Kappa Sigma fraternity attempts to set up new chapter at Missouri Southern

Kappa Sigma fraternity attempts to set up new chapter at Missouri Southern

Kappa Sigma fraternity attempts to set up new chapter at Missouri Southern

T.J. Gerlach

Greek life at on campus may soon be a little larger.

Kappa Sigma, a fraternity founded in 1869 at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, is trying to bring a chapter to Missouri Southern.

Julie Blackford, director of student activities, said KS first contacted her about a month and a half ago.

“I think anything to promote Greek life on campus is a good thing,” Blackford said. “I know the other two fraternities on campus seemed supportive of Kappa Sigma trying to come on campus, which impressed me.”

Matt Holland, KS area four recruitment manager, said KS has five chapters in Missouri. He said friends in Missouri recommended contacting Southern.

“That’s kind of how I got directed here to MSSU as a recommendation by a couple of friends,” Holland said. “And I contacted Julie Blackford. She kind of said ‘hey let’s give it a shot; let’s hang up some posters and see if there’s any interest; and there was.”

He said Blackford is doing everything she can to help, including bringing it up to Sigma Pi and Kappa Alpha, Southern’s two current fraternities.

Holland said the response he has received so far has been good. He said about 15 men have expressed an interest in KS.

One of those men is Grant Bricker, sophomore political science major. Bricker said he saw a poster about KS and decided to call the number.

“I contacted them about two to three weeks ago,” he said. “I’ve learned quite a bit about the organization. I really love the principles that are involved. What I’ve done is I’ve contacted Julie, organized get-togethers, passed out hundreds of flyers on campus.”

In order to open a chapter on campus, KS requires at least 25 interested men.

“We’ll take those 25 men and submit a petition,” Holland said. “I’ll give a recommendation to our Board of Directors at our headquarters. And then upon their approval, we will begin what we call a colonization process.”

The process involves sending a representative down from the headquarters and set up a chapter from scratch, electing officers, setting up committee positions, and make a list of all the sorts of things they need to accomplish in order to become a chapter of KS.

“I know they have some stringent requirements to form a chapter,” Blackford said. “That is difficult for a campus with a small Greek life.”

KS is based on four cornerstones: scholarship, fellowship, leadership and service.

“We are looking for guys that hold to these ideals,” Holland said. “Our actual mission statement is ‘The ideals we pursue determine who we are and what we will become.'”

To fulfill the cornerstones every KS Chapter must meet certain requirements.

For scholarship, the KS chapter must maintain a collective grade point average above its university’s all-men’s GPA – the average GPA of all the males attending the institution.

For fellowship, all chapters organize retreats and other get-togethers.

The leadership cornerstone requires all members must be involved with at least two other campus organizations.

“Not only being a leader within the fraternity, but also on campus,” Holland said.

Service for KS means all members must perform 25 hours of community service per year and assist in raising $25 per person to be donated to a charity of choice every year.

“We feel that we don’t give them a set philanthropy that they have to donate,” Holland said. “We want them to pick something that they’re passionate about; that will really get them involved in giving back to the community. And that’s what its all about – making the community that you live in a better place.”

Bricker said many people have misunderstandings about fraternities and their purpose.

“A lot of people think we’re just a bunch of crazy party animals,” he said. “A lot of people don’t realize that what a fraternity is, is that it helps mold men into the community leaders of tomorrow. I want to have people there that have similar ideals to my own. A lot of people do really have a negative stereotype, and it’s really undeserved.”

Anyone interested in joining KS can contact Holland by e-mail at [email protected], by phone at 479-650-6288, or on KS’s Web site at www.kappasigma.org.