Greek of the Week: Benjamin Hinton II

Greek of the Week is back, and this week we had the opportunity to sit down with one of Hampton’s very own yard runners. Benjamin Samuel Hinton II, from Gastonia, North Carolina, is a Spring 2017 initiate into the Gamma Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. Being a Pharm. D candidate is by no means a walk in the park, especially when you’re President-Elect of the Student National Pharmacists Association, as well as being a member of the American Pharmacists Association and Young Adults Advocating Change. No worries, Ben was able to give us insight on how he balances everything – social, scholastic, and even personal.

HC: When were you first exposed to Greek life?

BSH: I was first exposed to Greek life during thanksgiving dinner 2014 when I went home for break. My cousin was an Alpha and he showed me his tattoo and said, “This is the only way to go.” When I came back to school I was present at the Fall 2014 probate and my mind was blown from there and my interest only grew.

HC: Do you have any siblings back home? What’s it like adding to that with the line brothers you’ve gained?

BSH: Yes, and being able to have them here around me at all times and having 12 different personalities yet sharing 1 commonality. Being able to go on campus and see 22 other brothers everywhere, all working on the same goal to uplift and empower the community and everyone around them. Also, having someone who’s there if I need a place to stay, someone to help volunteer with me or with anything. I have a lot of resources around me and the fellowship and brotherhood are really strong.”

HC: Has there been any added challenges with being in a relationship plus now being in a fraternity?

BSH: Yes, there’s always going to be a challenge in a relationship. Due to my time [being] cut in half as a pharmacy major, you have time to study and then other free time. Whereas, before I just had school and then I [could] just hang with my girl or play with my friends, but now I have to study, I got my brothers, I got my girlfriend and other friends as well so it’s all divvied up. It’s about being able to prioritize and managing my time, which has been the biggest challenge.

HC: How would you describe yourself outside of being Ben, the Alpha?

BSH: *laughs* I feel like I’m goofy, funny, a bucket-getter on the basketball court, a trash-talker, and a procrastinator. I love watching movies and I’m just chill and relaxed.

HC: Where do you see yourself in five years?

BSH: I see myself with a Pharm. D degree working for CVS, married, and enjoying life. I want to be an overnight pharmacist, so going on vacation around the world and enjoying life.

HC: Is it hard handling the work of being a STEM major coupled with the obligations for your fraternity?

BSH: Yeah, I think Pharmacy is arguably the hardest major on campus, so it’s definitely difficult. I don’t really have the life that everybody else has. A lot of times my friends want to go out and have fun or play in a tournament but I’ll have a test to study for. So, it’s definitely a lot more challenging.

HC: What do you feel the role of Black Greek organizations is in today’s society?

BSH: To be the role models and leaders in today’s community and to uplift and lead the way. We are what a lot of people look up to, so we have the opportunity to make an impact in a lot of people’s lives just by being out in the community and leading by example.

HC: What goals do you see for your fraternity to accomplish in the near future?

BSH: Our goal is to be the yard runners. The person that when people see us they will think to themselves, “Okay there is an Alpha man, that’s somebody who has their goals set and is about their business.” Helping everybody else, being that leader and person anybody can talk to, and to get more involved in the community. Also, to have a hand in every aspect in the community, so we’re not just only at the football games, strolling, or doing community service but taking over and being involved in everything.”

HC: What member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated do you look up to?

BSH: Well, there’s two:

One is Matthew Austin, he’s my classmate, ADP, and prophyte. He’s one of the people I looked up to ever since freshman year when he was president of the freshman and sophomore class. The way he carries himself so humbly, no matter how high his position he’ll reach down and serve anybody. To have him in my class and being my prophyte is definitely an honor.

Another one is Jared Bourke, since freshman year he’s another one who was always about his business. Whenever I saw him he was studying or doing something productive, he was never just laying around letting time waste away. When he crossed Spring ‘16 and then to see his life take off, all the internships, leadership roles, moves he makes out in the community and even in his personal life. I was like I need to set myself up to be connected with the people who he’s connected to, I need to get involved and become a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated.

Make sure you keep up with Ben on Instagram: @phlyest_breed12!