How it all started
Quote from Matthew Bishop Our First Grand Master
Taken from our petition for charter, February 1st, 2019.
In the 2016 fall semester of my second year at the University I looked at the landscape of our Greek Life and, while I thought each fraternity had a lot to offer, there was not one that I saw as a home for me. I decided to look into bringing a new fraternity to the school and I soon fell in love with the idea of becoming a Founding Father. Prior to getting the idea of starting a fraternity, I had read an article regarding how the app “Snapchat” was created. I found out that the founder and CEO, an alumnus of Kappa Sigma, thought of the idea while at his Fraternity house at Stanford. He pitched the idea to his brothers and, despite the majority of them not believing the app had nearly the potential to become the multibillion dollar company that it is today, they supported their brother because he was invested and that is what Kappa Sigma’s do; they have their brothers’ backs no matter what. So, when I decided to bring a new fraternity to the University, I researched one fraternity and one fraternity only. That fraternity just happened to be the best fraternity in the world; the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. When doing researched I was not surprised to find that Kappa Sigma dominates the rest of world’s fraternities in recruitment, philanthropic contributions, and many other important aspects of Greek Life. After seeing this, I knew what I had to do. I reached out to Kappa Sigma via their website towards the end of September 2016 and when I heard back from its Area Recruitment Chair, Steven Ritchie, I could tell from our very first conversation that this was the start of something great.
The rest of 2016 had a lot of ups and downs with the Interest Group. The Interest Group consisted of just about 10 guys by the end of the fall semester. I hosted several interest meetings throughout the semester and repeatedly faced frustration. Every time I had nearly 50 people RSVP and have less than 20 men attend each meeting. Coming back from winter break, momentum seemed to have stalled. Going into the spring semester it began feeling like all hope was lost. Then, on a cold Thursday night at the downtown campus shuttle stop I ran into Drew Tchertchian, the eventual first Grand Procurator of the West Haven Colony of Kappa Sigma. I gave Drew my pitch and invited him an interest meeting the following week. Not only does Drew show up but he shows up with nearly 30 other guys! The semester went on and the Interest Group grew to the point where we had enough people to form a Colony. The last question was whether or not the University would recognize us. After several meetings with the school and many delayed responses they eventually informed us that they would not recognize the Colony as an official Recognized Student Organization. Fortunately, the decision was made to continue as an unrecognized Colony during the 71st biennial Grand Conclave in Las Vegas and I truly believe it was the best decision.
The West Haven Colony of Kappa Sigma was founded on September 9, 2017 and we immediately got off to a hot start. It was the honeymoon phase and things were on the up and up: everyone was doing community service and we were recruiting. The honeymoon subsided after a little over a month when people’s motivation started to fade and a lack of leadership experience within the Executive Committee (including myself) divided the EC from the rest of the Colony. Communication was an issue and it resulted in Pledges dropping throughout the semester. It was a learning experience for those who toughed it out and stayed true to their Pledge. The Colony did a lot of growing in the spring semester; both together and as individuals. New leaders stepped up and former EC members embraced their new roles. We had a new EC and they were able to learn from the mistakes of the first semester and things started to improve. During the spring semester the Colony worked together and raised nearly $4,000 for the Military Heroes Campaign. I could not be more confident in the Colony as it heads into its second. The entire West Haven Colony has united behind its excellent EC and this group of guys are a force to be reckoned with!
I was disappointed that I could not lead the Colony to a charter as the first Grand Master. I realized my struggles as the first Grand Master helped make me a better man. I improved as a leader, as a Pledge, as a friend, and overall as a person because of Kappa Sigma and for that I am so grateful. The Colony and its Pledges had the potential to accomplish great things, it just took a while for everything to come together. This was everyone’s first time experiencing anything like this; being in these roles and paving the road for future Kappa Sigma’s to come. The Kappa Sigma Colony of West Haven is prepared, motivated, and nothing is going to stop us from reaching our full potential and earning our Charter. It took all my effort, hard work and perseverance to get this Colony from a simple thought to a 60-man strong Colony petitioning for its charter. I am so grateful that my hard work and perseverance paid off and that I was able to inspire my future brothers to partake on this wild ride from just a simple thought, to an Interest Group, to a Colony, and soon a Chapter of the greatest Fraternity ever created.