Samford University’s Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated hosted their annual SkeeWeek this year from Nov. 13-18.
Founded in 1908, AKA is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African American college-educated women, according to their official site. AKA was also the first of the Divine Nine organizations to have a presence on Samford’s campus, with the Omicron Mu chapter chartered in 1988. Since its founding, the sorority has brought many women together through their international and graduate chapters.
SkeeWeek is a week-long celebration showcasing each of the sorority’s initiatives that occurs each semester. Initiatives are put in place by the international president, Danette Anthony Reed. The theme AKA is honoring during her term is “Soaring to Greater Heights of Service and Sisterhood.” There are five program initiatives which are “empowering our families, building our economic wealth, enhancing our environment, advocating for social justice, and uplifting our local community.” Each chapter comes up with their own unique ways to live out these initiatives in their universities and communities.
The “Oh So Outrageous” Omicron Mu chapter, under current senior president Mya Ramsey, held events celebrating these initiatives during their SkeeWeek. With an event each day, all five initiatives were able to hold a spotlight on a certain day. However, the Omicron Pi chapter upholds these initiatives during the entire year, not just during SkeeWeek. This fall semester, they hosted a feminine drive, planted a tree across campus on Lakeshore and held social justice movie nights.
SkeeWeek is unique as it brings in different members of the community that have contrasting yet equally valuable interests. Member of the Omicron Mu chapter and current junior Madison Parrish described what sets AKA apart from other organizations.
“We are so unique, a safe place for everyone. Not everyone wants to do the same thing or is good at the same thing. We have so many different initiatives where everyone can fit in somewhere,” she said.
The name SkeeWeek comes from “Skee-Wee,” the calling for AKAs.
“Every Divine Nine has their own calling,” Parrish explained. “They are used in strolls and chants, but mainly serve as an identifier between each fraternity or sorority.”
While SkeeWeek is an amazing opportunity to celebrate AKA, Samford’s chapter is truly a special group that impacts student’s’ entire lives. Ramsey shared her experience in Samford AKA.
“When I first got here freshmen year, I felt really lonely. It was during COVID, I didn’t really have anyone to talk to. So, when I got initiated and started getting involved in the chapter, at first, I thought, ‘We aren’t going to see each other again, I’m not going to be that close with (the girls that are now) my sisters,’” Ramsey said. “Once we started doing events and getting connected with our graduate chapter, I was like, ‘Oh! Now I see these women that have all these friendships and sisters in this sorority; I thought it was just going to be an undergrad commitment, but it is so much more.’”
To those that feel as though they are lacking community, AKA desires to be a safe space for anyone to come and be yourself. Ramsey shared the benefits she has experienced from becoming a part of AKA.
“You’re not alone,” she said. “You think you are, but you really aren’t, once you join a sorority, like AKA, you are going to be attached to a lot of women who are here to help you.”