The latest phase of Kappa Sigma’s ongoing attempt to gain recognition from LMU came to a close this month. Though the group was one of the 12 parties who petitioned for the opportunity to present on campus as part of LMU’s search for two new fraternties, Kappa Sigma was not one of the six finalists.

“Kappa Sigma was considered in this process. They just didn’t make [the] cut this year,” said Assistant Director of Student Leadership and Development and Greek Adviser Dan Faill. Members and alumni of the fraternity were frustrated and disappointed at the news.

“The obvious choice would have been to allow us to come on campus,” said junior political science major Austin Wermers, the current president of Kappa Sigma at LMU. “We’re already established, we’re a large group of guys, but for some reason, LMU doesn’t even give us the chance past letting our headquarters turn a packet in.”

Comments on the online version of Loyolan Asst. News Editor Casey Kidwell’s April 19 article “University to add two new fraternities” posted by former Kappa Sigma presidents alumnus Ryan Monahan (’10) and senior political science major Ryan Burbank stated that the motivating factor behind not allowing Kappa Sigma on campus, as told to members in the past, was a lack of resources on campus. Now that the University is looking to expand, according to Wermers, Kappa Sigma members are left wondering why they aren’t being considered.

According to Wermers, Kappa Sigma’s headquarters sent the packet required of all fraternities seeking the chance to be part of the search process in on time, but the group was not selected to present themselves on campus.

“There was never a promise made, nor was there the expectation of us jumping to the top of the list,” Monahan said. “We had been given the indication ... that if we tried to adhere to requests made by [Faill], we would be given a fair opportunity, which … I don’t believe occurred.”

“None of our groups received preferential treatment,” Faill said.

Kappa Sigma’s failure to progress to the next level of consideration is the latest in a string of events that have kept the fraternity off LMU’s campus – at least officially. Since being colonized in 2007 by Kappa Sigma’s national headquarters, the group has battled University officials over their lack of recognition.

“The truth is, we had guys in the beginning of our chapter that really ruffled the feathers of the University,” Wermers said.

“I think the school was unhappy with the way the chapter was founded initially, whether that is justified or not,” Monahan said. “And because of this, there have been many times that personal feelings have gotten in the way of doing what would be best for the school and its students.”

Faill alluded to the same problems during the fraternity’s inception. According to Faill, the problems date to before he arrived on campus and began work as the Greek adviser. The problems center around not violating the size cap, on which the Greek Council had previously decided, according to Faill.

“The initial comment was – from the students, mind you – that we should hold off on any more new groups until we find out what our ideal size is,” Faill said. “Rather than patiently waiting, the national organization said, ‘Well, we’re just going to go ahead and colonize you group of 40ish guys and put you through our new member process.’ So in terms of a working relationship, as a national organization to go against University wishes and, really, student body wishes, is not the best way to build a good, collaborative rapport.”

After initial tensions, including one at 2008 Delta Gamma Anchor Splash where a member got into what senior studio arts major and former president of Kappa Sigma Stephen Smith called a “hostile” disagreement with Faill, recent presidents have made the effort to improve relations with the school.

“We did better [with our relationship with the University], but it ended up fizzling out a little bit,” said Smith,. “We did a decent job of getting back to where we were, but we didn’t get much further.”

Continued tensions surfaced at the 2010 Anchor Splash synchronized swimming competition, where, according to Smith, members of Kappa Sigma were prevented from competing in the event under the registered name of Kappa Sigma and were required to re-enter with a different team name.

In order to conform to the University’s standing policies, Kappa Sigma ceased pledging first-semester freshmen.

“I had a conversation with one of their chapter advisers … probably three years ago, where he said, ‘Well, we want them to take first-semester freshmen … [but] why would a fraternity that’s ... registered on the campus be an advocate for you when you’re breaking the rules?” Faill said. “That conversation was brought up in the expansion process.”

