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KKΨ & TBΣ NatCon ’17

85Days 11Hours 36Min. 49Sec.

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Rekindling the Flame

There have been few times where I experienced the infamous district event hangover – those few cloudy moments when you finally wake up in your own bed and ask yourself “did that really happen?” Waking up the Monday after District Leadership Convention 2014 had ended, I was in a bit of haze. I thought to myself that it had to have been a dream. It couldn’t have been real to have met so many amazing new friends and to have caught up with so many old friends. It couldn’t have been real to talk in such depth with other chapters about differences in our programs and projects, or to help each other find solutions to our individual problems. It couldn’t have been real to learn so much about myself and what I can do to be a better brother to my brothers and (importantly) to my sisters. But it was real. As Facebook began to notify me of waiting friend requests and pictures I had been tagged in, I knew that all of those things and more had happened.

This being my first DLC since becoming Active, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d only ever experienced States’ Days so I was interested to see how DLC would be different. However, from the very first day, those initial thoughts lost all significance as what I experienced, and would experience over the weekend, went beyond anything I could have expected or imagined. Exchanging ideas with other chapters with incredible energy and clearly defined goals inspired me to take an even more active role in my chapter. Being able to focus on sisterhood (something that I had never really thought about) showed me just how important those bonds are and motivated me to make a concentrated effort to incorporate sisters into my life. Additionally, the focus on how what we learned over the weekend could be taken back to our chapters and also into other aspects of our lives really allowed me to think about Kappa Kappa Psi in an entirely new light. Further, the moments of reflection gave me an opportunity to relish in the things that my chapter had accomplished thus far, and instilled in me an intense sense of pride.

Ultimately, the thing that impacted me the most over the weekend is something that I can’t really put into words. The week leading up to DLC was very emotionally trying for me. By that Friday evening I had nothing left to give – it felt like my fire had gone out. But something as beautifully simple as writing warm fuzzies for brothers and sisters or letting loose with the Cupid Shuffle rekindled the flame within me. I had never felt the bond as strongly as I did over that weekend and that is what I am most thankful for. What could have only been described as a dream was a reality.

 

Thank you to everyone who came to Seattle and played a part in this incredible experience; I’ll see you at WDC!

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Throwback Thursday: #Swagon2014

As a sister from sunny California, I was a little out of my comfort zone at Wagon State Days in Seattle. First of all the climate—something I am quite in love with now—was freezing. And apparently that weekend was warm for Seattle residents. Fortunately I had actually packed smart, and the layers upon layers I brought kept me warm! Secondly, I knew I would be one of just 2 sister representatives in attendance. Not only were there a lot of people to meet, as I had not met many Brothers from Washington or Oregon, but I was mentally preparing to sing the Affirmation as a duet. Even with all of this, Gamma put together a weekend so awesome that none of my concerns negatively affected my time at all. I had an amazing experience and left excited to return for DLC.

On Friday two brothers from Gamma picked me up from the airport and immediately had a warm drink for me! We headed back to their house, aka “Headquarters,” and waited for more people to arrive. After more people had made it to Seattle, we crammed into the small, 5-seater car and drove over to something called Gas works. This grassy hill area by the water in Seattle has the most beautiful view of the city. We put down a bunch of blankets and stayed warm as we looked at the city skyline. The buildings were lit up, many with Seattle Seahawks colors, and the sky was decorated with tons of stars. Eventually we moved down to a covered area and that’s where I got to meet the many brothers from Gamma and a couple of Mu Pi attendees. The evening was a relaxing and fun time to hangout while more brothers from Oregon drove up. We ended the evening with hot chocolate and playing a ridiculous game of Fish Bowl.

The next day started with a musical tour of campus. Gamma has been working on increasing their musicianship and they put that on display for the Wagon States Days attendees. There were five ensembles set up around campus: a kazoo choir that played Hakuna Matata and a Macklemore song, a clarinet sextet that performed the Mario theme song, a saxophone quartet who played Bohemian Rhapsody, a flute choir that performed A Whole New World, and a brass quintet who played….something classical. Not only did we get to see the campus and spend time with our tour group, but we also got to hear really great music first thing Saturday morning! After the tour, we went to lunch and came back to play in a reading band. I personally loved the reading band because I am not currently in a band and miss performing tremendously AND because one of the songs we played I already knew. I had played it during a band trip across Europe, and that trip is one of the main reasons I continued in band after high school. That evening we had a movie and game night, which, like the night before, became ridiculous and hilarious. After all was finished we circled up, and Becca Toda (the other alumna sister in attendance) and I paired up in the middle. We sang the Affirmation, attempting to cover the 3 parts between two people, and then happily listened to the Kappa Kappa Psi Hymn. It finally really felt like District Season.

