For some, joining a fraternity is about recognition, getting your jersey with your pledge name on it with the hopes that it will help them elevate to a new status within the college society. For others, frat life is all about the parties, the drinking, and just doing every small thing in excess for the pure banter. For me though, the whole reason I joined a fraternity, was so that I could feel some sort of inclusion, on a campus where I strongly felt out of place.
To set the ball rolling, the campus that I’m on can’t really be described as diverse. In fact, the ratio of white students to students of colour is quite alarming, having only personally counted around 25 African-American students and going into this coming sophomore year for me, that number is surely set to drop as most students have graduated or are graduating soon enough. Oh, did I forget to mention how I’m the only African on campus? All of this combined really made me feel out of place in a predominantly white school, whether it be in the classes or in the cafeteria ordering food. At the beginning of the semester, it honestly looked like I had a gloomy four years ahead of me, and that is when the fraternity stepped in.
There’s no greater feeling that knowing that your presence has been noticed by someone else. I found myself experiencing that when I was first approached by a senior member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. He started things off slow of course, asked me out on a date, made sure to get my number and all, but in all honesty, he would always check up on me daily whenever we ran into each other and eventually, myself along with 13 other prospective freshmen started attending their recruitment events. After that, it didn’t take me long to start pledging for Kappa Sigma
The pledging process was something unlike anything I’ve ever done in my life. To show how different it was, I can compare it to high school at St George’s college. To get into first team volleyball, I had to show that I was capable of sharing responsibility with an entire team and be in a position to work with others. During my process, I had to show that I was capable of handling multiple responsibilities by myself, from the responsibilities of a school student to that of a member of Kappa Sigma, with the responsibilities I held in society as well to top that off. In the four weeks that it took for me to become an official member, I discovered traits within myself that were dormant because of my time being too complacent in life, that were being drawn out bit by bit as the work started to pile up. With the other 13 students that I crossed over into brotherhood with, I formed bonds with each and every one of them that could possibly rival the biblical bond of the disciples themselves. And given that all 14 of us come from different walks of life, it really would not be surprising to suddenly hear us speaking in tongues, we would just be practising our native languages around each other of course.
All in all, this step that I’ve taken by myself, far away from home, has been a step of growth, with opportunities opening up left right and centre for me. As I write this, I write under the official pledge name of “Simba” short for Simbarashe as the Lord gave me the strength that I needed to go through my first year of college, a member of the Rho Class, of the Rho Sigma Chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity with my pledge number being 123. Easy, simple, efficient, but carrying a powerful message, conveying each step I’ve taken to reach where I am right now.