Volume XVII - Issue I - Spring 2022
My name is George Mooradian and I am humbled to serve as your Alumni Relations officer for the 2022-2023 school year!
A little bit about me, I am a sophomore Political Science major in our wonderful Horn section. I am very excited about this year for Psi, I believe we have great leadership, and I’m excited to be a member of the officer board.
I hope to continue our virtual events, but also hopefully bring back our Joint Alumni Reunion in person this year. I also hope to expand our host of potential events, and be able to provide both our actives and our alums opportunities to interact, foster bonds, and connect.
The following posts are the encore articles from the 2021-2022 academic year. Together with brother (and now Alumni) Angel Lopez, we are proud to represent these articles! The articles for Fall 2022 are currently being compiled to be published within with winter quarter!
Additionally, here are the Officers for our 2022-2023 School Year:
President: Ariel Fernandez
Vice President of Membership: Fidel Negrete
Sergeant-at-Arms: Brian Acevedo
Director of Service: Emily Rusting
Director of Music: Natalie Loftus
Treasurer: Lauren Sanchez
Brotherhood Relations Officer: Leigha Linder
Director of Brotherhood/Sisterhood Relations: Aaron Martinez
Director of Band Activities: Rachael Cohen
Secretary: Cass Barraza
Alumni Relations Officer: George Mooradian
Historian: Matt Sanruk
Webmaster: Johanna Bai
George Mooradian and Angel Lopez
by Alexis Arredondo, BΨ
As candidates looked forward to becoming active members of Psi, they were asked to perform in the annual, honored tradition of Candidate/Active Night. During C/A Night, candidates were tasked with solving the names of five stations that featured Literature, Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, and Music. Each station included unique tasks which allowed candidates to determine each of the five arts while also incorporating the values our Chapter strives to uphold. Tasks varied from creative writing to creating art that encapsulated our pillars. This would also feature interpreting and appreciating music while providing the opportunity for candidates to individually express what they understood AEA to mean.
Once all the candidates had successfully completed their tasks and identified each station, as a group, they would talk about and explain their projects to Chapter. The groups read their haikus, presented their paintings, sculptures, Royce Hall models, and elaborated on what AEA meant to them. Receiving appreciation and gratitude from the actives, both candidates and actives would now travel to their next destination, McDonald’s.
Following the presentations, candidates and actives participated in the nuggie challenge, a battle to determine who was the fastest and most skilled at eating chicken nuggets in the shortest amount of time. Everyone reached for glory and bragging rights, but only one person achieved them. With the need for speed and some ranch, Skyler Coleman was able to consume his 10-piece in the shortest amount of time, outdoing every other opponent and affirming spicy nugget superiority. Skyler has since then felt “empowered” over establishing his dominance at eating nuggies the fastest over the entirety of Chapter, waiting for a worthy opponent.
Other participants challenged themselves to be the slowest at the nuggie challenge, with Anthony Huynh and Jose Muñoz being a near equal match. However, in the true fashion of their lineage, both demonstrated to be just as slow as the next, not able to finish two chicken nuggets before the winner was announced. Their dipping technique remains unmatched and borderline undetectable.
Closing off C/A Night with mini-golf, candidates and actives would now compete with other members of their line in a series of courses that tested their technique. Monica Quevedo and Thong Dinh demonstrated to be adept at mini-golf, quickly hitting the golf ball into the hole with the fewest amount of strokes. Eventually, their skills prompted a battle between both of them, with Monica Quevedo prevailing and finishing an entire course right as Sherman Oaks Castle Park announced that it would be closing for the night. The golf ball that Jose Muñoz hit into the moat remains within its waters, hoping to one day be found.
Overall, C/A provided candidates and actives a chance to further strengthen the mutual appreciation and value for Chapter and its values. Honoring the traditions of Chapter for C/A night, it had been two years since we had been able to participate in person. However, being able to do so proved to be extremely joyful and exciting, especially in personal regard! Thank you to our Sergeant-at-Arms, Natalie Wang, for her tireless work in coordinating C/A Night and all the Brothers who helped out!
by Alannah Linden, BΨ
Hello Encore Readers!
My name is Alannah Linden, a member of the beta omega class and the Wu-Tang family. It is my great pleasure to introduce all of you to my line, the owo/baby line!
First is the youngest: Maia Holmes-Kueny. Maia is a first-year from Alameda, California. Maia’s major is anthropology, and she is a part of the tenor sax section in the band! Some of Maria's favorite foods include chocolate and tea, and her favorite movie and show is Forrest Gump and Monty Python’s Flying Circus, respectively. Maia’s favorite thing to do is hang out with friends, and a fun fact about her is that Christmas is her favorite holiday! Her favorite memory in psi is mini-golfing with Wu-Tanj during candidate/active night, just a few weeks ago. Maia is a very kind, funny person to be around and I'm proud to call her my little! Which brings me to...
