OPINION: Kent State is leaving a student organization behind

Dylan Walker, Opinion Writer

A nearly 50-year tradition at Kent State University is in jeopardy due to the faculty and staff of the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship.

In January 1975, the Beta-Pi chapter of Delta Sigma Pi took a new step in fundraising efforts by opening the Delta Sig concession stand in the Business Administration Building. The goal was to promote brotherhood, fundraise and further the fraternity while having an inexpensive snack option for the campus community to stop by during the day. Throughout the years, the concession stand has brought in a significant amount of money for the chapter. Profits from the concession stand continually help keep dues low for those involved.

Upon receiving the university’s largest donation to date, with a minimum commitment of donating $28 million to fund the under-construction Crawford Hall, the new Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship administration decided not to continue its partnership with the Delta Sig concession stand. The professional business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, has found itself lacking support from the university in hopes of continuing the 48-year fundraiser.

Delta Sigma Pi is one of two professional business co-ed fraternities on campus at Kent State that develops righteous business leaders. The Beta Pi chapter, established at Kent State in 1942, has had its hand in professional development, community service, brotherhood and fundraising for 80 years.

The fraternity has spoken with both Dean Deborah Spake and Assistant Dean Elizabeth Sinclair in person, by email and at deans’ forums about the concession stand securing a spot within the new building. Previous chapter presidents have spoken to those involved in the construction of the building. They are now getting in contact with college directors, professors and alumni to ensure a plethora of supporters back the chapter. This has the potential to strengthen the fraternity’s voice, instead of a few 20-something-year-olds asking for clarity.

The fraternity is now entering its third semester fighting the battle with almost no resolution. But why? Kent State constantly promotes taking care of one another yet the phrase they use most is not exceeding expectations.

In 2020, the university coined the phrase “Flashes Take Care of Flashes,” and in this instance, the university is not staying true to its mission. The further we get from 2020, the less the university seems to be keeping this intact. In its initial use, the university utilized the phrase alongside COVID-19 precautions, “Flashes Safe Eight.” These precautions are now rarely enforced and have mysteriously begun to dissipate. Prime examples of the disappearance of precautions include the free PCR lab testing sites housed on campus going dormant and DeWeese Health Center only allowing tests to those who have been exposed and are showing symptoms.

As an incoming freshman in 2021, I knew I wanted to get involved with student organizations. While attending KSU Blastoff I came across the Delta Sigma Pi table. Immediately intrigued by the professional co-ed greek life option I decided to go through recruitment. After being initiated in November of 2021, I quickly realized the importance of the Delta Sig concession stand to the brothers. It is something that is deeply rooted in the culture and history of the Beta-Pi chapter. After spending many hours working alongside brothers and recruiting new ones, I know how important it truly is. What administrators see is a $1 cup of coffee, but what I see is the spirit of brotherhood the concession stand truthfully holds.

Delta Sigma Pi, Beta-Pi is facing challenges from the university when the university markets the fact that “flashes take care of flashes.” The fraternity has made its statement very clear. This is not only important to fund them, but is an important part of the fraternity worldwide as it is the longest-running fundraiser in the fraternity’s history. Though the university may not be sticking with its use of the phrase, the fraternity is using it in full force. Together they plan to unite chapter members and outside help to ensure the nearly 50-year tradition stays intact.

Dylan Walker is an opinion writer. Contact him at [email protected]