Providing a voice

The evolution of Black Greek Council

Black Greek Council, formed in 1990, works in collaboration with the Office of Multicultural
Student Services to host events during Black History Month. Photo by: Abbey Good | Multimedia Editor

Black Greek Council (BGC) began as a place for African Americans and minorities to have a voice when they couldn’t. 

While the first African American charter at Ferris began in 1966 as Alpha Phi Alpha, Black Greek Council didn’t form until 1990. Since then, it has evolved and grown, collaborating with other RSOs and Greek organizations. 

Ferris pre-law and political science senior Jeffrey Carodine Jr. is the president of the Black Greek Council and has found that some of his best experiences from Black Greek Council have come from building his leadership skills. 

“Generally, BGC is a community service and philanthropy-based council. We do our annual icebreaker for the university, which is like a big get-together for everybody of the university. We have our annual ice-skater party and we do community service in Grand Rapids area. So we do things like food drives, clothes drives, donating money to the March of Dimes and Project Starburst. It’s a lot of things that we do but it is for the community and university solely,”

Carodine said. 

Besides helping the community and holding their ice-breaker event, BGC holds various events on campus and helps put on many of the events during Black History Month with the aid of the Office of Multicultural Student Services (OMSS) office. In addition, they have helped with the Big Event held at the beginning of the year. 

Ferris business administration and legal studies junior Zachary Bowman has found events like the Big Event to be a rewarding experience for new students interested in Greek life. 

“Personally, I feel I’ve began to shift more into a leader type of role. Also, with being in my own fraternity and beginning to branch out more with people I wouldn’t usually talk to. Being a part of BGC, you get to expand more. Sometimes we get to mentor students coming in as a freshman and it’s something that we’re like shifting into the role of an adult and taking charge and paying it back forward,” Bowman said. 

To be a member of Black Greek Council, the student must currently be enrolled in a fraternity or sorority associated with the platform and then discuss their interest in membership with members of the organization they choose to join. 

“I was able to develop skills such as far as being able to have a financial background. I was able to put that [on my] resume, I was able to meet a ton of different people, I was able to step out of my boundaries and meet new people. I was able to gain knowledge about different times of RSOs involved on this campus. And so far, as just make a name for myself,” Ferris electrical engineering senior Raphael Heaston said. 

Ferris television and digital media production junior Adrian Green has found his experiences with Black Greek Council to be both beneficial socially and professionally. 

“I have fun with the events and everything and when we’re at events I like to see how people will react to them and either way, people have a good time. I also joined more for my future. I’m not saying I couldn’t be successful without a fraternity or anything but with it, I feel I have a better chance. I feel it will build more connections,” Green said.

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