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Triggered: What Started the Xi Tau Movement

Recently, Her Campus GS had the pleasure of interviewing a group of young men in the Xi Tau chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity Inc.. Anthony Sigee, Lunden Young, and Chandler Stevenson shared some of the things they have going on this semester.

The purpose of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. according to the mission statement, is to develop leaders, promote brotherhood and academic excellence, while providing service and advocacy for our communities.

The organization started a campaign on the Georgia Southern campus called “Xi Together Always United.” They chose the name as a play on the chapter name: Xi Tau. Though it initially came as a reaction to the Triggerish incident that occurred this past July, the fraternity stated that they want to make sure the conversation doesn’t stop there:  

“We don’t want the end goal to be something disciplinarily. We want to see more diversity and inclusion on campus,” started Stevenson “… we want to give the students tips not only on how to be a better student, but also a better overall person.”

“A lot of the time, events like this can cause separation. So, we are trying to help people understand that if we can come together and create a voice that doesn’t just stop after the initial fall out of an event like that we can make a force for change,” Sigee said.  

The brothers have put for their best effort to work with the university to make their goals a reality:  

“When incidents like this happen, they usually get a lot of publicity and they’ll be the topic of conversation for a few weeks max before people return to their normal lives and act like nothing happen — That’s not the case here,” Sigee.

 

The fraternity has Power Week September 24 through September 28. The idea for the week is to discuss different topics to promote inclusivity within the university. The university has been both supportive and receptive to the chapters efforts. They have received help from Dean of Students, Patrice Jackson; Vice President of Student Engagement, Dr. Ken Gassiot; and Director of Multicultural Affairs, Takeshia Brown.  

“They were happy to see a student organization was taking initiative to do something like this. They emphasized that though it may feel small, this is a big deal,” Young said.

 

When asked what they expected from the students with this movement, they said they wanted the students to be open to being receptive.

“Just to be willing. Though you may not see it in your everyday twitter feed, know that there are gears working behind the scene. Be willing to participate,” Young said.

“We want them to voice their opinion. By being silent you’re choosing a side without really saying anything. We hope that since we brought it up that people will be comfortable speaking about it,” Stevenson suggested. This statement ties into the hashtag the brother are using for the week: #SilenceIsNotAnOption

 

Being intentional in creating open dialogue among our students and faculty is what will keep the University inclusive to all and free from voices or the lack thereof that encourage hate, the opposite of Georgia Southern’s mission as a University. The final sentence of the University’s Mission Statement declares so:

Faculty, staff, and students embrace the values of integrity, civility, kindness, respect, sustainability, citizenship, and social responsibility in every facet of the University.”

Xi Tau is a direct example of the social responsibility that we all must share in order to progress as a university. Their contribution through Power Week will provide opportunities for students, staff, and faculty to embrace and educate one another on the many facets of the values Georgia Southern needs in order to create a voice that is stronger than hate, silence, and separation.

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Nakia Woodley

Georgia Southern

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