W&L Hosts Statewide National Pan-Hellenic Council Step Show Competition The Feb. 11 event celebrates the history and culture of NPHC organizations.
The Class of 1994 Office of Inclusion and Engagement at Washington and Lee University will host the NPHC Step Show Competition on Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Doremus Gym in Duchossois Athletic and Recreation Center. The event is open to the public and doors open at 6:30 p.m.
The step show competition seeks to create visibility for the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) organizations on W&L’s campus and strengthen connections not only among NPHC members, but between NPHC groups and the larger campus community.
NPHC organizations are historically, but not exclusively, Black organizations, and are service oriented and committed to building sisterhood and brotherhood among their members. They create space and opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds, bringing important visibility to under-represented communities on college campuses.
“Visibility does matter,” said Heidi Bustos, assistant director of Inclusion and Engagement at W&L. “It is important to make sure all students feel they belong here, have a voice and are represented.”
There are currently four NPHC organizations chartered at W&L: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., which shares a charter with James Madison University, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. However, only Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) is currently active on W&L’s campus, and part of the mission of the step show competition is to re-establish NPHC’s presence on campus and renew interest in membership.
“The step show adds to the diversity and culture on campus and allows students to see what opportunities are available to them,” said Naija Barakat ’24, AKA member and president of the Student Association for Black Unity. “It helps demonstrate what the NPHC organizations are about, that in addition to our service, we have a cultural, fun and social component that has a really rich history.”
As part of W&L’s Black History Month programming, the event hopes to bring the community together to celebrate the history and culture of NPHC organizations. While the step show competition has been an internal event in recent years, this year’s program will feature NPHC organizations from across Virginia, highlighting the connection between chapters, as well as the history and culture of NPHC. The goal is for the step show competition to become a long-standing event organized by the NPHC council at W&L.
Four organizations will be participating in this year’s competition: Alpha Phi Alpha from JMU, Alpha Kappa Alpha from Virginia State University, Phi Beta Sigma from Virginia Tech, and Zeta Phi Beta from Virginia Commonwealth University. W&L’s AKA chapter will be emceeing the event, and faculty and staff members will serve as judges, including Michael Hill, professor of Africana studies; Courtney Penn ’92, senior associate dean of admissions and proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha; Ronda Bryant, associate dean of students and dean of seniors; and Nafeesa Monroe, visiting assistant professor of theater.
Tickets will be available to purchase in Elrod Commons from Feb. 6 through Feb. 10, at the door on Feb. 11, and online here. The cost is $5 for students with their university identification and $10 for the general public. W&L students can email Heidi Bustos (firstname.lastname@example.org) for discounted ticket information.
All proceeds will go to W&L’s NPHC organizations to support programming and future events.