Letter to the Editor: Response to ‘Dragon Pride Award given to unqualified organization’

BY CODY MEYER
Email

I took the time to read your letter to the editor this week in the Advocate.  You chose to remain anonymous which disappoints me lest I might have talked about the accolades of which you are deserved. I am sorry that you are disappointed over the “Of the Month” award; however, I think you went about voicing that in the wrong way. If you will allow me, I would like to address your concerns.

In regards to your first concern, you are absolutely correct. I wrote the nomination myself. The chapter is in a state of transition and I wanted an opportunity to highlight my brothers and the work they have done.  It has been a difficult semester for Kappa Sigma with many personal hardships and transitional pains going on in the life of my brothers.  My intention was to boost the chapter morale by applying for the award so that they might see that they are valued by the University in a time where they are struggling with changes in leadership, changes in the University, and changes in their own personal lives (and there have been some dramatic ones), and while this may seem vain or stupid on the surface, I did it with a purpose. I never claim to be a leader, but I am in a position where I must be one.  To further this point, I won’t tell you that we are any more deserving than any other organization on campus. While I feel we have done some respectable things in our own right, I have had the pleasure in my years here to work with phenomenal student leaders far better than myself and organizations that do so much for this University; furthermore, our contributions collectively as a university make MSUM a great place to call home. The individuals who choose the recipients of the “Of the Month” awards choose who receives the award. These individuals felt, for reasons I don’t know, that we deserved the recognition. I would be hard pressed to say that we were the only nomination on the table. They picked us because, for their own reasons, they see value in the fraternity and for that I thank them  on behalf of the chapter, their recognition of students and student organizations does more good than I believe they are aware of.

To follow this point, I would like to move on to your next criticism, that of our service to MSUM and the community. I was impressed that you did some research into Kappa Sigma and our pillars. You were correct in naming Service as one of our pillars; however, you failed to name the other three as follows: Leadership, Scholarship, and Fellowship.  February was a slow month for service, you were correct in that assumption, but to cite a Facebook page as the only evidence of our contributions is a poor quality of research, and I pray that you would look deeper into the university. My brothers are leaders in many other organizations, have many responsibilities that they take on for the benefit of others, and donate their time outside of their required service hours to help others. If this award was based on service alone, then you would be justified in your claim; however, it isn’t and I feel that we have far more value in our organization than simply “pushing brooms”.

As far as the typo goes, it would seem that you ran out of legitimate criticism for the organization. This jest was childish at best.

Next, I believe your criticism of the individuals that give the awards, and subsequently the CMU staff for congratulating us it that capacity, was totally unwarranted.  I can take the criticism of calling us arrogant, I am a grown man, but do not call the staff of the CMU and SOAC out for doing their jobs, to which they do to an exceptional capacity. Individuals paid by this university were not publicly rewarding arrogance, but rather rewarding us for what we have done and what we represent.  I quote your letter, “Someone thought it was a good idea to publish Kappa Sigma’s plea for an award without even attempting to make it look like this their award was justified.”  The Advocate thought it was a good idea to publish your venomous letter without considering a justification to your claims. We do not hold that against The Advocate, I would advise you to take that same attitude with SOAC and the CMU staff.

Your choice to remain anonymous disappoints me further as I would have loved to have a conversation with you about Kappa Sigma. You are not the first opponent of Kappa Sigma, and you won’t be the last. I am reminded of a gentleman by the name of John Goerke. John didn’t support Kappa Sigma when it was in its infancy and was a strong opponent of us getting established and published articles, letters, and reached out to us, our adviser, and faculty members with his concerns. He held his position until the day he left this campus, and had a lot of well-thought out criticisms. John was much more intelligent than me, and a very good writer and orator, and while I didn’t agree with what he had to say many times, he will always have my respect for being a man that took a stance and was not afraid to back it up. If you have criticisms of Kappa Sigma in the future, and I hope you do as these criticisms and self-reflections make us a stronger organization, I encourage you and others to follow in John’s footsteps.

I am sorry that you felt the “Of the Month” award was undeserved, Kappa Sigma will work harder to be an even better organization and I appreciate your feedback.
Regards,
Cody Meyer
Grand Master
Kappa Sigma Fraternity: Sigma-Sigma Chapter

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