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History of Kappa Sigma, March 15, 1971-March 19, 1972
(summarized from GA minutes and correspondence file)
by Joel Hahn


Appointed positions
Historian: John Kurinsky
Alumni Secretary: Philip Hahn

Initiation was postponed until April 23, as a majority of the brothers thought that there was a better chance they would all be ready if it took place after Easter. As it was, they lost one pledge, Dan Rengstorf, to depledging. The brotherhood also decided to initiate Richard Dieter & David Hawkins, whose pledging had been extended from the fall semester, on the same date as the spring pledge class.

Dr. Telschow was officially made an honorary member in late April.

The chapter celebrated its tenth anniversary in April. The celebration started with ritual, held on the actual anniversary date, and then continued with the chapter's Formal, held the following day, to which all alumni & faculty members were invited.

Those ten years contained their share of ups and downs, but were generally positive overall. One of the biggest problems the chapter faced is one that all fraternities face, and that Kappa Sigma will always face: namely that of keeping a brother, especially those initiated as freshmen, interested in and excited about the chapter as he makes his way through school, finds other interests closer to his heart than Sinfonia is (sometimes those interests include music itself!), finds the benefits of an active love life, and finds that university studies usually do require more time and attention as one gets into more advanced classes. That seems to be the root from which most other problems grow. Ignore that problem, and you will probably find apathy, truancy, and convenient insolvency becoming ever greater issues. Also, if the actives aren't as enthused about the fraternity as a whole and the chapter in specific as they could be, there isn't much of a draw for potential members, so chapter membership will add its impetus to the downward spiral. Solve that problem and you will most likely have yourself a rousing success of a fraternity.

Enforcement of attendance & chapter duties continued to be problematic. Absenteeism was growing, house duties were frequently left undone, and the chapter couldn't find anything that would turn these situations around. The fine system had been resurrected to address this, but caused problems of its own-- not because many brothers were philosophically opposed to the concept (as was the case when the fine system was originally abolished), but because many brothers simply didn't bother paying up, resulting in a quandry over whether these fines were considered true "obligations to the fraternity" and thus whether the chapter could tack them onto that brother's dues or bill that brother for the amount of his fines.

The tradition of tubbings (bodily throwing someone into a tub of icewater) as a form of celebration of engagements continued.

In September, Gary Lessmann went on Limited Status in September of 1971, which opened up the treasurer's position. William Patterson was elected treasurer for the remainder of the school year. Also, John Schoening stepped down as Music Committee Chair; William Beermann was elected to take his place.

The chapter decided to initiate L.L. Fleming as that year's honorary member (as Nationals only allowed one per school year). They didn't actually get around to doing it, though.

Up until the previous year, the National constitution defined only four statuses for chapter members: Active, Suspended, Alumni, and Expelled. Anyone unable to keep up with the chapter obligations, either of time or money, was to be suspended, and anyone who graduated while suspended was automatically expelled. Back when the "five-man blackball" rule was changed in the constitution, Nationals also officially added a new status: Limited Association, in which an active owed only national dues and could be exempted from the local chapter's attendance obligations. The correspondence file shows that Kappa Sigma regularly received requests from Nationals about the status of brothers who'd been voluntarily suspended due to other obligations or lack of funds, but whom the chapter wanted to put on Alumni status in good standing when they graduated. Apparently Kappa Sigma either routinely forgot to lift these brothers' suspensions, or routinely forgot to notify Nationals that these suspensions had been lifted. Now that a procedure for Limited status existed at the national level, the 1971-1972 school year started off with a constant stream of requests to be placed on Limited status. The chapter quickly found that there weren't enough full actives left to keep the chapter in the black for the year. As a result, actives living in the house had their rent raised, and a bed tax was levied on all actives living elsewhere.

Four weeks were planned for fall rush, to be followed by 6-9 weeks of pledging. The first rush party was a smoker that went less spectacularly that it could have--less than one-third of the thirty men to whom invitations were sent showed up. After a successful rush party at Fasel's, rushees were invited to have dinner once a week at the house. Because of these two events, potential interest apparently soared; twenty men were eventually sent ballots. However, as is somewhat typical (which is why it is often important to have a large number of rushees to begin with), only six men decided to pledge.

Little Brother  Big Brother
R. Gardner      B. Patterson
L. Geffert      D. Deyo
G. Glisich      B. Borg
J. Heyduck      G. Bossard
G. Langvardt    R. Dieter
M. Rubbert      M. Stohs

This was Randy Gardner's second trip through the pledging process; he had pledged & depledged a few semesters before. This time, he did finish the process and became an active in good standing.

The first mention of the "Little Sis" program in the GA minutes is in September 1971, though it seems to already have been in existence at that time. Of the two times it is mentioned during this school year, one is a request for a specific woman to be made a Little Sis (the same woman was also voted the chapter's Homecoming Queen candidate at a later meeting), and the other is "all brothers are asked to obtain just one girl to become a Phi Mu Alpha Little Sis."

The Fall 1971 province workshop was held at Valparaiso on October 24. Representatives from Chi Omega, Epsilon Rho, Kappa Sigma, Mu Pi, and Rho were in attendance. A recital by Dr. Gehring was used in lieu of a demonstration of the ritual. In the discussions, there was some dissention over how important "professionalism" should be, whether Sinfonia was for serious music students only. Most chapters agreed that the professional aspect of the fraternity should be emphasized over the social aspect, and that "professionalism" should not be limited to study of music, but also expanding into the community and thus presenting the fraternity's musical aspect in a meaningful way. However, there was also general agreement that even though Sinfonia is a music fraternity, music does not have to be the sole social outlet of members, especially for chapters with a large number of actives who are not music majors.

