October 10, 2012

After Two-Year Ban, Kappa Sigma Fraternity Returns to Cornell Campus

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After being shut down for more than two years, the Cornell chapter of the Kappa Sigma fraternity was recently reinstated on campus. According to Brett Musco ’13, the fraternity president, Kappa Sigma lost its charter from its national chapter in Spring 2010 after violating sanctions that the chapter imposed on them.A year and a half before it was shut down, the Cornell chapter of Kappa Sigma was found in violation of its national organization’s “risk management policy” and told that it could no longer host events with alcohol, Associate Dean of Students for Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Travis Apgar told The Sun in May 2010.    The fraternity was also required to have any events approved by a regional manager from the national organization, according to Apgar. When it was discovered that the fraternity hosted an unregistered party with alcohol, the chapter was shut down by the national organization for breaking Kappa Sigma sanctions.Then a freshman, Musco had pledged the fraternity only a few weeks prior to the “unregistered social event”   — in violation of both their national’s sanctions and  Interfraternity Council regulations — that led to the chapter’s closure.“After our charter was pulled, they actually expelled all four years of brothers from the fraternity,” Musco said. “We weren’t recognized by the Interfraternity Council anymore.”The fraternity house, a property on 600 University Ave., is owned by Cornell and was renovated and turned into student housing by the University for the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 academic years. However, it was agreed that if Kappa Sigma were ever reinstated on campus, fraternity members could occupy the building again, Musco said.As part of the process of rebuilding the chapter, Kappa Sigma brothers petitioned for members of the classes of 2012 and 2013 –– who had been expelled from the fraternity –– to be reinstated as brothers. “Once we got those core guys from those two years reinstated, we could become an interest group,” Musco said. “And then, from an interest group you become a colony, and we became a colony [in] July of 2011.”According to Musco, while the chapter was not recognized by the IFC or the University, it still participated in rush events and informed potential members of their status. Though it was not a chapter at the time, the Kappa Sigma colony –– or probationary body of brothers –– participated in formal rush in 2012, according to Musco. “We had to market ourselves a little differently, bringing in people to re-found the fraternity, and not just pledge and join the fraternity,” he said.After Rush Week, the members had to follow certain guidelines and submit a petition to regain its status as a chapter.“A lot came down to learning from the mistakes that the older guys had made and the former chapter had made,” Musco said. “And a lot came down to recruitment and getting new guys to carry the fraternity.”As a result of Rush Week, the majority of the fraternity’s membership comes from the Class of 2015, Musco said. Kappa Sigma will be participating in Rush Week in January 2013, he added.“When we first got shut down, we believed that we were going to be out for four years,” Musco said. “But we had a lot of help from alumni, from Cornell and from our headquarters to get us back on track.”

Original Author: Noah Rankin