Kappa Sigma fraternity attempts comeback

Kyle Almond

With four active members and a handful of prospects it won’t be easy for Kappa Sigma to reestablish itself on Washburn University’s campus, but members of the fraternity are optimistic.

Earlier this year the international headquarters of the Kappa Sigma fraternity revoked the charter of the Gamma Nu chapter at Washburn University. However, after hearing an appeal brought by the active members remaining at Washburn and with the support of local alumni and the University, Kappa Sigma agreed to waive the standard three-year waiting period before the chapter is allowed to attempt re-colonization.

The first step is to form an interest group of at least 25 students who desire to return Kappa Sigma to its former standing. Once the group reaches 25 members it will be allowed to form a colony. Even if they were initiated into the Gamma Nu chapter the members of the interest group will be considered founding fathers for the new colony, which will be known as Gamma Nu Prime. This process usually takes several months but has been achieved in as little as 90 days.

Unfortunately, this situation is not uncommon. Many chapters across the nation have lost charters in recent years due to a variety of causes, but for many of them re-colonization revitalizes the chapter and it returns stronger than ever.

“A lot of chapters are in a similar situation to where we were three years ago,” said Grady Woodruff, an exercise physiology major and the acting president for Washburn’s Kappa Sigma chapter. “I hope we can serve as an eye-opener for them.”

Woodruff explained that trouble in the areas of recruitment, retention and external support as well as numerous other factors played a role in the fraternity’s woes.

“[Taking care of the fraternity is] everybody’s responsibility,” said Woodruff.

Local alumni have come out of the woodwork to support the fraternity and have been invaluable in recent weeks. Also, the headquarters of the fraternity will send representatives to campus in the coming months to aid in the process. The target date for Gamma Nu Prime to receive its charter is March 6, 2009, the 100th anniversary of the awarding of Gamma Nu’s charter. As to getting a house, it is not currently one of the fraternity’s priorities.

“It would be nice to get a place, but that isn’t one of our biggest concerns,” said Woodruff. “It is the fraternity that makes the house. The house doesn’t make a fraternity.”