The expansion process was considered by members of Kappa Sigma to be a new opportunity for recognition. “It’s really disappointing on our end, trying to follow the school rules … only for the University to send, essentially, a one-sentence letter saying, ‘You didn’t make the cut,’” Wermers said.

Speaking about the letter he sent to the fraternities not chosen to move on, Faill said, “Of the six not chosen, five have already called me … to ask what they could improve upon. … Kappa Sigma is the only one that did not reach out.”

According to Greek Council President and junior marketing major Joe Dzida, the idea of Kappa Sigma becoming part of the University one day is possible. “I see absolutely no reason why they shouldn’t be considered [in the future] … but they also need to show that they deserve it,” he said. “We just want to make sure that if there are new organizations coming onto campus that they reflect well on the campus.”

Echoing that sentiment while speaking about the decision of which six groups would move on in the expansion process, Faill said that the expansion committee, “which students sat on, … said they wanted groups that would respect LMU’s wishes and the policies and procedures already in place.”

For now, Kappa Sigma members are content with their position, if disappointed with the lack of finality.

“I feel like a lot of people in our chapter are okay with where we’re at,” Smith said. “But we do want a solid answer.”

Monahan said of official status, “It is ... the end goal. It always has been, and ... it always will be.”

“I feel like a lot of it is, ‘Oh, you guys messed up doing this,’ … and it’s frustrating,” Smith said. “We can’t change the past. We can just try to better the future, and I think that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Kevin O'Keeffe is a senior screenwriting major from Austin, Texas. In Texas, he once saw a man riding a horse on the highway and knew he had to move far away– hence attending school in Los Angeles. He loves "Revenge" and Kelly Clarkson revenge songs.

(4) comments

lmulion

If I am correct...

It is not up to Greek Council to decide which 6 fraternities make it to the next round.

In determining who is ultimately selected, Greek Council may provide only a recommendation. Dan Faill is only one member of a committee that chooses which fraternities to bring on. Others include members of SLD as well as higher up's in administration.

Kappa Sigma members went to freshmen dorms collecting phone numbers of at least female (but possibly also male) residents so that they could text them the location of parties. They were promptly asked to leave the building.

Having a negative history with founding members, though unfortunate, does not necessarily entail that the graduation of such members automatically solves any problems that a fraternity may have.

lion2012

Anyone that knows Dan Faill can see that this is a personal issue. Kappa Sigma deserves to be given a chance... at LEAST to plead their case. Dan Faill has stepped on many toes at LMU and made some serious mistakes.. yet people forgive him. Why can't he show forgiveness for Kappa Sigma? Dan Faill honestly needs to reevaluate the way he performs his job, several members of the community and faculty see that Mr. Faill may need to move on and find a different job. He has pushed several buttons in the greek community, and this incidents just proves that he holds personal grudges. I encourage Mr. Faill to reflect on his own mistakes and ask himself why he should be forgiven yet Kappa Siggma, whose members are COLLEGE students who make mistakes, should not.

brollyissmarterthanyou

When it comes to determining how an organizations actions show that it deserves recognition on campus or not, is it fair to fault the group for things that happened 5 years. The current members of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity at LMU had absolutely nothing to do with the founding of the chapter.

The facts revolving around the Kappa Sigma Chapter are this:
-The founding fathers have all long since graduated.
-The member who had a "hostile" conflict with Mr. Fail in 2008 graduated in May 2009
-That hostile conflict revolved around Mr. Fail yelling at his mother before his participation in Anchor Splash, and the Kappa Sigma member defended his mother. (there are witnesses who can prove this statement)
-That member was reprimanded by the chapter and the national headquarters for his actions
-The current 30-40 active members of the fraternity were not involved in this incident
-Kappa Sigma requires more community service hours than any greek organization currently recognized by LMU
-Kappa Sigma has worked with numerous organizations to raise awareness and thousands of dollars for organizations such as Junior Blind of America, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. They have also worked with the Marians service organization to raise breast cancer awareness
-Kappa Sigma stopped rushing first semester freshman during the 2009-2010 school year

All of the work these guys have done is to represent the fraternity and Loyola Marymount University. Since that one incident in 2008, Kappa Sigma at LMU has worked to repair its relationship with the school and its student body. They have worked hard and done many great things along the way, to punish these 30-40 friends and brothers for the actions of one member long since graduated is tantamount to holding a grudge.

