By Annie Hunter, Campus Life Editor
The Rho-Pi chapter of the Kappa Sigma fraternity was officially initiated by established chapters of Kappa Sigma on Feb. 19. Proceeding over the ceremony held at Towns County High School were representatives from Kappa Sigma headquarters in Charlottesville, Va. and members from chapters at Kennesaw State University, Middle Tennessee State University and North Georgia College & State University.
While the chapter is now officially a member of the national fraternity, neither the Office of Campus Activities nor the Inter-Greek Council recognizes Kappa Sigma as part of the Young Harris College Greek system at this time.
The chapter’s founding fathers began the process of securing a charter in December of 2009. Over a year later, the colony has finally become an official chapter in the eyes of Kappa Sigma headquarters.
“This past year I’ve probably been the most stressed person in the world trying to get all this stuff done,” said Bo Edgemon, chapter president from Americus.
Edgemon saw the opportunity to bring a national fraternity to campus when the college transitioned from a two-year school to a four-year institution. He feels a national fraternity offers more than a local fraternity because it goes beyond the college into an international network. Working with an area recruitment manager from Kappa Sigma, Edgemon found 25 students interested in bringing a chapter to campus.
In order to receive their charter, the colony had to complete an extensive checklist including raising $ 2,500, completing 2,500 hours of community service and create their own bylaws.
“I’m so relieved. I’m 100 percent happy,” Edgemon said of become an official chapter. “It can’t get any better than this.”
Until Kappa Sigma becomes affiliated with YHC, the chapter’s actions are limited by the college. Kappa Sigma may not advertise, raise funds or hold any events on campus. This includes partaking in Rush Week.
“It’s tough. You have to walk a straight line, but we’re dealing with it best we can,” said Chris Lyle, chapter vice president from Albany.
IGC has put together a committee of pro-nationals and pro-locals to gather information and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of recognizing a national fraternity of campus; however the fraternity has yet to hear any more on this matter.
“This committee was created and worked hard on making recommendations to the administration about the coexistence of local and national Greeks on campus. Although, a decision had not yet been made,” said IGC President Sharon Albertson of Carrollton.
“We’re not trying to ruin anything,” said Edgemon. “Just because it’s new doesn’t mean it’s bad. I do support them. I hope they get everything they want.”
Lyle has felt the overall attitude towards Kappa Sigma improve over the past year and hopes that now that the chapter has been established, their relationship with the local Greeks will become more and more positive.
“We are trying to coexist. We’re here, and we’re not going away,” Lyle said.
Despite the limitations that arise with being unrecognized by the college, Edgemon and Lyle believe that the chapter will have no problem expanding by the end of the semester. They say the struggle has only made them stronger.
“There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing these guys succeed at what they’re doing,” Edgemon said. “That’s the reason why they’re in the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, because of the leadership they’ve shown and provided for this to happen.”