Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? What do you study?
My name is Carl Tart and I am a senior undergraduate student from Yazoo City, MS majoring in Allied Health Studies and minoring in Psychology. When I was younger, I wanted to be a psychologist (seriously, won a prize in 1st grade for a drawing). That then changed to being a doctor, and then a biology teacher, and then a physical therapist (all because I was good at science). I started the university as an Exercise Science major, quickly realizing that I was abandoning my passion to help people learn and grow. Ole Miss has provided me with a surplus of opportunities to grow, which lead to me becoming the first African-American to serve the Student Activities Association as the Executive Director.
What made you interested in Phi Beta Sigma?
Author Doug Cooper once said, “You earn brotherhood - the purest friendship, trust, love, whatever you want to call it - moment by moment through how you treat others.” This statement proves to be true as I witnessed members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated serve as pillars of the community and positive role models for young men like me. There aren’t many Sigmas from my area (Bro. Dearies Shannon being the first I know from Yazoo County). I had the privilege of working alongside a leader as an intern with the Delta Institute of Teach For America who used his knowledge gained from his studies and Sigma to advocate and enact change in his own community and a community in the Mississippi Delta. Watching another man from this organization present unity for underprivileged communities inspired me to do the same for my own; a place known as the largest and poorest county in the state of Mississippi and for having the only school district in the state ranked in the bottom ten percent.
In addition, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated fosters a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, all core values I hold deep in my heart. The organization’s dedication to inclusivity no matter the cultural differences is a key principle needed in order to make a difference in the world. The feeling of exclusion is one I am familiar with; it is also a feeling I never felt with the men of the Eta Beta chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated. The men are genuine and promote positivity and inclusiveness amongst everyone. The men of the Eta Beta chapter deliver model professional standards to the African-American community at the University of Mississippi. I view these standards as examples of how young men should present themselves: as gentlemen and servants of the community. These examples are what influenced me to join Eta Beta.
What is your favorite part about being a Sigma?
My favorite part about being in a fraternity is the brotherhood. My siblings and I are spaced out in age and distance, so we missed out on a lot of growing time together. I gained nine brothers and an abundance of prophytes that I know will support me in anything that I do. They have come to hold a significant place in my life and heart. With me being a senior, it is my mission to show them my appreciation before I depart ways with the chapter.
It is my goal to improve the Eta Beta Chapter in many ways. I currently serve as the secretary and will use my position to bring organization and structure to the chapter’s records and planning services. Personally, my main goal is to graduate in May. I recently accepted a fellowship with the National Association of Student Personnel Administration, which will provide me with the necessary skills to begin my career in Higher Education & Student Affairs. It is my dream to serve a university in the capacity of Dean of Students, helping students grow in ways they could ever imagine.