Sunday morning Gamma provided attendees with a pancake breakfast complete with coffee, tons of milk, fruit, eggs, and more. We got to dine in a fancy room near their basketball arena. That morning was such a bittersweet goodbye to the weekend. Wonderful Brothers from Wagon were headed away, and although I knew I’d see many of them at DLC, it was still a goodbye. The weekend reminded me that this District is jam packed with passionate and friendly people, and I’m incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to meet them at Swagon 2014!

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The Stages of ‘Hyped’ for WDC

I missed DLC for the first time this year since becoming active 🙁

But as they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

And my heart seems to be beating rapidly and irregularly every time I think of how excited I am for this year’s Western District Convention.

As you may know, Psi and EK and UCLA are hosting WDC this year, so it’s been on our minds for a while. I’ve always been one of the strong proponents of PsiEK hosting WDC, and even was one of the representatives who bid for it at WDC-Boise last year, but it always seemed so far away!

When this school year began, my best memories of the past four years started flooding back to me. And, no surprise, a bunch of them are due to the Western District! So nostalgia started playing a part in my growing Hype.

Next stage- When we filmed the WDC promotional video. Not only was it incredibly fun to spend the day at the beach with a few PsiEK people, but thinking about a sh**-ton of other brothers and sisters coming to LA to experience the wonderful-ness increased my hype marginally.

Last stage, and biggest one- WDC Registration opened. Talk about reality hitting you! Now, everytime something Western District related comes up, I struggle to contain my excitement.

Thank you, Western District, for giving me something to be this excited about, even after about 4 years as part of Kappa Kappa Psi!

AEA,

Michelle

 

P.S., this article really has no purpose, but allows me to vent and share my excitement with all of you. And allows me to post on the Accent, which I don’t do nearly enough.

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Omega’s Process through the Eyes of a Prospective Member

Every semester, the Omega Chapter puts a new class of Prospective Members through our twelve week process to become a brother of Kappa Kappa Psi. The process is meant to teach Prospective Members about our organization’s ideals, history, and what it truly means to be a brother. Reflection on one’s process is one of the most important and meaningful learning experiences a Prospective Member can have. This past semester, all of the Prospective Members were asked to write a paragraph reflecting on one of three topics: 

– What did you learn through your process?

– What was your favorite part of the process?

– What is the meaning of brotherhood to you?

These questions were designed to help each Prospective Member reflect on and draw meaning from the lessons and experiences that occur during the process. The following paragraphs are a window into the once-in-a-lifetime experience that is Omega’s process – through the eyes of a Prospective Member.

AEA!

-Chris “COMRAD” Vance

What did you learn during your process?

Graham

It is extremely difficult to put into one paragraph what it is that I learned, going through this process. When I came to the University of Arizona, I had zero interest in Greek life, and I didn’t even really know what a Fraternity was. I noticed at band camp that there were some band kids wearing bandanas and they were all matching, and that was when I first found out about Kappa Kappa Psi. When I accepted my bid, it was still with a little hesitance, but as soon as I started getting to know the active brothers, all my previous notions had changed. I learned a great deal about what it means to be there for each other, because often times I was unable to survive without some of the brothers. I also learned a great deal about focus during my occasional sleepless nights. I learned that without focus, nothing will be done right, or on time, or having meaning to it. But above all I learned that all the struggles of life and all the hardships are not meant to be carried alone, and that we need each other. That is why a brotherhood is so important, and that is why I want to be a part of it. Even though I couldn’t have said that two months ago, I now believe it with all of my being and I have my process to thank for that.

Alex

One of the best things I’ve learned throughout my prospective member process is the willingness of so many people, strangers at the beginning, trusting me and likewise letting me trust them. It’s inspiring imagining the great sense of camaraderie I’ve witnessed throughout these past weeks. I’ve come to realize that I don’t need to be a complete stranger to even myself. I no longer needed to hide my true self to feel a simple sense of belonging. I was welcomed to go through the prospective member process, and I’ve had someone guiding me every step of the way.  I learned to be confident in every manner possible. I’ve been taught how to love someone as a true brother and do anything at any time for anyone. This brotherhood taught me invaluable lessons in life that I will never take for granted.

