By Lauren Huneycutt
“My father was a founding father of Kappa Sigma at UNLV, and his father was a Kappa Sigma and his uncle was as well,” said Jonathan Kenerson, president of the founding Kappa Sigma colony at the University of Nevada Reno. “There’s a lot of this fraternity’s history in my own family, so that’s part of why I started the interest group here to get it going. I wanted to carry on the legacy.”
On April 26 the University of Nevada, Reno will officially welcome its newest member to the Greek life circle, Kappa Sigma.
The colony has been raising money for a banquet and dinner that will celebrate its chartering. Active Kappa Sigma members from the Sacramento area, along with personnel from the national headquarters, will come to the university to initiate the Reno pledges and deem the chapter official.
“They appreciated that it was a student initiated movement,” Kenerson said.
When bringing Kappa Sigma to the UNR campus was just an idea, Kenerson and two other men reached out to the national organization to get the ball rolling.
“It’s something that I’ve been working on for a year and a half now,” Kenerson said. “This upcoming date represents all of that time and work reaching its destination.”
The group, that is still currently recruiting, began forming in February of last year and has now reached 75 pledges.
“When Jonathan approached me about joining Kappa Sigma I did not want to be a part of it,” said Jonathan McGuire, vice president of the fraternity. “It took six and a half months, but after getting to know the guys, I realized my objections of it being a superficial way to buy friends and that it was just for drinking buddies were about what a fraternity could be, not what it had to be.”
After joining, it was suggested McGuire run for Vice President. Based on his experience as a sophomore recruiting fellow students for the debate team, and then taking over as president for the last three years, a leading role in Kappa Sigma turned out to be a good fit.
“I was the only returning member to the debate team, so I had to take over as a sophomore,” McGuire said. “I am now skilled in recruiting after being thrown into actively recruiting fellow students as a sophomore, and because of that experience, it has been so much easier to approach someone and have a conversation about the fraternity.”
On top of being president of the fraternity, Kenerson is an accounting and information systems major and an enlisted member of the Army National Guard.
“I love (the national guard), and it’s a lot of fun,” Kenerson said. “There are weekends where that training has taken me away from important Kappa Sigma events, but when that happens, (McGuire) and the rest of the leaders do a great job keeping things running.”
Because of his involvement and success in Kappa Sigma and leading the debate team, Kenerson nominated McGuire for the “Greek Man of the Year” award.
According to McGuire this award is given to someone who did a great job in their fraternity organization, as well as another organization on campus.
“I really did not expect to win,” McGuire said. “Technically I’m only a pledge of a fraternity, so I was really surprised. But I was so pleased, and it really means a lot.”
The fraternity held weekly meetings that were purely informational and gained pledges mainly by word of mouth.
“I’m thrilled this is finally happening,” Kenerson said, “and I know all the guys are thrilled too.”
Lauren Huneycutt can be reached at lhuneycutt@ sagebrush.unr.edu.