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The Unrath Regime:
History of Kappa Sigma, March 29, 1976-March 21, 1977

(summarized from GA minutes and correspondence file)
by Joel Hahn


Elections were held in mid-March; the results were as follows.

President:        Tom Unrath
Vice President:   Dave Piehler
Treasurer:        Rob Williams
Secretary:        Ed Schmeckpeper
Historian:        Steve Hilpert
Alumni Secretary: Jim Williams
Warden:           Dan Gruchalski
Faculty Advisor:  Norm Hannewald

House Manager:    Mike Meyer
Music Chairman:   Bob Brinkley
Fraternity Education Officer: Dave Freudenberg

Whereas all previous minutes referred to the executive board as one "Administration" or another, the minutes for this year are all titled "The Unrath Regime." This was apparently the start of a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the chapter's executive board that became somewhat standard, and in the late 1980's led to the formation of a junta to overthrow the "oppressive" chapter administration.

At the annual Songfest competition, the chapter performed four barbershop songs.

In April, the chapter put together a committee to study the feasibility of having a "little sis" program. In September, a committee put together an outline for how the whole thing should work:

"The little sisses are:
1) to be called "Little Sissis" [sic]
2) selective in choice (a) must know brothers
                       (b) must spend time at house
                       (c) should have some musical talent
                       (d) there will be an open house policy
3) There will be no special ceremonies
4) They will be self-financed (they pay for their t-shirts)
5) They are not allowed to our secret functions
6) There will be a little sis project (similar to pledges)
7) This is an attempt to formalize their present informal relationships
8) Nominations to be made at G.A., through chairman of program."

Mike Meyer was appointed Little Sis Program Director. The process was soon codified into six requirements or steps:

1) Names to be voted upon, same method as pledging
2) The prospective is asked if she wants to join
3) We explain their rights and priviledges
4) They have a possible project (not mandatory)
5) They have full house rights
6) They should have some Musical talent (but not mandatory)

Twenty women were asked to be in the first group of Little Sisses under the new rules, three more were added to the list a week later. The original idea was little more than a way to get girlfriends (the actual quote is "[W]e want to get laid, [but] we have to pay our women since we are professional"); this codification of the rules led beyond that to something that grew to exist as a campus organization in its own right.

Fall Rush chiefly consisted of an all-music party, a softball game, a movie party, and a bowling party. The pledge class was inducted at the beginning of November; there were only two, rather than the ten the chapter had been hoping for. The chapter continued rushing, and took a second pledge "class" at the end of November, which brought the total for the semester up to only three pledges--and one of those depledged. Many of the prospective members apparently joined the social fraternities instead.

The refrigerator died, so the chapter bought a new one. It died a month later.

At the most recent Regional Convention, the chapter discovered they had earned the Charles Lutton Memorial Province Merit Award for getting the most chapter citations in the province for the 1972-1975 triennium. Given the general quality of some of the other chapters in the province, this was a great accomplishment. However, victory was somewhat bittersweet, as it was quickly becoming obvious that the chapter had some serious problems.

The music chairman resigned his position in early November, amid comments by various actives that that the social aspects of the chapter had been taking precedence over the performing aspects. One concert earlier in the fall had already been cancelled in part due to unreadiness, attendance at rehearsals was not what it should be--even fining the absentees didn't seem to be enough to raise attendance--and other such problems seemed to be sapping the life out of the musical side of the chapter. Some of the problem was scheduling conflicts, but in general the desire to party and otherwise have fun was definitely greater than the desire to be Men of Music (as National puts it). The music chairman position was immediately filled, and rehearsals got mostly back on track.

Initiation for the fall pledge class was held in January, about the same time that the chapter decided to take two pledge classes in the spring. Approximately ten pledges were needed to keep the chapter around its present size. The first class ended up with only two pledges; the second had only three. This was not the result the chapter had hoped for.

Some comments from the minutes on the state of the chapter, and why pledge classes were so small:

    "Nobody gives a ****.  Nobody cares or performs.  We have only advanced 
    our own decline, have not done anything to live up to our professional 
    goals.  This loses pledges and members.  We are not being professional 
    nor do we have any attitude concerning professionalism.  We've been 
    active as a boarding house.  We must develop the attitudes to get things 
    done.  At the present time we are neither professional nor musical. 
    ...We must do our own work, we can't let others do it for us."
                                                         -- David Piehler

    "Rush is not just a party down at the house.  We've not been rushing.  
    We must express interest in the people, must win over people away from 
    at the house."
                                                         --Rich Gierach

With a renewed effort towards improving the chapter's musicality as a unit (as small ensembles had been active throughout this time), the Spring concert was an improvement over the Fall concert.

The spring formal was a trip to the Arie Crown theatre at the end of April to see Porgy and Bess.

Elections were held the end of March. The minutes for "The Last Meeting of the Unrath Regime" proclaims the results:

President:        Chuck Steck
Vice President:   Rich Gierach
Secretary:        Ed Schmeckpeper
Treasurer:        Rich Williams
Warden:           Mike Beck
Alumni Secretary: Dave Freudenberg
Faculty Advisor:  Robert Rose

Respectfully submitted,
Joel Hahn