Kelsey

I’ll admit that process had its rough spots. There were times when I wasn’t sure what to do next or if I was even doing things right; but I can honestly say that this has been the greatest experience I have ever had. I’ve learned more about myself than I thought possible. I gained so much trust in people who, only ten weeks ago were strangers, but now are my brothers and best friends. This process taught me how to work with others and get stuff done, even at two in the morning when we’re all tired and hungry. It taught me that it’s okay to put myself out there and make my opinions known. I have become more social and outgoing than I ever thought I could be. Yes, it was hard at times, but I am so grateful for how the Prospective Member process has shaped my personality.

What was your favorite part of the process?

Juan

Rushing for KKPsi-Omega was perhaps one of the wisest decisions I have made through my college career. I truly felt my bond with the brothers grow as the weeks progressed and this is what has been my favorite aspect of the process. Whether we were at an official event or on the couch of an active, these brothers really care about getting to know each one of the prospective members. Now, there are many other events I could have chosen as my favorite during this process, like degrees, or receiving gifts, but without a doubt, getting to know the actives and growing as a brother is what I value most. That is why it has become my favorite part about rushing to become a brother of KKPsi- Omega.

Leiah

My favorite part of process was bonding with my fellow prospective members and dad, Joey. My class and I did some crazy things when we hung out together. We had so many late nights doing homework, studying, and playing ping pong. The coolest thing to me about KKPsi is the intense relationships that are formed. It’s unexplainable to any outsider, no matter how hard I try. We’re not “friends.” That word just doesn’t cut it. I feel the exact same way about my dad, Joey. He’s been there for me my entire process, and he is truly my guiding spirit and the best dad I could ever have hoped for. Whether it’s carving a Cinderella pumpkin for me and calling me a “reject seed” or giving me advice about process, I know Joey would do anything for me! The bonds I’m forming through this organization are the incomprehensible, and it just blows my mind how close I am with my class and my dad.

Jessica

I’ve always been a bit reserved when I’m out and about in the world. Being a part of process has helped me to sort of break out of that habit and be myself more often with most people that I interact with. I’m more open, I laugh more often and I’m most likely the happiest I have been in a long while. These past few months have been some of the best of my life. I’ve gotten to know some amazing people that I probably would have never talked to had I not been given the chance to rush . I am forever grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this great organization. The Omega Chapter is a group of hardworking people that enjoy what they do and serve in any way that they can. The love and respect that the Active Members have for each other is evident. No matter what happens, they always look out and take care of each other. I hope, that given the chance, I can always maintain the good name of .

What is the meaning of brotherhood to you?

Jacob

When I first started my process of becoming a Brother of Kappa Kappa Psi, oddly enough, I never thought too much about the brotherhood aspect of the fraternity. I have never had a brother, biological or otherwise, and have never truly experienced brotherhood. I have never participated in a bond of brotherhood until recently. This past semester has taught me more about myself and my interactions with others than any experience I have ever had. I am proud to say that I have made friends that I know will love me and be there for me till the day die. But more than that, I can finally say that I have brothers. I have found brotherhood with people that I would have never even considered talking to before my process. I wish that I could say what brotherhood was to me exactly but it is truly something that cannot be defined until you experience it.

Emmy

When starting my process, I had never had a sibling before, so I had no idea what to expect when I accepted my bid for Kappa Kappa Psi. I had come up with a vague idea of what brotherhood meant to me and what I hoped to experience during my process. The experience was everything I had hoped for and more. The bonds I have formed with the actives and my class were nothing like I have ever experienced before. My brother class helped me get through tough times during my process when I thought there was no way I could finish strong. We were always there for each other and I know we always will be. Throughout my process, brotherhood has changed for me because my idea of brotherhood was nothing compared to the real deal. The real connection that you feel with brotherhood is knowing that you have a family who will be willing to do anything for you and you will be willing to give the same. It is a symbiotic relationship with a huge group of people, but it feels like a close-knit family who you share your deepest secrets with and know that they are safe forever. Brotherhood, to me, means that the people I am meeting today in Kappa Kappa Psi are the people who I will know the rest of my life. They are the people who you want to stay connected throughout your life and share your experiences with each other. I have never had a sibling before August of this year, but I now can say that I have gained not only many siblings, but a family.

