On Thursday, Sept. 7, students gathered in the Morgan University Center Ballroom for the National Pan-Hellenic Council Fall Convocation. Every semester, NPHC hosts this event to attract potential members for the “Divine Nine” fraternities and sororities that make up the council.

Despite being interrupted by a fire drill, the event ran smoothly as the room filled with prospective NPHC members.

“Convocation is a time where those who are potentially interested or just want to know more can come and learn about the different organizations,” President of NPHC at APSU Cortney Grisham said.

Grisham’s career for NPHC started two years ago.

“I joined Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. in Nov. 2015 and it has just been history from there,” Grisham said. “I loved it so much I became the President of NPHC.”

Prospects were hopeful as they lined up to register.

Nianda Glover, freshman business administration major, came to convocation hoping to follow in her mother’s footsteps  and join a sorority.

“My mom was [a member],” Glover said. “I like the way they carry themselves.”

NPHC as a whole is important to Glover.

“I just like the way they work and what they are about,” Glover said. “They show you about your heritage and where you come from.”

Andre Green, freshman biology major, said he appreciates how a fraternity stresses leadership and academic success.

Maya Brown, senior communications major, came to NPHC to find a community.

“I feel like this whole time I have been in school I have not found a place, like a friend group,” Brown said. “I know it is a little late, but I am hoping it can happen.”

Brown feels like NPHC sororities would be a good fit for her.

“I feel like being here at a predominantly white school, it is easy to kind of forget your culture, like black culture,” Brown said. “I feel like I want to be a part of something that encourages and celebrates someone like me, who looks like me and who can relate to me.”

Grisham said that NPHC fraternities and sororities are just as relevant today as they were at their inception.

“NPHC is just as important now as it was at the beginning of the 1900s because they have been some of the forefront leaders of historical movements. They have been leaders on many campuses, particularly campuses that are PWI’s (predominantly white institutions),” Grisham said. “Having the influence of NPHC shows students of color the leadership opportunities they could explore.”

“It is representing brotherhood and sisterhood for the black community as well,” Grisham said.

NPHC organizations offer many service and scholarship opportunities.