» By Denzel Baxter


Have you ever thought of joining a fraternity or sorority? On Sunday, Sept. 30, the John S. Ziegler Student Leadership Conference had its third annual event at APSU in the Clement auditorium.

“It’s a new members institute for people who are trying to join a sorority or fraternity,” said Stacy Copeland, a sophomore biology major.

“It is also required if you want to go Greek,” added Courtney Clark, a sophomore and nursing major.

The keynote speaker was Justin Jones-Fosu, an author, entrepreneur and professional public speaker. In 2008, Jones-Fosu was named one of Ebony Magazine’s “30 Young Leaders Under 30 On the Rise.”

A native of Baltimore, he currently hosts a weekly radio show on WEAA 88.9 FM (an NPR affiliate). Very enthused and friendly with the audience, Jones-Fosu explained why joining a fraternity is so important and should go beyond accolades. Jones-Fosu said he feels it should be about leadership and being an example for the younger generation.

“Think about your next transition of life with your organization,” Jones-Fosu said.

He goes by a leadership method which motivates the youth to be humbled and relational. “The first thing to leadership is being humbled,” he said. “Admit you make mistakes and create an environment of openness.”

Jones-Fosu said many people nowadays, especially college students, do not like to admit issues because the truth hurts and it’s what makes us human.

He went on to add that in the long run, the students will see how being in a fraternity or sorority relates to real life.

Known for his over-the-top presentations, Jones-Fosu brought a female student onstage and sang an R&B tune a capella. He then went on to play Jordan Sparks’ song “No Air” and used it as a metaphor for empowerment and succession planning.

“When you empower someone, you basically let them take your place,” Jones-Fosu said. He told the students it is important to have a plan after college and not just think success will come to them.

He concluded the conference by asking a student to give the perfect definition of leadership. Jones-Fosu speaks at many college campuses across the nation advocating leadership.