Not your average frat: Kappa Alpha is redefining fraternity culture

Paniz Vedavarz, Culture Editor Mar 5, 2024

What’s the perfect place to host a cozy wine night filled with poetry? A frat house, according to the Kappa Alpha Literary Society.

While dedicated safe spaces and celebrating vulnerability don’t fit into the stereotypical image of a fraternity, that’s precisely what defines Kappa Alpha.

Kappa Alpha was originally founded in 1825 in Schenectady, New York, and the fraternity’s Western University chapter has been operating since 1948. While they are part of the North American Interfraternity Conference — an association that represents a large number of fraternities in North America — Kappa Alpha members do not consider themselves to be represented by the traditional associations of Greek life.

The society’s members are reimagining what a fraternity represents, fostering intellectual conversations and brotherhood in a supportive and inclusive environment.

“When I read about Greek life, it was terrible. As a first-year student, I never thought I would align myself with a fraternity,” says Gabriel Foresta, the chapter’s president and a third-year political science and philosophy student.

Greek life at Western has had a controversial history, marked by concerns over gender based violence, lack of inclusivity and a perceived lack of transparency regarding activities during rush and other events.

While KA organizes traditional rush events like sports day and taco Tuesday as part of their recruitment activities, joining this fraternity is all about fostering a sense of community. As opposed to a traditional rush week filled with events and socials, occurring over a couple weeks in September and January, membership is seen as more on a rolling basis.