Delta Upsilon - University of Kansas

Fall 2017 Newsletter

Kansas Chapter of Delta Upsilon at the University of Kansas

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Fall 2017 The Sunflower a Publication oF the Kansas chaPter oF Delta uPsilon I read where the earth has over 10,000 species of birds. But there is one species pretty much everyone knows better than any other. And that is a species known as the Dodo bird, which vanished from the planet almost 400 years ago. The reasons for its demise are varied, but pretty much all the experts who study these things agree on one thing: no one appreciated that the species was teetering on the brink until it was too late. Since then, that bird serves as a metaphor for ideas, concepts and institutions that are likewise at risk of disappearing. And lest you suspect you've opened the wrong piece of mail, permit me to identify another institution that is in jeopardy: the college fraternity. At some campuses, the fraternity has been banned altogether. DU was founded at Williams College many years ago. Williams banned fraternities over 50 years ago. Search Google news with fraternities and you will see an abundance of stories from around the country. All negative. And our own beloved Chapter has come into the crosshairs of KU. Currently it functions on disciplinary probation through next May, due to self-inflicted wounds by our own brothers. The associate executive director of DU International is Karl Grindel, Central Missouri State University '01. Karl was instrumental in investigating the issues at the house last semester. He then appeared before the hearing panel last May on the KU campus, testifying in support of the Chapter, along with me, Jeff Wilcox '92, and junior Sam Leunig '19. "Fraternities in general are seeing a shift in college environments," Karl told me. "Several landmark campus decisions in the past year have impacted relationships and services being provided by universities. Decisions such as those made at Penn State University following the death of a fraternity member and at Kansas State University to eliminate its Fraternity and Sorority Life Office will have an impact across the country. Fraternities are being asked to evaluate how they provide value to the campus, benefit students, and provide a safe environment for members and guests. Delta Upsilon is a leader in the industry as it continues to focus on assessment and the development of programming to ensure the success of its members and chapters. "For the Kansas Chapter, this backdrop of fraternities nationally is relevant because the Chapter's recent challenges make it even more important for the undergraduate members and alumni to be partners with KU in rebuilding the Chapter. The campus will want to see that the Chapter is a benefit to its members and does not detract from the college experience or put someone in an unsafe environment." Since that hearing back in May, many of us have been working to put the pieces back together for a successful year. We have made progress. I would cite three positive developments as we start the year. First, we hired a new housemother, Kandyce Horn. A longtime sorority house director at Washburn, KU and UCLA, Kandy is a native of northeast Kansas. As an Alpha Phi alumna and dedicated housing volunteer, she truly believes in the Greek experience. Mom K's favorite part of the job is seeing the collegiate members flourish and grow as they become more independent throughout their college careers thanks to the support of their families, both biological and fraternal. She knows KU, the administration, and has enormous credibility on The Hill, which is very much in demand. Second, we hired Matt Kuykendall, K-State '16, who graduated in spring 2015. He grew up in tiny Weskan, Kansas, and lived in the KSU DU house for four years and held leadership positions there. He now works for KU with Student Mobilization, which helps grow leadership on campus, with focus on the Greek communities. He attends all the Chapter meetings and is giving the executive committee practical tools for direction and governance. Reflections from 1025 Emery Road (Continued on page 2) CHAPTER OFFICERS President Jackson Riley '19 Leawood, Kan. (913) 708-3520 Vice President Sam Leunig '19 Eden Prairie, Minn. Treasurer Dylan Jones '19 Wichita, Kan. Secretary Connor McCarrick '20 Leawood, Kan. Recruitment Chairman Jack Walton '20 Overland Park, Kan. (913) 645-9804 New Member Educator Madison Carrera Welch '20 Overland Park, Kan. Membership Education Chairman Jack Werner '19 Overland Park, Kan. Scholarship Chairman Bobby Flournoy '20 Brawley, Calif. External Relations Chairman Jake Van Tassel '20 Overland Park, Kan. Risk Management Chairman Joseph DeBlase '19 Overland Park, Kan.

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