Your Break Between Classes

The Reawakening of Spring at Howard U

Apr. 1, 2022 — WASHINGTON

Temperate weather has settled across the district, with warm breezes making their way to the upper quadrangle of Howard University’s campus and settling in the air.

The student body has emerged from their dwellings of hibernation at the first taste of spring. In a sort of frenzied motion, clothing has been shed, music has been playing, and gatherings have been taking place on Howard’s infamous Yard, transforming the open space from a barren wasteland into a populous commune. 

Spring comes around every year, but this year is different. 

After two years since the last full spring semester on campus, this was new territory for the majority of the student body. As one might recall, the student body was sent home before Spring Break of March 2020. This alien environment has pushed students to take advantage of experiences they have not had the opportunity to participate in before. 

With SpringFest, an annual Howard University event filled with a week’s worth of activities, right around the corner, another anticipated time of the year has arrived: probate season. 

Probate season is a fanatical time on any college campus, but especially on that of an HBCU. A probate is a new member orientation presentation performed by Greek organizations. Shown to their families, friends, and the entirety of campus, the new inductees commit themselves to their respective sorority or fraternity for a lifetime. 

It is an exciting time not only for campus life, but the Greek community as well. The shows often contain greetings, strolls, history, and the reveal. Greek organizations such as Phi Beta Sigma, Alpha Phi Alpha, Zeta Phi Beta, and Kappa Alpha Psi have had their probates just this week alone. 

On Wednesday afternoon, fraternity Phi Beta Sigma conducted theirs. As the bright royal blue flooded the yard, the new members were unveiled through a show of fraternal history, brotherhood, dancing, and discipline. 

Kadin Smith, a newly-inducted Sigma, had this to say about the process. 

“The probate allows you to think of yourself in the context of a brotherhood.”

The brothers conducted their roll-calls, often referring to fellow with other Divine Nine organizations in attendance. They performed elaborate dance routines surrounded by compulsice swaying of head nods from alumni of Greek organizations and students alike. The young men recited facts about the history of the fraternity with a high level of discipline, sharp movements, and precision. 

To the uninitiated, the new member process go through may seem unusual but the processes are steeped in history and tradition unique to each organization.

As rigorous as the experience might sound, Naheim Banks, a newly-inducted Kappa, does not view it that way, stating “I’m eternally grateful for this time in my life. It reminds me of what I have learned, what I will continue to learn, and how much I have grown both as an individual and professional.”

Askya Alexander

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