Me (Alannah Linden), a second year from San Bruno, California. My major is atmospheric and oceanic sciences / mathematics, and I am a part of the alto sax section! My favorite foods are smoothies and chocolate, and my favorite movie is Shrek 2. For fun, I go for walks, read (please don’t ask me my favorite book), and spend time with friends! A fun fact about me is that I can do a cartwheel, and my favorite memory in psi was going to IHOP after third degree and getting to meet some of our alumni.
My wonderful big is Gina Talcott. Gina is a third year from Sacramento, California. She is a physics major and a part of the tenor sax section, like Maia! Gina’s favorite drinks are boba, coffee, and tea, and her favorite movies/shows are Kingsman/Brooklyn 99. Some of her favorite things to do include stare at walls, hang out with her friends, get coffee, boba, and tea, do puzzles, and stare at the ceiling. A fun fact about her is that she owns socks (and probably wears them), and her favorite memory in psi is during beta psi’s candidate event, when they played Tetris and Just Dance, then ran all the way from Schoenberg to Diddy Riese and took a group photo with a single bird. Gina is a very funny, enthusiastic person who puts her heart and soul into everything she does. Wu-Tanj and Psi are very lucky to have her as our amazing president!
Last but certainly not least is Gabe Ramirez (Gina’s big): a fourth year from Downey, California. Gabe’s major is mathematics for teaching with a specialization in computing (wow!) and he is a part of BOOT. Gabe’s favorite foods are burritos and Dr. Pepper, and his favorite movie and show is Zootopia/Abbott Elementary. Gabe likes to play video games and adventure with friends, and a fun fact about him is that he’s excited to start teaching high school math in the fall! His favorite memory in psi is beach house his freshman year. Gabe is a very kind, hard-working person who is making us all proud by balancing his fourth year as an undergrad, marching band, and his first year in a master’s program at UCLA!
And that is the owo/baby line!
by Emily Rusting, ΓA
Bright and early on the morning of May 21st, 2022, a collection of brothers and sisters began to gather in Bruin Plaza. Was it a new Brotherhood/Sisterhood ritual? No. Was it a spontaneous brunch run? Also no. Was it the annual meeting of the storied UCLA Lettuce Club? Unfortunately not. But it was still something really exciting--the Gamma Alpha class service project! After allowing a wake-up grace period, we piled into cars and traveled across town to World Harvest Food Bank to volunteer.
The food bank staff did not hesitate with delegating tasks to our eager brothers. Some of us worked in the produce section, loading carts with fresh fruits and vegetables for patrons. Others stocked sodas and snacks on the shelves in the lobby. Still others took on special tasks: Will McClean swept the floor spotless as we worked, Ariel Fernandez helped customers pack their cars, and Matt Sanruk found some tasty Obama-themed water. At the end of our two-hour timeslot, we gathered in the lobby for a photo of our brothers and sisters with Geoffrey and the food bank manager, Chela. Then we drove up the road a few blocks to Koreatown, where we enjoyed some sweet and savory egg sandwiches. By that point, the tiredness was starting to set in, so we headed back to campus to take some well-earned Saturday afternoon naps.
As one of our first in-person activities since the beginning of the pandemic, this event not only re-established PsiEK’s presence in the broader LA community, but also allowed brothers and sisters a chance to further the bond they cultivated during Brotherhood/Sisterhood week, which ended just prior to the event. We were all excited to meaningfully serve the community while making new connections, strengthening old ones, and having fun. As a significant portion of our 2022-23 officer board, the Gamma Alpha class looks forward to planning more service, brotherhood, and full band activities in the coming academic year. Stay tuned!
by George Mooradian, ΓA
Hello Alumni! My name is George Mooradian, and I am a new active from the Gamma Alpha Class! This year’s candidate process was shaped by an interesting mix of online and in person experiences that also influenced every other aspect of student life in 2021-2022. The Gamma Alpha class began our candidate process fully online, with first degree and the first few candidate lessons taking place over zoom. As the Covid surge of Early 2022 began to die down, we were able to actually come together in person for the last half of candidate lessons, interviews, and both second and third degree. I feel like that’s enough overview because this literally happens every year; let’s get into the juicy stuff.
Candidate Lessons were interesting, especially in a hybrid format. Most people were able to attend Candidate lessons in person, so usually our room in Schobo was full, but there were always a few fellow candidates that tuned in over zoom. Our class discussions were helpful to get a full understanding of Psi’s values and practices, and helped us all get acquainted with one another. Many many people have told me that Gamma Alpha was much quieter in our candidate lessons than other classes have been in the past. When I say many, I mean literally everyone, the president, my big, my grandbig, my great grandbig, Kevin McKeown and even Kevin McKeown. If you don’t get that joke, you’re old and don’t know Santa Monica local politics, and that’s embarrassing. What was I talking about? Candidate Lessons, yes, let’s finish that up, they were fine.
