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Greeks of the week: KA, southern gentlemen of VSU

Lacey Bearden
Staff Writer
lbearden@valdosta.edu 

 They love the Lord and the ladies. Some would say they’re just a bunch of good ole, home-grown southern gentlemen; they are the brothers of Kappa Alpha Order.
 Priding themselves after the morals and characteristics set by Robert E. Lee, KA came to VSU in 1971. Today KA is the second largest fraternity on campus. They have over 60 brothers and currently around 32 pledges. Perhaps all 32 of the eager pledges will not make the cut, because, unlike any other fraternity, KA is considered an order, meaning 100 percent agreement among the brothers must be present in order to initiate a pledge into brotherhood. If just one brother says, “no” that pledge will not be accepted. An order is enforced in hopes of creating the strongest and longest lasting brotherhood on campus. Most other fraternities practice majority rules and accept pledges without a unanimous decision.  Kappa Alpha order instead of Kappa Alpha Fraternity.
 KA’s motto, “Dieu et les Dames”“ is Latin for, “For God and Women.” When pledging KA along with the fun toga socials with sororities and long hours studying the varlet (publish book containing KA’s history), comes the responsibility of displaying the characteristics of a gentleman: a well mannered and respectful man who puts God and then Women before himself.  Pledge ship has been thought of as fun and challenging.
 “Pledging KA was the best time of my life that I never want to do again,” Pate Smith, senior biology major and KA secretary said.
 It’s not all about parties and girls like most people would assume. These guys attend study hall each week for two and a half hours. They also have an optional bible study every Sunday held after their weekly chapter meetings in the KA house. The bible study is usually led by one of the brothers.
 “I love the brotherhood we have,” Smith said. “I feel like the friends I’ve made through KA will be my friends for life. It was definitly  the best decision I’ve made.”
 The KA’s here at Valdosta, led  by their president, Thomas Sewell, senior, business major, are looking forward to many up coming events, socials, formals and charity fundraisers this semester.  In October they will host the Justin Hobdy Memorial football tournament. This tournament is in memory Justin Hobdy, brother of Josh Hobdy, KA alumni. Each year the Hobdy family gives a scholarship to an accounting student at VSU and this tournament helps raise money for the scholarship.
 Also in October they will be hosting the “Catalina Wine Mixer,” a wine tasting event at Covington’s to raise money for the Special Olympics.�
 KA’s philanthropy this year is the Muscular Dystrophy Association, so they will be having many fundraisers to benefit MDA, such as the softball home-run-derby with TKE, which is open for everyone to enter. Also, the Tommy Swan  Skeet Shooting tournament will be held in October to benefit MDA.
 In December they will participate in “Christmas for the Kids” which is a charity event they host along with Chi Omega.  They buy presents for less fortunate children and have a small Christmas gathering for them.
 KA looks to Robert E. Lee as, “the ultimate gentleman.” In memory of him the KA’s carry out a tradition called “Old South” as their annual formal.  The guys dress up in civil war solider uniforms and the girls dress in the old-timey, big poufy antebellum dresses.  They will be gathering in Jekyll Island this year for the event, Nov. 6-8.
 “My favorite part about KA Old South is singing our rose song to all the girls,” Judd Ott, senior biology major, said.�
 Kappa Alpha order has a big semester ahead of them with many events planned, as well as a big decision to make as initiation quickly approaches.

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