Frats join forces for voter registration

Samantha Donegan

Fraternities Sigma Nu and Kappa Alpha Psi united to register students to vote yesterday. Nathan Rango (right), Sigma Nu candidate, said, “I registered to be an active young voter like every student should be.” Stephanie Dever | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

Sigma Nu of Inter-Fraternity Council and Kappa Alpha Psi of Black Greek Council have come together across racial lines to help students register to vote.

Both fraternities are collaborating and having a voter registration table set up in the Hub every weekday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. until voter registration ends Oct. 6. They will also have another registration table set up at the Kent State vs. Akron football game


Nate Lewis, second-year member of Kappa Alpha Psi, said this was the first time a predominately white fraternity and a predominately black fraternity have joined for a cause such as voting.

“We are just getting people registered to vote, and we are not pushing which side to vote for,” Lewis said. “We have less than two weeks away until the deadline, so we will be out here every day.”

So far, their efforts have resulted in 70 sign-ups, some new voters and some current voters who will be voting in Kent as opposed to their hometown for the first time.

Cash Lawley, president of Sigma Nu, said his fraternity and Kappa Alpha Psi have been working together for three years now.

“We really just wanted to make an impact with us coming together as far as the Greek systems coming together and maybe a few other people will, too,” Lawley said. “We really just wanted to reach out to people and have them see the diversification that we’ve been a part of for three years. Maybe if we could influence even one person, that would be good.”

Greg Jarvie, associate vice president and dean of students, said the university has nothing to do with the two organizations coming together and these decisions are up to the Greek organizations.

“Any time you can start an opportunity like that, more groups will be likely to follow,” he said. “They are all here to serve. I don’t really think them being black or white has anything to do with it.

“I mean, we always talk inclusion, but the organization needs the heart to be motivated to come together.”

Lewis said events like the voter registration drive can help membership in the future for both fraternities.

“They see us out here doing something that is positive. With both fraternities, people don’t see everything that we do, so I actually think it will be good for membership for people,” Lewis said.

Senior finance major Bryan Gadson said even though he is not a part of a fraternity, something like this would make him more likely to join one.

“This makes them look more open to a lot of people,” Gadson said. “It makes the fraternities not look so one-dimensional and stuck on having whites staying with whites and blacks hanging with blacks. They are showing that you can come together and better the community.”

Jarvie said he has seen fraternities come together like this for fundraising in the past, but this upcoming election may have triggered the collaboration.

“Election tends to bring people together,” Jarvie said. “Most people believe there is a need for change. This election is about change, not about race.”

Lawley and Lewis said both fraternities will come together in the near future. The fraternities are considering a collaborative formal sometime in November and possibly doing a fundraiser next semester.

Contact Greek life reporter Samantha Donegan at [email protected].