The Gamma Alphas & BE Deltas share a common bond on December 4th. (Victor Harper)

The Ties That Bind: Alpha Phi Alpha & Delta Sigma Theta

There are many connections and similarities found in the ice-cold brothers of A Phi A and the devastating divas of DST. But on a particular HBCU, the ties that bind these two organizations is stronger than most.

December 4: A special day to the brothers of the Gamma Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the Beta Epsilon chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. as they share a special bond between them that is truly unique to these distinctive organizations seated at Virginia Union University.

December 4, 1906 is the founding date of the first intercollegiate fraternity for African-American men—Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. December 4, 1937 is the date that 26 charter members made the distinguished Beta Epsilon chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. on the campus of Virginia Union University.

For the week of November 28th to December 2nd, the two chapters partnered for a weeklong series of programs titled “Fire & Ice Week.” It has been a longstanding tradition for the two chapters to collaborate on the week leading up to the fraternity’s founding date and the chapter’s charter day.

“Fire & Ice Week” began with a thought-provoking discussion on the “B” word and the power that words have on a person’s psyche and in the media. The conversation drew several responses from the audience as the women and both the men described their different viewpoints on the word.

On Tuesday, the two organizations’ program on leadership “Students Today; Leaders Tomorrow” was dually influential and a symbol of the relationship for both chapters. The program was facilitated by Trent Miller and Rachetta “Shay” Moss, who serve as Mr. and Miss Virginia Union University 2011-2012. Miller and Moss are both Spring 2011 initiates of their respective chapters.

Before becoming Miss Virginia Union University, Shay Moss served as Miss Black & Gold 2009-2010 for the Gamma Chapter. She went on to compete in three more Miss Black & Gold pageants and became Miss VACAPAF (Virginia Association of Chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity) and Miss Eastern Region of the fraternity.

Chapel, a Virginia Union tradition to hold an hour-long church service, was also hosted by the Alphas and Deltas. The week was concluded with an invitation for VUU students to display their talents on stage at the “Phrozen Fire” open mic talent show.

In their rich 74 year history, the Beta Epsilon chapter has created a legacy of sisterhood, scholarship and service that has left an enormous impact on the campus of Virginia Union University and in the Richmond community. In 2011, the chapter won awards for Most Community Service and Highest Overall GPA for VUU Greek organizations.

At the 2011 Virginia Union University homecoming, B.E. won 1st place for the best sorority for the second consecutive year. Gamma won 1st place in the step show for the fraternities.

The Gamma chapter has run continuously for the entire 103 years of its existence. Virginia Union graduate Eugene Kinckle Jones came back to his alma mater and founded the chapter on December 30, 1907. The chapter was the recipient of the fraternity award for best collegiate/alumni chapter relationship 2010 Charles H. Wesley Award with its graduate chapter, Xi Delta Lambda.

Pictures courtesy of Victor Harper