Kappa Sigma fraternity back on AU campus

By Tim Hawk

As students returned from their spring break trips, they may have noticed the rocks from around campus painted slightly different. For the first time in years, Kappa Sigma is back on campus.

Since the Fall 2010 semester, Kappa Sigma has been attempting to return to campus after being previously disbanded. In the recent years, the fraternity has pushed for recruitment but consistently fell short of the numbers needed. Until now.

After gaining a pledge class of 32 men, Kappa Sigma has officially set up its Theta-Nu “colony” in Ashland. With the first step completed, they are wasting no time in gaining ground on campus, said Jonny Kleinhenz, Grand Master of the colony.

“Our first priority right now is to become a chapter,” Kleinhenz stated. “In order to do so we need to either have 60 members or become the largest on campus.”

In addition to the numbers of those involved, the beginning stages of the fraternity chapter must still be worked out, such as completing their by-laws and participating in ten hours of community service.

“A lot of our mission statement has been outreach,” said Kleinhenz. “We tried to get as much diversity as possible in our group. I think we did a pretty good job.”

Eric Vittardi, one of the founding members of the new colony believes that this diversity and connection is what makes the Kappa Sigma colony different.

“I think [our presence] is very important because it will create a new dynamic for Ashland,” said Vittardi. “With Kappa Sigma members involved in so many different activities on campus, we truly represent a bridge between the many social groups at Ashland.”

In addition to outreach, support is one area of the new fraternity that is greatly emphasized, one of the key hooks to pulling Kleinhenz to the colony.

“I was really skeptical,” said Kleinhenz. “I wanted to know why we needed another fraternity on this campus. I told [the promoters] I’d be interested, but if I can’t lead it and see it done the way I would like it to be done, then I don’t want to be a part of it. I wanted something different.”

After being suspended from the swim team for the year, Kleinhenz felt alone and hurt by a lack of support from those around him.

“I really wanted to start an organization that… would be supporting and if you needed anything, there was someone you could come to,” Kleinhenz stated. “Giving that to people in the future, I think, is more valuable than anything I will take from this.”

“We hold ourselves to a higher standard and hold each other accountable,” said Vittardi, “which has helped make all of us better people.”

“The brotherhood and the bonding between guys who otherwise wouldn’t even know each other [is] amazing,” Kleinhenz said.

“[Being in Kappa Sigma] offers an opportunity to meet new people and experience things at Ashland University that you most likely wouldn’t have before,” said Vittardi. “I have been so much more involved and met so many new people that I could not have imagined what I would have down without it.”

Beginning next semester, Kappa Sigma will take the next step in its return to campus by reclaiming the Senior House for their fraternity.