After a lively recruitment process and e-board elections, Kappa Sigma (or Kappa Sig) is now closer than ever to establishing its chapter. Brandon Rosenberg, the new Kappa Sigma president gave his thoughts on the process of moving beyond colonization and creating ties within the Greek community to becoming a prolific force on campus.
Rosenberg, a junior studying Health Sector Management and Pre-Medical Studies, is the new president of the Kappa Sigma colony. He and five others worked tirelessly to launch Kappa Sigma after the Interfraternity Council voted to bring the organization to campus.
Despite the red tape and politics typically associated with trying to work within a bureaucratic system, Rosenberg has nothing but good things to say about the process of establishing a fraternity. He cites Dean Steve Priepke as a key supporter and says, “There are a lot of hoops to jump through but they’re there for a good reason. UM is a great model for both expanding and maintaining Greek life that other schools can look to.” He clarifies that this Kappa Sigma is new and is building entirely from the ground up.
Kappa Sigma has a long history that reaches as far back as the 1400s in Bologna, Italy; with an American foundation that dates to back to 1869 at the University of Virginia. Expansion has led to the international establishment of 305 chapters and the Epsilon-Beta colony, here at UM, is on its way to joining them.
The open rush process had over 100 young men recruited into Kappa Sigma. Rosenberg was explicit in emphasizing that no one within the organization was there to judge and weed people out of the recruitment process for superficial reasons. This meant potential brothers represented several fields of study, different races, religions, philosophies and ambitions. The diverse and unique group will help create a fraternity unlike any other on campus.
Rosenberg went through the rush process himself and found that he didn’t really fit in with any of the social fraternities on campus. He realizes that lots of quality men have had a similar experience and hopes to create a niche with Kappa Sigma that these men feel comfortable in.
Though the colony seems a little unmanageable because of its size, Rosenberg believes there will be some natural attrition, especially as he’s pushing to move from colony, to established chapter by semester’s end. The hard work will naturally pull in more dedicated men, while others fall away.
When asked about an ideal size for the Kappa Sigma chapter, Rosenberg cites Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers when he says that 150 is the magic number for maximizing a group’s peak performance and exercising every members full potential. Too small of a chapter lacks diversity, but too large of a chapter suffers from a lack of intimacy.
Ideally the new Kappa Sigs will be able to capitalize on their size, newness and the excitement surrounding their return to campus. Concerning his reputation Rosenberg says that, “We want to take every man who comes in, and make him better.” The focus is not on throwing the wildest parties (although they’ve already had some success in that area), or dropping the most cash – the focus is on creating gentlemen. A cursory glance through the pledge handbook shows an intense focus on developing their values, but also etiquette guides, dinner table diagrams and instructions on various tie knots.
Though much of the GDI status campus has no idea what Kappa Sigma is, the members of different sororities and fraternities have been very responsive. Several fraternities have reached out to the Kappa Sigma members with a warm hand. Kappa Sigma has plans to join the IFC when they become an official chapter despite ending its involvement on a national level. The Pan-Hellenic groups are excited to get know the new Kappa Sigma brothers as well. Sophomore and Alpha Delta Pi sister Jenna Tribull, had nothing but good things to say about Kappa Sigma explaining that “They came to our chapter with this enormous bouquet of blue and white roses that had to have cost a fortune and to introduce themselves. A group of us the went to visit their chapter and brought baked goods with us.” The goodwill Kappa Sigma is generating, will certainly serve them well into the future as they start getting into mixers and similar events.
When asked about Chi Omega, the sorority coming to campus this fall, Rosenberg says that Kappa Sigma will definitely be ready to reach out and assist in anyway possible. Given the history between the two groups and the fact that Chi Omega was founded in part by a Kappa Sigma member, this association feels natural.
Though the colony faces several challenges, it looks like Kappa Sigma will be successful. Its leaders seem competent, its pledges hard working, and the Greek community receptive. All that remains to be seen, is if the parties are consistently good, the brothers make quality boyfriends, and they end up a generally respectable organization rather than a punchline.
words_shivani aluru photo_gabriela reichert.