A group of students got together this past year with a single goal in mind: form a new fraternity chapter which stands apart from the rest of greek life at Cal Poly.
“We’re really excited to turn a table on what greek life has been labeled as on this campus,” mechanical engineering sophomore Garrett Schwanke said.
IFC president and agribusiness junior Jason Colombini said they welcomed Kappa Sigma to IFC and look forward to its contribution to Cal Poly and the community.
“We look forward to having a great relationship with Kappa Sigma,” Colombini said.
The colony is now working to attract 60 pledges and complete a checklist required by Kappa Sigma’s national headquarters so it can be an officially recognized chapter.
The checklist includes things such as creating pledge and scholarship programs, as well as making sure every pledge is registered to vote and involved in an additional campus organization.
“Nationals just wants to see every pledge of the fraternity ready to fulfill a higher role in society,” Schwanke said.
The idea to start a new chapter of Kappa Sigma came about this past year after biological sciences junior and colony president Christopher Hernandez went through rush during his freshman and sophomore years, but failed to find a fraternity where he felt comfortable.
“I didn’t really feel like I fit in with any other fraternities,” Hernandez said. “I just started talking to my friends and my WOWies and anyone I thought might be interested.”
Kappa Sigma currently has close to 28 pledges — the first 60 will be known as the “Founding Fathers” of the chapter.
History junior and co-chair of the social committee DJ Marquez said although they will be involved philanthropically, he’d rather be known for being an accepting fraternity than for something specific.
“My hope is to be inclusive, if anything,” Marquez said. “It’s a good group of guys that are welcoming.”
According to Kappa Sigma’s national website, the fraternity has more than 305 chapters in the U.S. and at least 16,000 undergraduate members. Cal Poly has 16 fraternity chapters recognized by the IFC.
The men said in order to gain enough pledges to be recognized as a chapter, they’ll be a more noticeable part of rush during winter quarter than they were this fall.
“We have all this cooped up energy and we have a lot to show campus,” Schwanke said. “We’ll be out there during winter rush, and we’ll be out there in numbers and style.”
They said they hope to attract more members by showing potential pledges they aren’t an exclusive group.
“We have the cool guys, the nerdy guys, the dorks,” mathematics sophomore Jacob Stewart said. “It’s really easy to feel comfortable (in Kappa Sigma) no matter who you are.”