Fraternizing with faculty

Kappa Alpha Psi members develop mentorship with professors

By Sally Ann Moyer

Baylor’s Xi Sigma chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity members, who serve as mentors to Waco youth, hope to expand their mentoring relationships by also having mentors of their own among Baylor faculty and staff.

The fraternity’s Meet the Greeks Faculty Mixer, part of their Kappa Week, occurred Thursday night in the Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center.

“We hope for a better mentorship with faculty, a better connection,” Arlington senior Rob Ekwerekwu, president of Baylor’s chapter, said.

Kappa Alpha Psi members hope to continue building relationships by hosting future faculty mixer events.

“It is something we’ll look forward to keep doing and keep building that relationship, just constantly developing that relationship,” Brown said.

The event served as an opportunity to ask faculty a range of questions from most embarrassing moments to how they have overcome adversity.

“We just wanted to have a more positive interaction with the staff and develop relationships so they can understand us more, and they can understand our organization so we can become more academically successful,” Hyattsville, Md., post-baccalaureate Kappa Alpha Psi member Kemar Brown said.

The event was also a time to increase awareness of Kappa Alpha Psi.

“I want Baylor faculty and staff to recognize the presence of a positive African-American group on Baylor’s campus,” Beaumont junior and Kappa Alpha Psi member Danny Fowler said.

While developing faculty relationships is a new effort for Kappa Alpha Psi, the fraternity has consistently worked as mentors to youth in Waco.

Since November 2010, Kappa Alpha Psi has volunteered at Rapoport Academy.

“We help rebuild the school, maintain the premises, as well as mentor the kids,” El Paso junior Inya Eleje said.

Previously, Kappa Alpha Psi had also volunteered with Mission Waco’s King’s Club program.

“We just want to be positive role models to the kids,” Fowler said.

Fowler emphasized the importance of developing positive mentoring relationships between college students and Waco youth.

“Waco really does need good mentors for youth,” Fowler said. “You’ve got to break the chains somehow. We could be the catalyst in breaking the chains.”

Mark Smith, Kappa Alpha Psi alumnus and assistant director of promotions and events for the Mayborn Museum Complex, offered advice to those in attendance.

“Take advantage of what you have around you. Get into the habit of meeting someone new every single day because you never know who you’ll meet today that’s going to help you out five years from now,” Smith said.

Astrid Beltran, coordinator for Greek Life for the Multicultual Greek Council and the National Pan-Hellenic Council, also spoke about Greek Life’s ability to provide a better mentoring relationship.

“We’re a resource; we’re allies. The students are really doing amazing things, now we as a staff need to be taking these opportunities to ask, ‘What can I do to enhance their college experience?’ If I can’t do it, I find someone that can do it,” Beltran said.

Smith also reminded fraternity and sorority members to reach out to alumni.

“You need to have that communication both ways you got to seek out those older members in the fraternities and sororities. Make a phone call, text, send an email; that communication has to be a two-way street,” Smith said.

Members of three National Pan-Hellenic Council sororities were also in attendance: Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta sorority and Alpha Kappa Alpha.