DKA, AKPSI, DSP, KAPi. Thinking of pledging one of those at Chapman? Not a chance. Not without special qualifications. These are professional fraternities.
While only the students who prove their eminence in areas these fraternities focus on are granted memberships, they may be more kindred to social fraternities than some think.
Four professional fraternities coexist with 18 social fraternities at Chapman University, but their titles can be off-putting. Some students find a considerable number of similarities between the two.
Professional fraternities are organizations in the fraternity system that promote the interests of a certain profession. These professions can vary from a career in business to a career in film. Social fraternities, on the other hand, focus more on philanthropy and brother/sisterhoods. However, students involved in either of these find themselves going through a multi-week pledge process to get in, encounter the same steep expenses, and gain similar benefits both socially and academically.
Mark Hyun, a senior business major rushed AKPSI in Spring 2019 but decided to drop after he pledged.
“The only gripe I had with AKPSI is that I didn’t really learn much in being professional during the time I was there except for during rush,” Hyun said. “After rush, it felt more like a social fraternity in a sense.”
Hyun dropped AKPSI after a couple of weeks of pledging because he felt it was too similar to the social fraternity Beta Theta Pi he was already in. He opted to just stick with Beta Theta Pi since he would get a somewhat similar experience but less expensive.
However, he did feel he gained more professional experience when he rushed AKPSI than Beta Theta Pi.
“During rush, you’re able to give pitches and you do a simulated shark tank which was a really cool learning experience,” Hyun said. “You’re doing team-based projects during the pledging process.”
Much like men’s fraternities, every rush process is different for the individual professional fraternities, which include: Delta Sigma Pi (DSP), Kappa Alpha Pi (KAPi), Delta Kappa Alpha (DKA), and Alpha Kappa Psi (AKPSI).
For Skyler Brigmann, he found that the professional film fraternity, DKA, was a perfect fit for him and gave him way more opportunities than he imagined.
“DKA tries to put on certain events that benefit everyone,” said Brigmann, a junior film production major. “We had a showing of Thunder Road with the Director/Writer, Michael Sheussman who’s in DKA and worked with the cinematic affairs chair to come in. As an active member you get events and messages daily about different things from our Facebook Page,” he added.
Some students are obliged to pick one or the other, depending on their financial situation and which one fits them best. But for others, their schedule and financial situation allow them to be part of both professional and social fraternities.
Freshman Britney Blackfound the best of both worlds in Kappa Alpha Theta (KAΘ) and Kappa Alpha Pi (KAPi), the pre-law fraternity.
While KAPi did give her some different opportunities than KAΘ, especially when it comes to her career, she still found support and community in both.
“I think everyone wants to be able to find a place that they feel like they belong, and where they will make their forever college friends. Lucky for me, I found two amazing organizations that give me that feeling,” said Black, a business major. “I feel like I can be fully authentic around these people and they will not even think twice about it, which is such a heartwarming feeling.”
Black feels attached to both the professional fraternity and the sorority she’s involved in on “an extremely emotional level,” she said. Noting that both provide her with the resources, knowledge, and experiences that allow her to grow as a woman and as a student in and outside of Chapman.
At the end of the day, everyone’s opinion is going to be different in what fits them the best. No matter where you end up, Brigmann’s words of advice for individuals considering rushing anywhere: “It is what you make of it.”