Why the National Pan-Hellenic Council Stroll


Dasyonne Brashear

Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha stroll during the Black Family Reunion, an event hosted by the NPHC during Homecoming week.

Strolling has been a part of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) fraternities and sororities for about as long as they’ve been around.  

By strolling, sororities and fraternities can show their unity and bond through dancing in a linear formation. The origin of strolling dates back to African roots. 

NPHC president and member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority incorporated Kendall Adams explained the definition of strolling and where its roots lie. 

“Strolling is a visual representation of our unity. It’s just something that we could do to enjoy. It’s kind of like when you’re with family and you’re all at a party, you sing and dance together just to show love and the bond that you really have. African culture and African rules are where it originated from but you make it cute, make it fashionable and make it your own. It ties back to from where we came from, but it also signifies where we are now,” Adams said.

There is also stepping, which is different from strolling because it is a combination of stomps and claps that make up a rhythmic pattern. 

The NPHC were first introduced to Southeastern in 1975, with the Kappa Nu chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha being the first of the Divine Nine to be chartered on Southeastern’s campus. The Divine Nine are the nine organizations that make up the NPHC, and Southeastern holds chapters for eight of them. The only one missing from Southeastern Greek life is Iota Phi Theta.

Adams views these organizations’ presence on campus as a step moving forward for Black Greek life. 

“For me to be able to show my sorority sisters at a predominantly white institution, it feels like motion just because not saying it’s already hard for African Americans to make certain things happen but I feel like it’s whenever you go to a PWI, your culture is not as maximized as it would be at a historically black college or university,” Adams said. 

This semester, the NPHC has put on several events including The Block is Hot, Black Family Reunion, and TNT Nights to make their presence known on campus. These events allow NPHC organizations to represent themselves and what they bring to Southeastern.

Adams stated the reasoning behind events like TNT Night is to show the students who are coming in or who don’t know about the NPHC who they are.

Although strolling is a significant part of the NPHC, it’s important to realize the work they do for the community.

“It’s never been about the stepping or strolling. For me, it’s always been about the impact that I could make on other people’s lives, community service and always what I could do for other people. I feel like people always see the social events, the parties or the stuff on TikTok but the real work really isn’t displayed,” Adams said.

Next semester plans to bring back pre-covid events such as the Step Show. To stay updated on Southeastern NPHC events click here.