Nu Kappa Psi, or Noble Kings, officers and pledges are working together to prepare for the club’s first Homecoming.
The entire club, including 15 pledges and eight officers, does pledging activities together and all members wear khaki pants, a black button-down shirt and a black and gold bow tie. Shakur Smith, Noble Kings president, said the officers chose to wear the same uniform as the pledges after clarifying the purpose of the uniforms.
“We started to think, ‘What’s the purpose of dressing up?'” Smith said. “We decided we should all dress the same because the image that you’re trying to portray is one of solidarity, unity and nobility. We want to make sure that we let the guys know that we won’t ask ya’ll to do anything that we won’t do ourselves.”
Smith, junior marketing and finance major from Indianapolis, Indiana, said the club will not have a Homecoming breakfast but the club will participate in the parade for the first time. As both officers and pledges experience club activities for the first time, Smith said the biggest challenge has been intramural games. While other clubs have experienced players on their Champ teams, Noble Kings has been starting with new players.
“Because we’re so small, we can have fun while we do it,” Smith said. “They [pledges] know that we’re just starting this, so it’s fun to hear what they have to say and where they want to go with it.”
Although Noble Kings is a recharter of Pi Delta Psi for paperwork purposes, the club has a new name and new purpose. Noble Kings has seven pillars which support all their activities, Smith said. For example, one of the pillars involves scholarly excellence, so the officers tried to make activities like study halls which focused on that pillar. Before pledging, Smith said the club was not trying to be exclusive or “all-black” but instead was trying to provide a place for diversity. However, no other ethnic groups are represented in the clubs pledge class, which Smith said has to do with the club’s overall atmosphere. He said the difference between clubs isn’t found in skin color, but how the people in the club act and behave.
“People that relate to it, gravitate toward it,” Smith said. “When we say we want to be different, we’re talking about our core values. If someone sees what we’re doing, and they relate to it, then they will gravitate toward it naturally. We want to be intentionally diverse, but if you go out and grab a bunch of people that look different and they all don’t still fit that same core value, you just have people that are uncomfortable.”
Smith said he still feels like the club is addressing the need for more diversity in social clubs.
“I’d rather have an organized group of people who all stand under the same pillars, then have a colorful blanket of confusion,” Smith said. “When you look at other clubs, they may have a few minority groups but thing about those minorities is that they fit the club. It’s a family, not numbers on a chart or how many different colors you can have.”
Nu Kappa Psi rechartered Phi Delta Psi which began as Phi Omega Chi in 1938 and changed it’s name in 1951. It was banned from campus in 1973 but it rechartered in 1982 and folded in 1986. Noble Kings sponsors include Prentice Ashford, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Dr. Jerry Taylor, associate professor of Bible, and Terry Johnson, executive director of Abilene’s Communities in Schools.