STEVEN JACKSON, Editor-in-Chief
A group of Beloit College men are attempting to form a new fraternity on campus.
“We didn’t like any of the frats here,” said first-year Tom Szamocki’15, who conceived of the idea.
“I don’t mean any disrespect to the frats, but I don’t feel they’d be representative of me,” said Will McShane’15, a first-year student who has also been instrumental in the process. “They’re also pretty isolated. We don’t want it to be as separated from the rest of campus.”
Szamocki got the idea after talking to a friend of his at UW-Oshkosh, who recently formed a chapter of Kappa Sigma, one of the largest national fraternities, at his university. Szamocki got in touch with a Kappa Sigma recruiter in the beginning of March.
Last week, the Kappa Sigma recruiter visited Beloit. At a dinner meeting attended by about 10 possible brothers, he explained the history of the frat, its guiding principles, the benefits of joining the fraternity and the procedures necessary to become an official chapter.
McShane went to the meeting and felt positive about it overall. “He gave us the impression that we could make [the chapter] our own,” he said. “If we couldn’t make it our own, we wouldn’t do it.”
To become official, Beloit College men will have to collect at least 30 signatures of people committed to forming a Kappa Sigma chapter. This initial interest group is known as a “colony.” After the signatures are collected, each person must fill out a Founding Fathers form and pay a $40 admission fee. Once the colony completes Kappa Sigma’s Colony Development Program, they will be officially recognized as a chapter.
To become a legitimate fraternity, the Kappa Sigma chapter will need to be recognized by Beloit College as well. That process will be hashed out between Kappa Sigma and college administrators.
Szamocki thinks the college will be receptive to the idea of a new frat. “Kappa Sigma has never had problems getting approval on campuses in the past,” he said. “[Having a chapter] will only make the school look better.”
The biggest obstacle in getting a chapter established is collecting enough signatures. At this point, about 20 men have indicated their interest in forming a chapter of Kappa Sigma. The signatures are due in the next two weeks.
“The next couple of weeks is make or break,” said Szamocki. “but I feel like there’s enough interest here to make it happen.”
The men interested in joining this potential frat come from multiple social spheres on campus, which gives Szamocki hope that it won’t be difficult to collect the necessary signatures to start a colony.
“We want to be the frat that everyone feels a part of,” said Szamocki. “There’s really no commonality among us except that we’re all friends. We want to keep up that diversity if we can.”