I’ve started, deleted, started and deleted this blog post over and over again trying to think of some comedic way to start. After typing and retyping, I decided to just go with whatever my fingers and brain decide to write out (with some edits of course).
My name is Karianne Tomie Sudyka and I am a sixth-year Journalism major, Music minor at San Jose State University in the lovely city of San Jose, California. If you don’t really know the way to San Jose, it’s located in the southern part of the Bay Area and is known to be part of the heart of the Silicon Valley. You know, where all the tech and social media companies flock to make their millions of dollars and drive the cost of living through the roof? -wink-
What does this have to do with Kappa Kappa Psi? Eh, not much, but San Jose State is home to the Lambda Psi Chapter -- my amazing home chapter I love so much and has been a part of my life for the past five years. Lambda Psi is only a little over 10 years old, but for much of my college career, it’s pretty much been my home and the Brothers have been the family any college student would be lucky to have while away from home. I know it sounds corny to say and may sound sort of strange considering I was born and raised in the Bay Area not 20 minutes away from downtown San Jose, but it’s true! These Brothers have been some of the best people, classmates and friends I could’ve ever asked for at this university.
In my first semester in Fall 2012, joining a Greek organization was probably the furthest thing from my mind when I started going to State. I was panicking in the new environment, being the youngest child of two daughters and living essentially on my own for the first time ever. Being a true-to-form band nerd, I immediately joined the Spartan Marching Band. I loved how different it was from my high school band for the fact that people joined because they wanted to be there and not just to fill in an elective requirement. Our director did things much differently than at my high school, but also encouraged us to be better musicians while also being proud of the school we were representing.
Throughout that fall semester, I kept hearing about this organization called Kappa Kappa Psi. The name was associated with helping the band with polishing shoes before football games and providing water so us bandmembers wouldn’t perish in the heat of the stadium. One week, members of the organization advertised some fun after-band activities including a movie night and a trip to the local mini-golf range (funny enough my future Big Brother ended up paying for me that evening). I didn’t really know about rush/recruitment events at the time, but it did give me the opportunity to learn what Kappa Kappa Psi was about – to say the least, I was certainly intrigued. To my understanding in the beginning, Kappa Kappa Psi was like a student-run band boosters in college, which I thought was pretty awesome. I went to every rush event I could, but ultimately decided to wait on pursuing possible membership until the next semester.
The next semester arrived and so did rush week round two. After that I expressed sincere interest in the membership process and receive a bid. One semester process of stress and pride later, I received the nickname BOUDICCA from my Big Brother Daniel “GLADIATOR” Delgado and officially joined the ranks of active brothers of Lambda Psi with four wonderful classmates -- Kelly “ChikNLittle” Fabian, Jennifer “THUMPER” Bui, Sarah “GYPSY” Ledwon and Winter “CLEOCATRA” Saeedi.
Since the Spring of 2013, I’ve seen five classes initiated totaling to 30 Brothers (including one honorary). This includes two Littles of my own who have been striving for the highest as bandmembers and musicians since even before I met either of them. They’re two of the most amazing people I’ve ever met and I can’t wait to see what they do post-college and beyond. <3
This year begins the final chapter of my active career with Kappa Kappa Psi, Lambda Psi Chapter. It has been five years (as a Brother and six academically) in the making, but I will finally be graduating (if all goes well) this upcoming May. In the next couple of weeks, Lambda Psi will welcome the Rho class onto the Road to Wisdom and I cannot wait to see what great things these membership candidates will bring to the table to help further our chapter’s progress.
It has been one heck of a ride as I’ve gotten to travel to places with the band and with Brothers I would never had imagined. While as a member of the Spartan Marching Band, I joined a co-ed fraternity whose legacy I’ve had the privilege to help build as we all support and grow our music departments across the country. Through this co-ed fraternity dedicated to striving for the highest, I’ve met some of the greatest people I will ever meet. I’ve endured one of the biggest hardships of my personal life when I lost my mother to cancer and my Brothers were there to help and support me the whole way. Thanks to Kappa Kappa Psi, I’ve developed bonds with hundreds of thousands of people (whom I haven’t even met yet!) that may never be broken even in times of the toughest hardships or the pettiest of squabbles.
And here we are. The final stretch. Senior year.
Do I regret anything? Not really, for I’ve had an unbelievable six years and endless stories to tell just from my time as a Brother. I have countless more to come as this year unfolds. From funny dinner moments at Western District Conventions to wandering around Orlando with Brothers from the other side of the country, these memories will stick with me forever. I don’t know what the future holds for me after graduation, but this I know. I am a Brother of Kappa Kappa Psi.