To say that the Omicron-Omega Chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity at California State University, Stanislaus made an impression at the 70th Biennial Grand Conclave in Las Vegas would be a tremendous understatement.
During the conclave, which is held every two years to complete the work of the Order, reflect on past successes and prepare for the future, as well as share in fellowship with brothers, the chapter was bestowed with the Founders Circle Award—a recognition that was only given to 11 chapters out of over 300 chapters throughout the United States and Canada.
“This is the best award you can get as chapter and a lot of the chapters that have gotten it have been around for 100 years or longer,” said President John Cunha. “This puts us in the top 3 percent internationally for the fraternity.”
Cunha said that to earn this award the chapter had to exemplify what the fraternity refers to as the four pillars: fellowship, leadership, scholarship and service. Members of the local chapter embodied all four by beating the all men’s average GPA at CSU Stanislaus with an overall 3.0 GPA, committing to upwards of 4,000 hours of community service, and possessing an exemplary executive board.
“All these things tie in to why we got this award,” said Cunha.
Additionally, the chapter raised over $8,000 last year through various fundraisers, including the Kappa Sigma Sweetheart contest and the CSU Stanislaus Reach Event, for their philanthropy Military Heroes Campaign, as well as participated in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Sacramento where they raised approximately $1,000 for the American Cancer Society.
“Getting the Founders Circle Award means everything,” said Cunha. “We faced a lot of adversity overall as a chapter in the eight years since we’ve been here, so being able to get this was a testament to how much work we put in and the struggles we went through from a leadership standpoint.”
“To be able to say that we are a Founders Circle chapter is not something a lot of people can do, especially coming from a small school. It just means a lot,” continued Cunha.
The Founders Circle Award was just one of 15 awards that the chapter won during the Conclave, with a majority of the awards given to specific members of the executive board. The chapter was also ranked as No. 23 in the nation for rush, meaning that they were 23rd in the nation when it came to the number of pledges, and their district, which encompasses Northern California, won District of the Year for the first time in history.
The chapter’s former president, Kirk Meyer, was also awarded with the Undergraduate of the Year Award, which is only given to five people out of 20,000 undergraduate members throughout North America.
Throughout the Conclave, members were able to engage in different workshops that addressed leadership development and philanthropic efforts, as well as learn firsthand from successful alumni.
“These workshops help us achieve the overall goal of the fraternity, which is to become perfect gentlemen,” said Committee Advisory Chair Juan Carrillo. “We can bring back the things we learned to our chapter so we can excel more and inspire our brothers to do better with the community and their studies, as well as help them become more successful.”
“I looked at going to this event as a huge investment,” added Cunha. “By sending all of these people, they are all going to bring back so much culture and leadership skills to our fraternity, which is going to pay off tenfold in the long run.”