Pacific Greek life sparks discussion, debates, questions about possible national fraternity

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One of the most talked-about subjects concerning student life at Pacific University is the startup of Kappa Sigma, a new fraternity students are trying to bring to campus.

Unlike other fraternities, it is proposed to be Pacific’s first national chapter, meaning that it has multiple affiliates at universities across the United States.

Kappa Sigma was founded by five students at the University of Virginia in 1869.

Since that time, it has expanded to more than 300 colleges, and has pledged more than 290,000 members.

Sophomore James Ramos is credited for bringing the fraternity to campus, which is currently initiating about 40 students.

“It’s the largest fraternity in the world,” said Ramos, who has recently been elected president of Kappa Sigma. “Wherever you go, you’re going to pretty much meet Kappa Sigmas.”

Because a number of the prospective members are football players, with Ramos being a cornerback himself, Kappa Sigma has also been accused of being a method for the football team to continue their influence on campus social life.

“When [Ramos] started the group, he contacted people, and he got 35 of his closest people, [some of] which happened to be football players,” said freshman Christopher Johnson, who is not on a sports team himself.

According to Ramos, there are about 10 members who are not in a sport.

“The biggest thing for us was when we heard we just slap Greek letters on the football team,” said freshman Harley Montoya. “It wasn’t what we wanted to be known for.”

Members stressed that the purpose of bringing Kappa Sigma to Pacific University was to create unity among students from different clubs, sports teams and even those not affiliated with either.

“There’s probably only 15, 16 football players,” said freshman Matthew Walker. “The rest are different.”

Adviser for Greek Life at Pacific Pete Erschen mentioned that the university has been somewhat of an anomaly when it comes to fraternities and sororities because all chapters are local, whereas other colleges tend to have a majority of national chapters instead.

“In the 10 years I’ve been working here, there’s always been controversy when a new chapter tried to come in,” said Erschen. “People don’t know how to react when something different comes along that doesn’t fit the system.”

He also said that other national fraternities have attempted to set up chapters at Pacific, but because those requests did not come directly from students, they were turned down.

Greek Senate members were reached for contact, but were not ready to make a public statement until everything was worked out with Kappa Sigma.

Ramos hopes that while coexisting with the current local chapters at Pacific, Kappa Sigma will be able to thrive and be led on the right path under national guidance.

“Bringing a national fraternity on campus is good for the school itself,” says Suverkropp. “It’s a small school, but it’s something that was needed around here.”

Prospective members have organized a volleyball tournament at 1p.m. April 26 at the sand pit. Entrance fees and donations are designated for a memorial for Kiden Dilla and Ayan Osman.


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