Mu Xi chapter gains attention at conference

The Mu Xi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at The University of Southern Mississippi took home numerous awards in the annual Mississippi Alpha Network District Conference.

Starting Jan. 23, the four-day conference was held in Greenville, Miss. Various undergraduate members from Alpha chapters across the state attended the conference to discuss improvements on chapter business, vote on leadership positions for the state level, learn and improve membership intake protocol and adhere to the annual State of the Region address spoken by the southern regional vice president.

While the conference gives the opportunity for members to learn more about the fraternity, it also provides various awards to chapters for winning competitions and for overall excellence in the fraternity.

The Mu Xi chapter won awards for the 2014 College Chapter of the Year, Belford V. Lawson Oratorical Competition, John Hope Franklin Scholars Bowl, Alpha Adviser of the Year and two-time champion of the Hobart Jarrett Debate Competition. To further add to their credentials, the Mu Xi chapter won the regional and national title in the 2013 debate competition.

“Because my chapter has only been active on campus for a little over a year, I am truly happy and excited,” said senior English major Donald Holmes. “We have worked diligently to provide impactful programs, create invigorating experiences and providing service before self in our community.”

Holmes, who was the 2013 top debater in the Hobart Jarrett Debate Competition, serves as the chapter president.

Mu Xi chapter member Ray Young received the new assistant district director position for the Mississippi Alpha Network, making him the leader of the College Brother Caucus of the District.

“My success and my chapter’s success are directly correlated to our chapter and hard work ethic,” said Ray Young, a political science major. Young serves as the chapter parliamentarian.

The winner of the annual Miss Black and Gold Scholarship Pageant, sponsored by the Mu Xi chapter, was crowned Miss Black and Gold for the Mississippi Alpha Network.

“Pageantry has now become a vessel I use to inspire, cultivate and give back to my community,” said sophomore biochemistry major Kristen Dupard. “From the bobby pins to the waterproof mascara, this experience is truly an honor as it continues to mold me into the finer woman I set out to be.”

Dupard, along with the Mu Xi chapter, will advance to the 84th Southern Region Convention in Chattanooga, Tenn. in March.

“We represented with pride and a high level of excellence at the conference,” said junior English major Drako Wells. “It was our goal to represent ourselves as a fraternity of high caliber from the NPHC at Southern Miss and The University of Southern Mississippi itself.”

Undergraduate chapters that were in attendance included Delta Kappa (Alcorn State University), Gamma Upsilon (Tougaloo College), Iota Gamma (Rust College), Kappa Beta (Mississippi State University), Nu Upsilon (University of Mississippi), Omicron Gamma (Millsaps College), Omicron Psi (Delta State University) and Zeta Phi (Mississippi Valley State University).