BY KALEY ALLARD
Fellowship, Leadership, Scholarship, Service. These are the Four Pillars that guide Kappa Sigma fraternities around the country and here at St. Norbert College they are something that the members of Kappa Sigma-Sigma Iota Chapter live by each and every day.
On Oct. 24, 22 active Kappa Sigma brothers, as well as five pledges, four alumni and their faculty advisor embarked on a weekend which would be filled with the Four Pillars. The men of the Sigma Iota Chapter attended a retreat at Camp U-Nah-Li-Ya on Chute Pond, just north of Suring, WI. Over the weekend the men helped with winter preparations for the camp. The brothers helped to ready the camp by performing the following tasks: clearing cross country trails, splitting and hauling wood, putting away canoes, blowing leaves off of cabins and much more. During breakfast and lunch, the brothers had the chance to spend time with children singing songs and playing games. At night after the days’ work was completed, the brothers were able to bond while cooking and talking, all while getting to know each other better and creating even stronger bonds. By the end of the retreat the chapter had received over 350 hours of service!
Because of their dedication and commitment to service and helping others, St. Norbert College’s very own Kappa Sigma Chapter was recognized nationally by Kappa Sigma headquarters. Executive Board members Sam Morris ’15, Roel van Ark ’15 and Alex Drews ’16, as well as advisor Bill Van Ess ’86, were gracious enough to sit down and answer questions about this recognition, the retreat and the fraternity as a whole.
When asked why service is so important to the fraternity, Alex Drews stated that it is their “Duty as gentlemen and as Kappa Sigma men.” The emphasis that the men of Kappa Sigma place on service truly shows; they are one of the top groups on campus for number of service hours.
It is important to hear from others who participated in the retreat to understand how they were affected by this service and what they got from it in return. Founding father and senior, Casey Brice had the following to say about his experience at the retreat, “There is nothing like service and fellowship to bring a brotherhood together.” After talking with the pledges (who had only been with the group for two weeks at the time of the retreat), advisor Bill Van Ess was told by many that the experience was life-changing and powerful and that they knew that they had made the right decision in choosing Kappa Sigma. The main theme of the experiences of the fraternity members that attended the retreat was to look towards the future. Alex Drews had the following to say about the experience: “It was a way to leap forward as a chapter. Our founding fathers and members pulled together to grow, working together to take the next step towards the future.”
It is not often that individual fraternity chapters are recognized by headquarters. It is even rarer when that recognition comes to one of the smallest chapters in the nation. Consisting of only 29 active members, it is surprising and remarkable that the men of Sigma Iota Chapter were recognized by headquarters.
When asked what they would like the St. Norbert community to know about their fraternity, founding father Sam Morris said, “We aim to become better men. The brotherhood is an extension of your own family, your own blood. We are here to lead by example and be the Greek group that everyone wants to be in.”
Since its installment in December of 2012, the Sigma Iota Chapter members have worked hard to embody the Four Pillars that they live by every day, especially Service. Not only did they attend the retreat and earn over 350 hours of service, they were nationally recognized out of 500 Kappa Sigma fraternity chapters. Congratulations to the gentlemen of Kappa Sigma and to their advisor for their hard work and embodiment of Communio.
To read the complete article from the Kappa Sigma headquarters page go to: http://kappasigma.org/sigma-iota-hosts-chapter-service-retreat/.