Building Camaraderie: NPHC Potluck

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by: Elton Ferdinand III, MSC Greek Life Specialist Intern

There is an importance for community building between student organizations and students of color on campus. At a university like UW-Madison, people of color are often lumped together as one entity and given the same restrictions because of what others in their community may have done. We are individuals, but we may represent a larger group of people as well. We must realize we are comrades in the same struggle and have the same goals for our personal betterment.

Take the NPHC, for example. The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) is comprised of nine historically African American, international Greek lettered fraternities and sororities. NPHC was founded May 10, 1930 on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. One of the primary purposes of the council is to build unity and academic excellence between the organizations. For me, unity is being united or connected to a larger body. Camaraderie is a collective trust and friendship of people who are connected to each other. Camaraderie is a thoroughly flushed out definition of unity; it is what a council should strive toward.

To help build upon this primary purpose, on November 15th a Potluck between the council was held in the Center for Cultural Enrichment. At the potluck, each organization had to bring a snack, a main dish and a beverage of their choosing to feed at least 25 members. This is how many collective organizations function, with everyone contributing their part and coming together.

At the event, the group played a Rock Paper Scissors Competition game. In this game, the “loser” of an individual match-up becomes part of the cheering section for the “victor” as they move on to their next match. By the end of the game, the final match-up is surrounded by a cheering crowd. The game shows the importance of support and encouragement for each other and what happens when people move past their own “losses” to support others within their community.

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