“It’s a very nice event and I’m happy that Greeks were able to come out tonight support,” said Brittney Carstarphen, member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Xi Chapter.
This past Thursday night, fraternities and sororities joined together outside of Roosevelt Hall in celebration of “The Iota Phi Theta Yard Show,” serving as a big social event for the end of the semester for students.
The organizations that participated were the Iota Phi Theta, Alpha Phi Alpha, Phi Beta Sigma and Que Psi Phi fraternities and Delta Sigma Theta and Zeta Phi Beta sororities. Christopher Bazzel, vice president of the Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., wanted to bring an event for students to support.
“We’re just trying to make the campus more social than it really is,” Bazzel said.
The large crowd gathered on the steps and lawn of Roosevelt, huddled together and anxiously awaited for the event to begin. Suddenly the sound of intense barks and chants filled the night air as the fraternity brothers began marching triumphantly towards the crowd.
The energy with all who were present was electric as each organization gave an intensely entertaining performance, stomping the pavement, raising signs and even fellow members.
One of the interesting factors was the spoken introduction to their performances by recognizing the origin and achievements of their organization and the traditions they continued to follow.
Alpha Phi Alpha, the first African-American fraternity was established in December 1906 at Cornell University. It was
a way to unite minorities during those times of segregation and prejudice, which prevented them from joining white organizations. The idea was that a fraternity serves as a true brotherhood that disregards race or social status and to be community oriented.
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. were the first to incorporate stepping and chanting. Kwame Nkrumah, member of Phi Beta Sigma and a native of West Africa used African culture as an inspiration, which made the overall performance powerful and poetic.
One of the memorable moments of the two hour show was Phi Beta Sigma stomping the pavement and singing a catching melody “Phi Beta Sigma got soul…” which received cheers.
The two sororities that performed, Zeta Phi Beta and Delta Sigma Theta received a moderate response from the crowd with one student honestly saying “I liked it [but] the girls need to step their game up.”
Overall the event continued a tradition that brought a diverse, fun and positive atmosphere for the EMU community to enjoy.
“It’s good ‘cause it gives us entertainment as well,” said Raven Walker. “You see different people, even though they’re in different organizations, they still come together to do stuff like this.”
Other organization members, who didn’t participate, such as A.K.A. member Cherese Dafney, still arrived, expressing the good of how united everyone was and the impact it had on the performers.
“Being a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., I absolutely love the show. I love step shows. I love yard shows,” Dafney said. “I feel that it’s a way for Greeks to express themselves freely and just to have fun. This is how we celebrate being in our organizations.”
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