Kappa Alpha Psi: Seeking Achievement

Vaughn DiBattista (vadibattista@ursinus.edu)

When thinking about your typical fraternity, it can be easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamor of the frat life. We’ve all seen coverage from popular media outlets like Barstool, Old Row, and others that essentially highlight the “party” side of life in a fraternity. Amidst the media attention, it can be easy to forget about the core values that come with Greek life. Fraternities were put in place in order to instill values of brotherhood, civic engagement, and leadership. In our day and age, these values sometimes seem forgotten. 

However, there is surely hope. In 1911 at Indiana University Bloomington, two African-American men named Elder Watson Diggs and Byron Kenneth Armstrong set forth to create the first ever historically African-American national intercollegiate fraternity. The fraternity would go by the name of Kappa Alpha Psi. Fast forward to today, the fraternity holds over 125,000 members worldwide, and the Omicron Kappa chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi at Ursinus is a perfect embodiment of brotherhood, civic engagement, and leadership. 

“Once you become a Kappa, you are a Kappa for life,” says member Amir Pickens ‘23. “This fraternity isn’t just something you do for four years. It’s a lifetime commitment. This is one of the reasons we are so close, because when you and your line brothers are initiated, you know you will be brothers for life and nothing can come between that.”

While emphasizing the concepts of brotherhood and leadership, the members of Kappa Alpha Psi pride themselves on their commitment to achievement. Going back to its inception, the fraternity was founded on the concept of lifting up young African-American members and guiding them towards a life of success. Each member of Kappa Alpha Psi is committed to leading a life of success, hoping that it will pave the way for brothers in the future.

“To be a part of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity means that You are a part of a group bigger than yourself. It means that you stand for something. It means you have values, and as the motto goes, you seek achievement in every field of human endeavor,” emphasized Kappa Josh Bowman ‘23.

Something interesting about Kappa Alpha Psi is the use of a red colored cane as a primary symbol for the fraternity. Upon admittance into the brotherhood, every member can be seen pictured holding what they call the “Kappa Kane.” While it looks rather stylish, the cane has a much deeper meaning.

“Kappas are known for using canes because back in the old days gentlemen used them,” the fraternity members said. “Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity prides itself on its members having high morals and being in good standing with their community, thus making canes a symbolic item to represent our gentlemanship and demeanor.”

Nonetheless, the members of Kappa Alpha Psi perfectly represent those fraternal values of brotherhood and leadership. If you are a student looking to dawn the red letters, you will be buying into a community of immense love and reverence. The bond is truly unlike any other fraternity I’ve witnessed, as the Kappas are dedicated to the success of every one of their brothers.