Most of the chapters represented at the workshop were not happy with the national administration of the fraternity. Since, aside from yearly meetings consisting of one active per province, the only programs on the national level seemed to be the fraternity's life insurance program and similar commercial interests, there was a feeling that Nationals viewed the fraternity more from a commercial aspect than as individuals. Communication was also an issue, as the feeling was that Nationals should provide enough funds for province governors to visit each chapter in the province more than the current once per year.

In November, the chapter undertook a fundraiser with the Gamma Phi sorority, selling Crusader Classic tickets, with a 33% profit from each sale. Kappa Sigma sold 130 of 300 tickets, and raised a whopping $13 for themselves.

"Hell rides" (or "maneuvers") continued this year (though with an upper limit of dropping the pledges off 4 or so miles away); the feeling of the brotherhood was that it got pledges unified and thinking together, and gave them a good opportunity to get to know each other. As with many classes, that semester's pledge class had a problem with motivation; Jon Stechholz, the pledgemaster, is recorded in the Executive Board minutes as saying that "they need explosives under their feet." It was hoped that sending them on maneuvers might help them to learn to work together to get their other pledging tasks done (such as the pledge project, which started out as having to paint the front of the house, but was eventually lessened to putting up the first-floor storm windows and fixing up the downstairs bathroom). After the maneuvers, one pledge who had been considering depledging changed his mind and decided to stay. A month later, another pledge, John Heyduck, did decide to depledge. The pledges did manage to pull off an "infamous" pledge raid on the house, during which the jalousie windows in the back door were broken. In December, Ritual was postponed until after Christmas break, so that the pledges would have time to finish everything they still needed to finish at that point. Ritual was finally held the first week of February. Mark Rubbert was not initiated with the rest of his pledge class due to low grades, so the hybrid pledge/active status created for two pledges the previous year was resurrected for him.

As is often a problem when you have several bachelors living together, keeping the house relatively clean was a bit of a problem. A committee had to be formed to clean up the upstairs bathroom, as "There is so much crud and fungus in the upstairs john that we can no longer afford to feed it." Clara Marquardt, the cook, often complained that the previous night's dishes was not done by the time she arrived in the morning. Then, the house manager's request that empty bottles and the like be removed from the TV room was met with brothers shoving their empties under the couches instead of carrying them upstairs to the trash. A new list of House Duties was drawn up, with rotating schedules and specific times to carry them out and fines levied if they were not done on time. That seemed to do the trick, for a while.

In January, Professor Wienhorst composed a piece of music for Kappa Sigma, which was scheduled to be performed at the chapter's April concert, along with some pieces composed by actives and other members of the university.

Delinquent bills remained a problem; the solution this semester was to send statements of monies owed to the brothers in question, with carbon copies sent to their parents.

Spring Rush started slow, with only seven rushees showing up to a party at Fasel's. That was followed with a smoker and then a smorgasbord, which didn't improve things any. At the end of it, seven men received ballots, and three of them pledged. The rush chairman and pledgemaster both agreed the poor turnout was largely a result of a lack of spirit and drive on the part of the actives. The motion was made & seconded (though never followed through) to fill the pledge class by rushing & pledging women. The chapter decided to try to extend rush to pick up some more people for this pledge class; at the end of it, one more ballot was sent out and returned, so the size of the pledge class was upped to four.

Several executive board meetings in February were opened with a rousing chorus of "O, Canada." The reason why is not given in the minutes, but the most likely reason is the standard Kappa Sigma instinct towards random acts of humor.

John Sonderman was expelled at the end of February, for non-payment of dues. He declared he wasn't going to pay what he owed, so the chapter had no recourse but to expel him.

Due to having two men interested in pledging, but who couldn't pledge that semester, the chapter moved that pledges would be allowed to live in the house, at the discretion of the actives of the chapter, beginning in Fall 1972.

Elections were held in mid-March. The results were as follows:

President: William Patterson
Treasurer: John Schoening
Vice President: Bryan Borg
Secretary: William Beermann
Warden: David Hawkins
Alumni Secretary: Gary Snowbeck
Historian: David Potter
Music Chairman: Gregory Glisich
Faculty Advisor: William Kroeger & Fred Telschow
Rush/Social Chairman: Guy Langvardt

As is obvious from the above, the offices of Historian and Alumni Secretary were returned to their proper place as elected positions, as is mandated by Nationals. There is no mention, of when this change to the local election procedures was made.

The following was Dennis Ferrini's signoff as Kappa Sigma secretary. The wry humor seems to sum up the year and the general tenor of the chapter of this time fairly well.

"This report is submitted with respect. Not the usual run of the mill respect, I mean real honest to goodness respect. Now to submit is very difficult, I'm sure you will all admit. But to submit with respect is even more difficult and I've been doing that for a year now--a long difficult year. Respect comes easy only to those who give it. So all you have to tell her is that you respect her and she'll submit.
I thank you,
Dennis James Louis Ferrini

Quite respectfully submitted,
Joel Hahn