Stepping Up

APA Joins BSC Greek Life

The Tau Iota chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha joins the Birmingham-Southern Greek community this semester, as IFC voted to allow them to join our school’s council. Chartered April 12, 2000 at Samford, the chapter opened up to the city in 2004, and it welcomed its first BSC student in 2005. Now, as an official member of Birmingham-Southern’s Interfraternity Council, they are opening up their annual Unity Step Show to chapters from the hilltop.

John Banks, the chapter president, said "Our step show is for everybody. People assume it’s just for the sororities to do, but we love when the fraternities get involved."

The Unity Step Show, now on its 5th year, is the chapter’s philanthropic event, which helps raise money for the March of Dimes. In past years, the show has raised over $500, last year raising $750. The event attracts organizations from both campuses. This year, 5 organizations from Samford and 3 from Birmingham-Southern have signed up to perform.

"I hear a lot of people say they’re afraid to dance or can’t dance," Banks said. "[But] it’s kind of a different world. It really is a lot of fun. Historically, it’s making sure we, as Alphas, do what we’re supposed to do and be servants to all."

Rooted in Greek singing competitions from the 70s and traditional African dances like the Gumboot dance, step shows have transformed into complex and entertaining showcases of Greek organizations’ dancing skills.

The step show, which will take place April 20th at Seibert Gym on Samford’s campus, is not the only thing Alpha Phi Alpha has planned. “We’ve already started to look at an Alpha week in the fall,” Banks said. “A week of different events; social, philanthropy, and service.”

Alpha week typically includes events like Stroll Like an Alpha, a step show featuring moves specific to different Divine 9 fraternities, and events designed to bring awareness to the March of Dimes. The chapter is looking to expand its role on campus by providing a new opportunity for students to go Greek as it expands into a more permanent place here on the Hilltop.

The Tau Iota chapter welcomes all BSC students to come see the event at Samford’s Seibert Gym on April 20th at 7 pm and encourages anyone interested in the fraternity to contact John Banks, Chapter President, at

All photos via John Banks