Kappa Sig comes up short

By Rose Walters

Last spring, the national Kappa Sigma chapter requested permission to reappear on the Ashland University. After a week of formal recruitment, the pros and cons to its return are still being argued across campus.

Formal recruitment week took place Sept. 12 through Sept. 18 this year, but when the chips fell, the Kappa Sigma fraternity received zero pledges.

Each year, formal recruitment week occurs with the same basic outline for the week. Possible recruits were split into four groups the first night and formally introduced to each of AU’s four fraternities: Kappa Sigma, Phi Delta Theta, Phi Kappa Psi and Tau Kappa Epsilon.

“Often times, the men and women who go through recruitment have preconceived ideas as to where they belong in the Greek community,” said Sue Heimann, vice president of student affairs and dean of students. “We try our best to give each person a sample of the different brotherhoods.”

This year, there were 43 men who followed through with the entire process of formal recruitment and all of them received a bid.

During the week of recruitment, friendships were forged, enemies were birthed and there was some tension.

“Midweek, there were heightened emotions because of the uncertainty of everything going on within the fraternity circle,” Heimann said.

“No one was especially sure where everyone else would end up because of the newest addition back on campus with young men being so diverse.”

Although the rumors have flown about campus like wildfire regarding the “fresh-to-campus” brotherhood, only a small bit is accurate.

There has not been any significant money donated or paid under the table to Ashland University for the reinstatement of the Kappa Sigmas on campus.

“Yes, it is extremely common for alumni, especially alumni from a former pledge class, to donate various things both monetary and otherwise to the current pledge classes,” said Laura Kane, director of Greek life and student organizations, “but no, there has been no monetary pressure to bring the Kappa Sigmas back to campus, “

As a new fraternity to campus, at least for this year, the Kappa Sigmas were not granted permission to begin recruitment within the university until the first night of official recruitment.

With this in mind, some of the rules and regulations outlined by the Interfraternity council were broken prior to this year’s recruitment week.

Regional recruiter Nic Josey allegedly met at the local Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant with a number of young men.

According to Laura Kane, IFC has met with Josey and they are working their issues out.

“It is wonderful to see the IFC take so much initiative with this situation,” Heimann said. “I think that we can expect this situation to be cleared up in the proper amount of time.”

Kane has set phone conferences with Josey and the expectation is that with the collaboration of the IFC, Kane and the recruiter, improvements can be made to the recruiting process to help draw in pledges at the latest by spring recruitment.

“It was discouraging to see [the lack of Kappa Sigma pledges,] but we just need to take a step back and see what we can do and how we can fix what we did wrong and improve wherever we are able,” Kane said.

“It was definitely a challenge for the fraternity to entice recruits to go Kappa Sigma because we have not had a pledge class in four years,” Kane said.

Attempts to interview IFC president Douglas Jessup were unsuccessful, but according to Kane the council’s work has been exceptional.

“The goal is to create an educational opportunity and safe haven for the students to learn and function with rules and regulations. We do not aim to bog down the individuals or the group, but better yet, we hope they grow within the Greek community,” Kane said.

Although the Kappa Sigma fraternity received no pledges, their fate has not yet been sealed on AU’s campus.

Beginning Nov. 1, 2010, all the fraternities will be allowed to send out bids to freshmen males who chose not to participate in official recruitment. When Nov 1 rolls around, the Kappa Sigma fraternity might pull in enough pledges to begin the foundation of their brotherhood.

With 43 young men and 83 young women joining AU’s fraternities and sororities, the grand total for formal recruitment week is 126 students lining the ranks of the Greek organizations on campus.