Founded in 1911, Kappa Alpha Psi is an achievement-oriented fraternity with deeply held values and rich traditions. Although it is a historically black Greek-letter organization, the fraternity welcomes qualified members regardless of race, color, religious beliefs or national origin. This fraternity may be an excellent fit for you if you’re interested in being part of an organization that values moral character and civic engagement. To join, you must meet eligibility requirements, pay fees and follow membership intake procedures to help you and the fraternity evaluate whether there’s a good mutual fit.
Meet Eligibility Requirements
Before applying, you must meet eligibility requirements. Membership is open to college men of good character pursuing a bachelor’s degree fulltime at a four-year college or university. Membership also depends on meeting the eligibility requirements of the school where the chapter is located. Some schools don’t let freshmen pledge a fraternity. If no requirements are in place, members may be initiated after completing 25 percent of the coursework needed for graduation. Many schools and chapters also require a minimum 2.5 GPA, so attend to your studies while researching fraternities.
Obtain Letters of Recommendation
In support of your application, you’ll need typed letters of recommendation. The number of recommendations varies by chapter. Typically, you’ll be expected to provide letters of support from members of Kappa Alpha Psi who are in good standing with the chapter and don’t owe money for dues. Additionally, you’ll be asked to provide letters from professors or community members who can attest to your character and accomplishments. Since the organization stresses outreach to disadvantaged youth and honorable achievement, your letters of recommendation should note any awards, special recognitions and community service, particularly activities such as teaching bible study, coaching, mentoring or tutoring.
Chapters such as the Omicron chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity at Lehigh University hold informational meetings for prospective members to explain the purpose and expectations of the fraternity. You may be asked to write a letter of intent to the chapter advisor formally declaring your interest before receiving an application package. The Omicron chapter states that applications must be complete, typed and signed with a transcript, with letters of recommendation attached or mailed separately. You may also be charged a processing fee. Adhere to deadlines for submission -- late applications are not likely to be reviewed.
Assuming you meet eligibility requirements, the chapter will initiate an investigation into your background to judge whether you’re more likely to be an asset or liability to the organization. Consider removing inappropriate materials on your social networking sites that don’t reflect well on your character. When interviewing with chapter officers and members, be ready with examples of ways you meet the academic, ethical, social and public service ideals of the organization. Familiarize yourself with the fraternity structure; for example, know that the national organization is headed by an official called the Grand Polemarch. You’ll be offered membership if 75 percent or more of current members vote for you to join the fraternal brotherhood, which is a lifelong bond that can't be severed.
Dr. Mary Dowd is a dean of students whose job includes student conduct, leading the behavioral consultation team, crisis response, retention and the working with the veterans resource center. She enjoys helping parents and students solve problems through advising, teaching and writing online articles that appear on many sites. Dr. Dowd also contributes to scholarly books and journal articles.