Black Greek life leaders display legacy of unity

Posted: Feb 10, 2024

Tyler Allen is a senior here at App State and he is part of the Pi Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha. He also serves as the Vice President of Communication for the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Here he poses at the plots behind I.G. Greer with his fraternities plaque. Photo taken on Jan. 28, 2024. (Hayden Wittenborn)

Despite proportionally low enrollment, App State’s Black student community is small, but thriving.

In particular, three individuals within the Divine Nine community of App State’s campus persevere. Their stories offer insight into the experiences and contributions within Black Greek life, highlighting the ongoing legacy of service and the impact on the local community.


Tyler Allen serves as the vice president of communications for the NPHC and the president of the Pi Nu chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha. As a senior history education major, Allen works as a student teacher in Wilkes County. He said the impact his fraternity has on local schools is what keeps him proud.

Some of the initiatives started by Alpha Phi Alpha, such as Project AlphaCollege Life to Corporate Life Initiative and Go-to-High-School, Go-to-College focus on the education of young individuals. As a Black male teacher, Allen said seeing this representation in schools to young Black men in particular is important to him. 

“I know first-hand how that can really steer children to a positive life,” Allen said. “I appreciate that our fraternity actually cares to have these programs.”

Allen said he feels a sense of incredible love from being part of the Divine Nine community.

“We all do have the same missions,” Allen said. “It might be worded differently, it might take different ways of getting to the point. But we’re all here to advocate for the Black community and underserved communities all over the world.” 

Although the Divine Nine have the same intentions, the university does not always, Allen said.

“As far as getting more Black people on campus, Sheri can figure that out,” Allen said. “We’re trying to tell them that this isn’t a very safe space for Black people to be in. Because we’re on a mountain, we can’t fix that.”

Allen said he feels that there is not enough representation of underrepresented people in the campus Greek offices.

“Since not everyone is as educated on how we run, not everyone knows how to support us,” Allen said. “They just don’t understand, and part of that is because they haven’t been exposed to it.” 

The best way to become educated about Black Greek life on campus is to speak with its members, Allen said.

“Just talking to people who are a part of this life will go miles,” Allen said. “We’ll talk about why we joined, what this means to us, and how great it is for us and for our communities.”