Student brings fraternity to campus

Student brings fraternity to campus


For junior Ron Atkinson, Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity seemed like the perfect fit for Baker University.

“It’s a brotherhood like no other,” he said. “One of our objectives is to basically make Baker better.”

Which explains why he’s spent the last three years trying to obtain a charter on campus.

“Since my freshman year, I’ve tried to get this frat on campus,” he said. “It’s work. It’s not easy. It’s hard being a Kappa. It’s not the easiest thing to do in the world.”

Atkinson’s hard work is finally paying off, though. This year he officially received permission to begin colonization of the chapter.

“We need seven to be able to charter a chapter,” he said. “Right now, they let us go ahead. We have six initiated and we will have seven at the end of the semester.”

Director of Multicultural Affairs Ron Holden said Atkinson’s devotion to the chapter has been evident since his first year at Baker when he approached former Dean of Students John Frazier about the fraternity.

“Once he spoke to Dean Frazier, (former Associate Dean of Students) Mark Zeno and myself, he needed to contact the organization,” Holden said. “They sent it up the chain of command. He’s been working ever since then to make it happen. He’s been diligent in his pursuit of this organization.”

Freshmen Stephen Webb and Jaron McCree are two of the newly initiated members.

McCree said he knew about the fraternity before he even arrived at Baker.

“My whole family pledged Kappa, so I’ve known about it since I was a baby,” McCree said. “Growing up around my family, I’ve seen what kind of positive examples they set. All the fraternity brothers I’ve met share these qualities. It’s something I wanted to make my name associated with.”

Webb and McCree became lifetime members of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., March 7.

“I wanted to be a Kappa,” Webb said. “I wanted to be a part of what it stands for. I want to carry it around with me.”

Pride, Atkinson said, is something Kappas value – that and community service.

“We don’t want to be the fraternity people hate,” he said. “We don’t want to be those guys. We want to make Baker better and do that by doing respective community projects. Our goal is to leave Baker a better place than when we got here.”

Historically speaking, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., serves black students in predominately white college communities such as Baker.

“The fraternity was founded to primarily help black college males,” Atkinson said. “But we don’t like to talk about that. We don’t want to shun anyone away because of that.”

The fraternity’s motto is, “Achievement in every field of human endeavor,” and Atkinson said it represents what the six members are involved in on campus.

“Whatever it is that you do, we want you to achieve it,” Atkinson said. “One of our members has a very high GPA. Five of us are here on athletic scholarships. We have a member who started a writer’s club. Three of us will be on hall staff.”

The fraternity also plans to participate in stepping.

“We do step as part of the tradition of the frat, but we’re not a step team,” Atkinson said. “We’re completely different from every other fraternity on campus, but one thing we want to make clear is that we’re not a step team.”

Another Kappa Alpha Psi tradition that sets the frat apart from others at Baker are the canes members carry.

“The reason we walk around with canes is because our founders did it,” McCree said.

The national fraternity was founded Jan. 5, 1911, at Indiana University. Atkinson said Kappa Alpha Psi’s recruitment process differs from other fraternities on campus.

“You can’t rush perfection,” he said. “We don’t rush. A lot of people rush for the wrong reasons and then drop out. We will have an informational (meeting) where people can get a better understanding of what Kappa Alpha Psi is all about.”

Still, Atkinson said students interested in joining could contact him or any of the other five members.

“It’s as simple as walking up and asking a question or letting us know that they are interested,” he said. “We’re more than happy to sit down and have a talk and give them information.”