Section: News

Kappas may go national

By Katherine King

Kappa Sigma Alpha (Kappa), a sorority that became official at  Kenyon in 2013, may go national in the near future. Staff members from the national Alpha Sigma Tau sorority came to campus on Wednesday, Oct. 15 to meet with them, but no formal decisions have been made.

“We’ve been interested in going national since our founding, because we recognize that the structure and support would be really beneficial to us,” Syeda Showkat ’15, president of Kappa, wrote in an email to the Collegian.

Director of Student Activities and Greek Life Laura Kane recounted Kappa’s search for nationalization.  “Last spring, the [Kappa] women formally requested affiliation with a national sorority, and that process is getting a letter of support from Dean [of Students Hank] Toutain sent to the National Panhellenic Conference … soliciting interest in who would like to come to Kenyon to present to us,” Kane said.

Rumors circulated throughout Greeks that the Kappas’ decision to go national would raise dues for all Greek organizations on campus, but Kane said the two are “completely unrelated.” The increase in dues that may occur would be a result of a proposed policy that would require Greek organizations to purchase increased insurance.

“The previous director [Christina Haas] was asked to look into what the cost would be for other local groups with the intent that if you’re in a local group, you will have to have insurance,” Kane, who became director of Greek life this summer, said. “I am picking up that initiative and doing that research.” The potential raise in dues is unrelated to the Kappas’ decision except for the fact that national organizations have insurance already built into their costs.

The Kappas’ decision to go national would not change the structure of Kenyon’s Greek Council, unless another sorority decided to go national as well. “If there are two national sororities on campus, they have to be governed by a Panhellenic council, which is for women groups,” Kane said. It is currently unclear whether what consequences the shift, should it happen, would have on Greek Council as a whole.

Manjul Bhusal Sharma ’16, president of Greek Council, expressed positivity about the Kappas’ potential decision. “I don’t think there’s need for anyone to be concerned,” he said. “I wish the Kappas best of luck. … This is a good thing for Kenyon Greek life in general.”

Bhusal Sharma did not foresee the decision affecting current Greeks in any significant way, but suggested the change would be felt most by first years. “For … freshmen this year who might want to join sororities, it’s like Peirce having one additional item of food because they now have an option of choosing between a national sorority and a local one, provided that Kappas go national,” he said.

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