Alpha Week educates Tech, gives back to community

November 12, 2009

by Emily LaFleur

Scholarship, education and love for all of mankind was recently promoted on campus as the Eta Kappa Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., hosted Alpha Week.

Devin Wagener, the historian of Alpha Phi Alpha, said Alpha Week is a time where Alphas strive to give back and educate the community.

“Usually once a quarter or at least twice a year Alpha Week takes place,” he said. “Throughout the week we highlight our national programs and projects which include promoting awareness about sexually transmitted disease awareness and HIV Aids virus.”

Wagener, a senior civil engineering major, said without education, society will not improve its ills.

“Ignorance is no excuse and if we don’t get better [HIV and STDs] will continue to be an epidemic,” he said. “Knowledge can prevent aides, unwanted pregnancies and STDs as well.”

Wagener said the purpose of the week is not just for STD awareness, but to send a message to students and the community.

“We are trying to set an example of what organizations should do,” he said. “We try to promote good deeds, community service and being a man by giving back.”

Tyler Sipes, a senior marketing major and quiz bowl participant, said the event was a great because all organizations were welcomed to join in.

“The quiz bowl was interesting because teams were able to choose from six categories: history, 1906, Tech, famous quotes, music and miscellaneous,” he said. “Pi Kappa Phi went up against the Black Student Union first then went for the final round against The Society of Distinguished Black Women and won.”

Sipes, a member of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, said he really enjoyed the way the scholar quiz bowl was run.

“The quiz bowl promoted diversity because there was a variety of organizations in participation,” he said. “It’s good they promoted scholarship in a fun and interesting way.”

Wagener said other events of the week were aimed toward appreciation of others that do so much for Tech behind the scenes.

“Tuesday was Tech Police appreciation day; we washed their police cars and thanked them for all they do,” he said. “Thursday was custodial appreciation day; we cooked for all the custodians and provided them lunch.”

Wagener said the week also included the Miss Black and Gold Pageant.

“Miss Black and Gold pageant was on Monday,” he said. “Miss Black and Gold represents [Tech Alphas] at their upcoming state conference [and possibly] if she wins there she will [advance] to the regional then national conference level.”

Tasashama Nard, a junior biology major, said she “wanted to do something different,” therefore, she decided to enter the Alpha Phi Alpha Miss Black and Gold Pageant.

“I [was chosen as] Miss Congeniality, which is [basically] the contestant [who is] liked the best,” she said. “I was so excited because it was my first time to ever enter a pageant and I placed.”

Nard said she enjoyed the pageant as well as the other events of Alpha Week.

“They have some really good programs especially on STD awareness which is great because people need to be informed,” she said.
“Alphas are concerned about people’s health and they appreciate the student body. This week shows how much they care about others.”