Jasmine

 

Throughout my process, I have been asked about my own definition of brotherhood. Time and time again I have thought about my answer to this question and I find myself on a never-ending train of thought. Having the opportunity to be a prospective member has been one of the greatest experiences of my life and there is no possible way to put it into words. The Brothers of Omega have truly changed my life and helped me discover a completely new side of myself. They have shown me a whole other level of friendship, trust, and loyalty. Brotherhood is the kind of certainty and security that I have been searching for. It is an unbreakable bond and forever lasting connection that I never knew was possible. So why is Brotherhood so difficult to define? Because when it is done the right way, it is something so extraordinary, so incredibly life changing that your heart holds onto those words. It is something so personally sacred to you, that it is impossible to simply limit it to those definitions and regulations. I cannot thank Omega enough for everything that they have done for me and I will hold them in my heart forever. 

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How Kappa Kappa Psi Has Changed Us: A Collective Response from the Gamma Chapter

In response to this month’s Accent I asked each active member to sum up in a minimum of 3 words or phrases ways in which they have changed since joining Kappa Kappa Psi and instead of trying to consolidate them all into a cohesive article I created the word cloud pictured above with the most common words being the biggest. I could not be happier with the result. To me the star represents all that our chapter strives to be – open, outgoing, service oriented, confident, accepting, willing, leaders, musical, providing opportunities for brothers, and loving. What I hope this star shows is that while our chapter tries to encompass these characteristics, the chapter as an entity does nothing – we as active members make the chapter what it is. We bring these ideals and values with us hoping to share them with each other and grow in them as brothers. Personally, I can say that I would agree with any of the words that came up. I think I can speak for the Gamma chapter when I say that we are most definitely better as a result of joining this amazing organization.

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Then, Now, Forever: How Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma have effected me.

If you knew me in high school you would have known Calle Treppiedi: an oboe player with short hair who did color guard and was afraid of leadership because she didn’t like confrontation. If you knew me my freshman year of college you would have met the same girl who only wanted to play music and live on Greek Row. However, if you know me now you know Calle “Skipp(y)er” Treppiedi, Service Coordinator for Gamma Kappa, transfer student, and someone who is not afraid to get a job done. I own this drastic change to not only growing up, but joining Kappa Kappa Psi. When I started college in Fall 2011, at the University of New Mexico, I rushed Greek Row to join one of the major sororities on campus, like Chi Omega or Kappa Kappa Gamma. When I didn’t get into the sorority I wanted, I was crushed. All I wanted to do was give back to my community and I felt like I had just lost that opportunity. The next day I received a bid to Kappa Kappa Psi and after learning about our purposes and what Gamma Iota did for the Band Programs, I was hooked. After rushing, I tried to ‘Strive for the Highest’ in everything I did; I taught color guard at a local high school, I went back to my middle school and helped out the beginning oboe players, all while taking 17 credits and being in Symphonic Band. I did so much but I never could find my place within the school. Yes I was in Kappa Kappa Psi and I was happy but it was the only thing keeping me sane and in school while at UNM. So I left, and transferred up to Northern Arizona University and became an active member of Gamma Kappa. Within my first year here I helped to plan a Banquet for the entire school of music with a committee that had all four Music Greeks (TBS, KKPsi, PMA, and SAI) and the Dean of the School of Music. It was its first year and we had almost 100 people at the event. Another Brother and I worked endlessly to help get the Color Guard program back here at NAU and succeed with an amazing guard of 12 girls and 1 baton twirler for the 2013 Marching Season. That same Brother and I then went to write the work for the whole show.  I personally auditioned high enough to be 2nd chair in Wind Symphony both semesters and became more and more confident in my playing abilities. I would not have been able to do any of this if it were not for the love and support of my Brothers at Gamma Iota and Gamma Kappa and my Sisters of Alpha Chi. Throughout my three years in college, they have kept me on track, focused, and pushed me to always ‘Strive for the Highest’ in all that I do. If it wasn’t for my Big Brother at Gamma Iota I would be working at a local food joint instead of pursuing my dreams of teaching music. If it wasn’t for the Brotherhood of Gamma Kappa, my transition to NAU would have been far more terrifying then it was. So, how has Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma changed me? They both have shown me that if you are truly passionate and love something enough you will never stop until it is achieved. You will never change your major even if a professor tells you that you have to, you will never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, and you will never stop ‘Striving for the Highest’ to help create a better band programs for the freshmen that walk in to the school and feel the same way you did.

