By Lauren Huneycutt
“No, absolutely not,” said sophomore Jarrod Peterson, president of the new social fraternity Kappa Alpha Order. “I really didn’t ever see myself as a fraternity guy.”
Kappa Alpha Order was founded in 1865 in Virginia. The moral focus of the fraternity is based off Robert E. Lee’s principles of being a gentleman. The fraternity is successful nationwide, with over 140 chapters. This will be the second attempt at bringing a chapter to the University of Nevada, Reno.
“There was a chapter here back in the day, but they were all seniors,” Peterson said. “So when they graduated the fraternity died. Our guys are mostly freshmen and sophomores, so hopefully that won’t happen.”
According to Peterson, Coordinator for UNR Greek Life Dennis Campbell reached out to the national branch of Kappa Alpha Order in an effort to bring them to campus due to its success and values.
Jeremy Duke, the chief director of Kappa Alpha Order, flew to Reno and began recruiting the young gentlemen who now make up the founding father class.
“He recruited people based on personality and how involved you are in the school,” said Michael Lienhard, parliamentarian of Kappa Alpha Order.
The men bonded via bowling, golfing and dinner.
“We have a group of 30 guys who were just inducted the Friday before spring break, meaning we are now considered active brothers waiting initiation,” Lienhard said. So we are considered pledges, but since we are founding fathers we aren’t really pledging to anyone.”
The current members use a 100 percent bid policy, so all existing members must unanimously agree on incoming members, who are being actively recruited.
“We are being very diligent on who we bring in,” Peterson said. “We want everyone to essentially be a good person.”
Of the 15 guys who applied for officer positions, Peterson applied for and was appointed president of the new fraternity.
“I just wanted to be the guy that if anyone ever needed someone to talk to or they had trouble with anything, they could come to me,” Peterson said.
The men are continuously recruiting new members using events, cold calling, fliers and directed emailing.
“I really want to get big into community service and want to do one philanthropy event by the end of the semester,” Peterson said.
Muscular dystrophy is Kappa Alpha Order’s national philanthropy, but Peterson intends to focus much of their community service locally.
The members are currently figuring out the dues and other financial requirements for the fraternity and are working with the university realtor to find a house to use as a base.
“This is a cool opportunity,” Peterson said. “I just want us to be a morally sound, fun group of guys.”
The fraternity plans to apply for colonization later this semester and to be fully functional by next fall.
Lauren Huneycutt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.