Greeks, it’s important to consider the information he and others share as a result of their research and insights.
7. I resolve to stay true to my mission as a college student.
Your chapter exists because of your fraternity or sorority. You had an organization to join because your college or university approved your chapter’s charter. You may even be one of those students who didn’t even know about Black Greeks until you got to college. Therefore, you couldn’t get letters without college coming first. Being a college student is job one and that attitude will pay off immediately and in the long run.
8. I resolve to keep my social media behavior in check.
Yes, I’m on this one again and I won’t leave it alone. A bunch of you are still floating N-bombs, F-bombs and other types of ratchetness on social media while having the nerve to question why you’re being judged harshly by folks without letters. Pay attention to the organization you represent, how you have publicly claimed to represent it at interest meetings and other events, and ask yourself how you would react if you were not a Divine Nine member.
9. I resolve to discourage hazing.
You and I both know there is a multitude of reasons to make this resolution and there is no need to say much more.