NPHC event to increase understanding in community

Jakira Smith, Staff Reporter

For the first time on campus, the National Pan-Hellenic Council will host a forum discussing the history of strolling and stepping in homage to African-American Heritage Month.

The event will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Phipps Auditorium in the Physical Science Building.

Ashley Howard, the NPHC president, said this forum is important to have during February because it shows the deep-rooted history that comes with being in a NBHC organization.

She said the forum would create environment that opens up doors for learning.

Howard said most students have many misconceptions behind the reason for stepping and strolling.

She said people seem to think it is only for social acceptance and entertainment.

“We want to bust out of those myths and also bring awareness to gain a certain understanding between the community and even NPHC Greeks,” Howard said.

One of the main forces behind the forum was to get students to understand the roots of black Greek lettered organizations and why they step and stroll.

“This event says that our organization is trying to educate the public on topics that students probably wouldn’t take the time out to research on their own,” Howard said. “We’re coming out and giving that vital information to students so they won’t feel as though (there are) top secrets within NPHC.”

Caitlyn East, an NPHC graduate assistant and associate resident director, said black Greek lettered organizations are prominent within the black community, so educating the campus about who they are and what they do is important.

East said the organization also wanted to give other students the chance to gain deeper insight into the ties of stepping and strolling within black history.

Both Howard and East said planning the forum was not stressful.

“We just brought our ideas together in general body meetings and worked as a team,” Howard said.

Stepping dates back to the 1930 and 1940s era with coal miners who used to communicate with their boots, Howard said.

East said stepping and strolling are more than just synchronized dancing for the Greeks.

She said strong cultural significance come from stepping and strolling and they are relevant today.

“Thankfully, we are on a campus with highly engaged fraternity and sorority members and have active advisors who want to give back to the campus community,” East said.


Jakira Smith can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].