Greek council president was not at LMU for the incident between Mr. Fail and the member of Kappa Sigma. To claim the members of the fraternity have not proved worthy of recognition on campus shows his ignorance to the situation. How long must these guys be punished? When will one isolated and minor transgression 4 years ago be forgotten?

Mr. Fail has held a grudge against the chapter for its alleged insults towards the school. He claims that accepting national recognition before the schools recognition was disrespectful of LMU's greek council. The fact is the Pi-Beta Chapter of Kappa Sigma was the fastest transition from colony to chapter in the history of the fraternity (11 months). And when the national headquarters wanted to recognize them for that accomplishment what were they supposed to do? Tell them that they didn't want to be recognized because the school hadn't done so? That's a ludicrous statement and one that shows how petty Mr. Fail's statement is. No chapter requesting recognition will deny national recognition when it is granted, its just common sense.

Mr. Fail's other main reason for not allowing Kappa Sigma beyond the first stage: One incident of a member feeling his mother was being threatened spoke up and defended her. Should he have allowed Mr. Fail to yell at his mother and throw her out of the event simply so he didn't step on anyone's toes? No, he defended his mother just like anyone else would have. In every group and relationship there are incident and that is one of the painful ones between LMU and Kappa Sigma. But its time to let go of that incident Mr. Fail. Move on and stop punishing the chapter and the LMU students who make up the fraternity.

You want whats best for the students of LMU? Show them that wounds can heal, and that their hard work repairing their relationship with the school isn't for naught. Whether or not the chapter receives LMU's recognition should be based on what they bring to the school and how they represent LMU now.

They deserve the chance as an established fraternity to show the school they are ready to help improve LMU's image just like the currently recognized fraternities and sororities do. The decision should be up to Greek Council and should be made based upon the facts as they are now, not the facts as they were 4 years ago.

These members will continue to do their community service and show the community how great LMU students are. They will continue to raise money for causes. And they will do this with or without LMU recognizing them. Being a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity is not a game to them. They didn't join the fraternity for recognition, they did it because they are friends and brothers who are devoted to help make each other a better person. They want your recognition and that is the end goal, but if you deny recognizing them they will survive. They will persist. And they will become stronger because they have each other and they know they are doing good works for the community.

I just hope that Greek Council realizes that LMU will be stronger when they recognize the Kappa Sigma Chapter and allow them to become active participants on campus.

rmonahan

All do respect to Greek president Joe Dzida but I don't think he's been around the situation long enough to make a statement like "we have to show we deserve it."

I feel like we have represented our fraternity, our University, and ourselves extremely well and we would be more than happy to present on what we have done to deserve a spot on campus, however that option was not allowed.

Our organization asks for service hour requirements on par with service orgs at LMU, which is more than all of the fraternities currently recognized. We have also raised awareness and thousands of dollars for organizations like the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Junior Blind of America all while having limited resources.

I continue to see comments regarding our founding as being an issue yet the guys involved now had nothing to do with that and unfortunately have had to suffer for whatever wrongdoing the school felt had been caused.

I also think Mr. Faill needs to do some fact checking regarding the meeting with our local adviser because after that meeting took place our chapter decided to no longer recruit first semester freshman. But that wasn't able to be addressed either because no presentation was made.

Bottom line is this, the students on Greek council who declined to let Kappa Sigma advance to the next stage don't have and aren't speaking to the right people about us. Clearly they have information that is inaccurate and have failed to capitalize on adding an extraordinary organization to their campus.

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