posted on Nov, 8 2007 @ 10:40 AM
As an experienced member of Kappa Sigma, I want to set some common misconceptions straight for those who happen upon this discussion:
1. Even though college fraternities are national organizations, you cannot make sweeping generalizations about every chapter of a national
fraternity. Each chapter is its own unique entity, and there are vast differences between different chapters of the same fraternity.
For example, on my college campus the Kappa Sigma fraternity is the group you want to be a part of. Our chapter is in a period of growth and
prosperity; our new members are some of the most mature people I have met, exemplifying the pillars of leadership and scholarship. On other campuses,
however, I have seen an entirely different picture; at some, the Kappa Sigma fraternity might be the stereotypical group of jocks and douchebags,
do-nothings and druggies, leaving some other fraternity to take the high ground and play the role that my chapter plays on my campus. It all depends
on which campus you go to and which chapter you meet.
The chapters that do horrible things make a bad name for all of them. Nobody hears that it was done by just an individual chapter; they just hear
Kappa Sigma. Likewise, nobody hears afterwards when Nationals revokes that chapter's charter, closing the chapter down in a declaration that they no
longer reflect the values of the fraternity, but that's what happens. It's not just the chapters that are found to be doing disgraceful and abusive
things to the pledges that get closed down, either; it's even stuff like giving alcohol to minors, or violating local laws and campus rules.
Anything at all that reflects poorly on the group is punished severely. Fraternities already have a bad enough reputation, and it is our obligation
to make sure we do not worsen that reputation, but we can only do so much. Please do your part by not making sweeping generalizations about national
groups, but to instead realize that every chapter is unique.
2. It is therefore petty and judgmental to let your experiences with one chapter color your views towards an entire national fraternity. Do not be
hateful towards any one national fraternity organization, because somewhere out there are chapters of that very fraternity that contain a great group
of people who you would have no problem with.
Revealing the secrets of an entire national fraternity to the whole world just because you have a problem with one of its chapters is childish and
stupid. Regardless of the origins of these ceremonies, they are an experience that you have no right to ruin for someone else.
3. Not being a freemason, I cannot say whether or not the rituals were borrowed from one to the other. I also cannot say for certain that any of our
"ancient history" is accurate, or if it's all just in there for theatrics. But I contend that, other than for the purposes of studying secret
societies, such observations are beside the point. Regardless of the origins of the ceremonies, they are a powerful experience that nothing else can
replace. When friends participate in them together, the bonds of friendship are strengthened. The purpose of the ceremonies is not to brainwash, but
to demonstrate the true loyalty and commitment that is expected out of all members of our order.
4. Before I joined a fraternity, I had read about them on the internet and I heard bad things about initiation processes and the like. Nonetheless I
found a chapter that I knew I would enjoy being a part of, and I pledged it. During the pledging process, I kept waiting for the hazing part to
happen, and kept wondering amid all the secrecy when I was going to get to the part that gave fraternities their bad name. The initiation ceremony
came and went, and guess what? I had not been hazed. No line ups, no humiliation, nothing. I daresay that we are not an exception to the rule
either, but that we ARE the rule and that chapters that haze are the exception.
[edit on 8-11-2007 by spastic colon]