African American Greek community hopes to grow
Wichita State junior Marcus "Ace" Crump is the only member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Delta Mu chapter, at Wichita State University, and he strolls to inform the campus about his organization.
The African American Greek community held a traditional “Stroll Off” event Nov. 13 in the Shocker Square at the Rhatigan Student Center, where African American Greeks performed dances together to support their chapters.
“A Stroll Off is when different fraternities and sororities do their own individual strolls,” Crump said, “and showcase them in front of an audience.”
A fraternity or sorority will pick a song, develop a routine and perform their dance, said Vitaly Eldani, graduate intern for Greek life at WSU and coordinator for the event.
“In other words, it’s a dance off,” Eldani said.
The Stroll Off was designed to unite the African American Greek communities.
“It’s something fun,” Crump said. “And it’s eye-catching.”
Crump’s favorite dance is the Ape Stroll, where the dancing is hip-hop. He strolls with a whistle because, he said, it is an “Alpha thing,” and it is used to draw attention and guide the other dancers.
“And the Ace always blows the whistle,” he said.
Crump used to dance for the Power 93.9 hip-hop dance team. When the team opened for Marques Houston, Avant and Ray J, Crump forgot the dance in the middle of the performance. But that didn’t deter his desire to stroll.
“I love strolling,” he said. “It’s pure fun.”
Crump learned many dances in St. Louis, where fraternity chapters met for leadership and business workshops. However, no competition was held. Students were just showcasing their talents.
Crump joined Alpha Phi Alpha because of its history. In 1906, it was the first intercollegiate African American organization with goals of developing leaders, promoting brotherhood and academic excellence while providing service to the community.
“I really cherish the purpose of the organization,” Crump said.
Crump is an integrated marketing communication major, a discipline not offered by many universities. IMC prepares students for advertising, public relations and marketing careers.
Students involved are trained to work with media, market research or serve as an agency account representative.
“I like the fact that the major has a variety,” he said. “It’s very broad, however, specific, at the same time. Plus, I love advertising.”
Commercial advertising is most appealing to Crump. He wants to work, specifically, for the Omnicom Group Advertising Agency based in New York City.
“They are the biggest advertising agency in America,” he said, “which means there are a tremendous opportunities for me.”
The Stroll Off was the first at WSU and the first showcase Crump has participated in, but he has stroll experience and will continue to present his originality and talent to support his fraternity and his style.