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Brotherhood/Sisterhood

A couple of weeks ago I had an awesome weekend in Fullerton, CA where I was at a journalism conference at CSU Fullerton. While there, I realized Fullerton College was down the street, so what do I do? I get in touch with the Brothers of Mu Phi. It was the first time I got to hang with brothers from their chapter since spring 2012 at District Convention in Flagstaff, Arizona. It was awesome hanging out with them for the weekend. All weekend we talked about KKY, TBS and music. Doing things like this really improves relations between brothers and sisters and help us all bond together.

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ASU Band Day!

This past weekend was very busy for the Arizona chapters of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma, as Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University, and the University of Arizona all had their annual band day competitions. With 32 performing bands and all of their family and friends coming to support them, there was plenty to keep Beta Omicron busy as far as serving the bands goes at ASU Band Day! Beta Omicron brothers served through such jobs as hosting bands, field monitoring, ticket sales, bus parking, hospitality, and band check in. All of this on top of the set up and tear down of the entire event was done by brothers to ensure that every band has a positive experience.

 

The part of ASU Band Day that everyone in our band looks forward to is definitely at the end of the day when we get to perform for all of the high school bands in attendance. While it is a great opportunity for recruitment of future sun devils, our band day performance is one of the few times that we really connect with our audience and feed off of their energy. Playing to an audience of football fans like we’re used to is always exciting, but playing for a large group of band students who know all of the hard work and dedication that gets put into our show and having them scream and shout for us throughout the show is always something I look forward to on ASU Band Day. This year was definitely no exception. Our Styx and Stones show definitely rocked the stadium and made a lasting impression on the future of college marching bands.

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Omega’s First Degree

We are now just a couple of weeks after Omega’s First Degree, and we are once again starting the process with a brand new class of Prospective Members. This coming semester is sure to be a memorable one as we put through one of the largest classes in our chapter’s history. Omega is proud to announce that we are starting with 15 Prospective Members in the Epsilon Omega class of Fall 2013.

It all started a couple of weeks after classes began, during the Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma Recruitment Week. The overarching goal of Recruitment Week is obvious: to stimulate interest about Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma in the band communities here at the U of A. Thanks to Jade Thorpe, VPM for KKΨ, and Meg Smith, VPM for TBΣ, this year’s Recruitment Week was very successful. We kicked off the week with a joint barbeque at a local park. There was no shortage of food, games, and ultimate Frisbee, and the barbeque was a resounding success. KKΨ and TBΣ jointly put on another recruitment event every day for the rest of the week, with activities like beach volleyball, a post-band-rehearsal water balloon fight, and a famous game we like to call “Commando.” One recruitment event in particular that merited special recognition was Ben’s Bells. In order to showcase the service aspect of KKΨ and TBΣ, we decided to forgo the usual games of Recruitment Week for one afternoon and instead use our time to support the efforts of Ben’s Bells, a local Tucson charity. Brothers, Sisters, and prospective members from both organizations all turned out to help paint the “kindness beads” that Ben’s Bells hands out around Tucson, which remind our community to simply “be kind.” The long week culminated at the KKΨ Smoker, a barbeque held at the end of every Recruitment Week, giving people a final chance to meet and mingle before bids are given out. The Smoker was another resounding success and a perfect way to end our fall 2013 Recruitment Week and kick off the start of another process.

In the end, 15 Prospective Members accepted their bids and beginning their journey to become a brother of KKΨ. The First Degree Ritual was organized and lead by Matt Coyle, Omega’s Guardian of the Brotherhood (GOB). Thanks to Matt, First Degree went extremely well, with the entire event going off without a hitch. It was no easy task for Matt to organize a ritual involving so many people but everything ran smoothly from start to finish. We would like to thank the brothers from Beta Omicron who made the trip from Phoenix to attend our First Degree – your company was greatly enjoyed!

It is hard to believe that Omega is in the middle of putting through one of the biggest classes in the history of our chapter. Fifteen Prospective Members are now on their way to becoming brothers of KKΨ, and based on the past couple of weeks, it seems that everyone in Epsilon Omega is going to have a fun and successful process. Welcome Epsilon Omega, and good luck! We are looking forward to seeing great things from you all!

 

AEA!

Chris “Comrad” Vance

Kappa Kappa Psi – Omega

University of Arizona

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