YSU Greek Life Welcomes Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Back to Campus

By Amanda Joerndt

The Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc. sorority Delta Delta chapter is making a comeback at Youngstown State University after being inactive for two years.

Deanna Brown, the graduate adviser to the undergraduate Delta Delta chapter at YSU, said this is AKA’s third attempt at being an active Greek life member. 

“It’s not because of any fault of the girls who attempted to be a part of the process, but we do have to follow university guidelines, which means you have to have at least five candidates before you can do a process if you don’t have any members,” she said.

AKA returned to campus on Nov. 25 by initiating seven members through a probate performance among the student body, AKA alumnae and Youngstown community.

New member, Alyssa Crump, performs in the probate performance on Nov. 25 in Kilcawley Center. Photo by J Harvard Feldhouse/The Jambar

Eddie Howard, vice president for student affairs, said a probate performance gives the YSU community an opportunity to introduce new members to campus. 

“It’s supposed to be a transformation of you joining the organization, learning the history of the organization and presenting yourself as a new person to the campus as part of this body that is supposed to bring this sisterhood and brotherhood,” Howard said. 

With AKA being an African American sorority, Brown said she hopes the members can engage with other sororities on campus.

“I think at the end of the day, we’re all service organizations and we all have similar missions,” she said. “I think collaborating and educating other sororities with what Alpha Kappa Alpha is all about with just a general understanding that we really have more similarities than we do differences.” 

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System reports that as of fall 2018, the student population at YSU is 75% white and 9% African American or black. 

Brown said YSU is a predominantly white institution and hopes the university can see what women of color are doing worldwide.  

“We are an international organization. … We have over 300,000 members and 80,000 who are financial active members,” Brown said. 

Nylauna Petty, a junior nursing major, said the sorority will work to bring service to YSU’s campus and the Youngstown area. 

“Our purpose is to cultivate and encourage high scholastic standards, so everyone who’s in our sorority, we just have high standards and be constantly involved in campus and around our community,” she said.

Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha smile for a photo in their AKA jackets after the probate performance. Photo by J Harvard Feldhouse/The Jambar

According to Petty, the members “constantly hit it hard” from day one of the initiation process through meeting at a Greek night and staying in touch with each other.

“[We] said, ‘OK, this is definitely time for us to bring AKA back to campus and reactivate and bring life to campus again,’” Petty said. 

She said the members plan to represent the sorority on campus by now being able to wear AKA apparel. 

“When people see us and our faces, we want them to know that we go to Youngstown State University, and this is what we stand for,” Petty said. 

According to Howard, he hopes students on campus will begin to “see what AKA is all about.” 

“We hope as the organization becomes stronger, the sorority will begin to show campus some of the things that they’re all about,” Howard said. 

Carrie Anderson, associate director of student activities, oversees the active fraternities and sororities and works to keep Greek life an engaging organization at YSU.

The seven newly initiated members of Alpha Kappa Alpha pose by the rock in the campus core outside of Kilcawley Center. Photo by J Harvard Feldhouse/The Jambar

Anderson said adding another National Pan-Hellenic Council to the Greek life community will help expand the organization.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for the Greek system to continue to expand and also to bring an active NPHC chapter back onto campus,” Anderson said. 

She said being an active chapter will allow the members to practice their “values and initiatives.” 

“It’s really nice to be able to bring a piece of that Greek life culture back into our Youngstown State University community,” Anderson said.

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