Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Black Greek Letter organizations foster connection at biannual Hump Night

Atahan Koksoy
Two members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority stroll at Hump Night on Nov. 15.

For many Black students, the college experience involves the National Pan-Hellenic Council, and, at UT, the story remains no different. With such a small population of Black students on campus, Texas NPHC sees its place in the community and seeks to foster a sense of connection through its biannual Hump Night. 

For Texas NPHC President Elle Grinnell, being a part of the council gives her the opportunity to grow an organization she’s passionate about in addition to helping foster community for Black UT students across the board.  

“Recently, we’ve been getting more active on the yard,” Grinnell said. “We’ve been able to do more events which is great because that’s Black UT coming out and having a chance to come together.” 

As a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Grinnell said being a part of a Divine 9 organization means more than just socializing. Grinnell said participation embodies service and legacy. 

“This is a lifelong thing,” Grinnell said. “It’s based off the service that we can do for the community. When I was little I knew I would be an AKA — my mom is one and so are both of my grandmas and my aunts.” 

Through Hump Night, UT preserves a tradition that dates back generations and started with HBCUs. One of the biggest parts of the night comes in the prevalence of an intricately choreographed dance routine known as strolling, which became a prominent aspect of Black Greek Letter Organizations over the course of their history. 

“Hump Night allows us to broadcast strolling in a (unity aspect),” said Trent Mosby, Phi Beta Sigma President. “We’re strolling in a line which signifies the unity within our organization, and then all the organizations coming together and strolling within a circle signifies the unity of the council as a whole.” 

UT NPHC hosts a Hump Night gathering every semester to showcase Black Greek Life to campus through music, dancing, strolling and food prepared by the Eta Theta chapter of Omega Psi Phi. Additionally, NPHC chapters from schools including Huston-Tillotson University and Prairie View A&M University attended Wednesday’s event, engaging in their own strolling routines. 

The string of Hump Nights over the past few semesters prove important to the community, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Alpha Phi Alpha chapter President Elijah Gray said events like Hump Night make for effective ways to increase awareness and engagement.

“We’re trying to get a campus presence back up considering COVID did a huge number on our organizations,” Gray said. “Everybody knows we’re about service — this is another way to represent it and show the intricacies of every org.” 

Black Greek Letter Organizations remain a powerful way to showcase the diverse history of Black people on college campuses and offer a sense of pride to community members through cultural contributions such as strolling and stepping. 

“(Our members are) the best of the best no matter what organization and when it comes to anything we represent,” Gray said. “We are the cream of the crop and make sure we have the exact output we want to reach (in) the community.”


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