Interviews were easily my personal highlight of the candidate process. Although I think we all felt the stress of finding time for the 27 interviews we had to do (especially those who had only done 5 by the last two weeks), it was generally a great opportunity to make new connections.
The hybrid format also made this part of the candidate process easier, as Zoom and FaceTime interviews were often more reliable to schedule than the in-person counterpart, especially for when we needed to get in touch with both alumni and a member from the Western District. A big thing I learned from this experience is that you should keep your interview with the President of Psi very short. This is because if you don’t you will interview them for 10 hours straight, which may seem great, but then you have to be friends with that person. Ew. Love ya Gina.
Overall, I’m extremely glad I decided to join Kappa Kappa Psi. Even as a brand new active, I feel our community making me a more confident person, friend, and musician, even through the challenges that came with Covid. The fell clutch of circumstance that brought us together over zoom, socially distanced classrooms, and finally in-person degrees were not barriers to our class, but rather a shared perseverance, and the collective choice to continue a shared duty. Now, as peers with our fellow brothers and actives, the Gamma Alpha class continues to push forward, the masters of our fate, and the captains of our souls.
by Gus Billing, BX
'The Lion Line is a loud and proud fixture within Psi composed of members that like milk. Active members are listed below:
● Gus Billing (ΒΧ)
● Matt Van de Mheen and Kylie Williams (ΒΨ)
● Brian Acevedo and Lauren Sanchez (ΒΩ)
● George Mooradian and Caitlyn Lo (ΓΑ)
Where did the line name come from?
Our line is named after a small plush lion named King Kerfuffle. This lion is passed down through the line, with small personal tokens being added by each member. King Kerfuffle wears a cape made by Sophia Inaba, holds a duct tape baton from Jade McVay, shows off a woven bruin bracelet from Sara Acosta, wears a crown from Gus Billing, and has a necklace from Brian Acevedo.
New to the line with the addition of a second side of the family is Baby Screamy. Baby Screamy is the counterpart to King Kerfuffle. Baby Screamy’s fierce demeanor helps our line remind ourselves of our lines chosen animal representation.
We Like Milk?
We Like Milk.
Gus Billing: ΒΧ, 4th year, Aerospace Engineering, Horn
Gus is the oldest active member of Lion Line. His big is Sara Acosta and his little is Matt Van de Mheen. He’s an aerospace engineering major. Gus enjoys the service aspect of Psi, as well as the brotherhood. He likes milk, and thinks cereal is a soup.
Matt Van de Mheen: ΒΨ, 3nd year, Electrical Engineering, Alto Sax
Matt is also referred to as “VDM”, although he prefers Matt. His big is Gus Billing and his little is Brian Acevedo. His twin is Kylie Williams. He is an Electrical Engineering major. Matt loves the alto section due to the sense of community he feels with them. He likes milk, and thinks cereal is a soup.
Kylie Williams: ΒΨ, 3nd year, Biochemistry, Tenor Sax
Kylie is the eldest of the new branch in Lion Line, and the proud first owner of Baby Screamy. Her big is Sara Acosta, her little is Lauren Sanchez. Her twin is Matt Van De Mheen. Kylie enjoys the people in the band and their vibrant energy! Kylie decided to combine her love of Biology and Chemistry for her major. She likes milk, and does NOT thinks cereal is a soup.
Brian Acevedo: ΒΩ, 3nd year, Physiological Science, BOOT
Brian is a wonderful part of Lion Line, and recently picked up a new little! His big is Matt Van de Mheen, and his little is George Mooradian. His twin is Lauren Sanchez. He is a physiological science major and is pre-optometry. He enjoys the vibe and friendly disposition of the band and Psi.Brian likes milk and thinks cereal is a soup.
Lauren Sanchez: ΒΩ, 3rd year, Physiological Science, Flute
Lauren is a worthy owner of Baby Screamy, and recently passed Baby Screamy to her new little! Her big is Kylie Williams, and her little is Caitlyn Lo. Her twin is Brian Acevedo. Lauren is studying physiological sciences in order to go into medicine and healthcare. Lauren enjoys spending time with all the amazing people she has met in band and Psi. Lauren likes milk and thinks cereal is a soup.
Caitlyn Lo: ΓΑ, 1st year, Biology, Tuba
Caitlyn is the current owner of Baby Screamy. Her big is Lauren Sanchez. Her twin is George Mooradian. Caitlyn is studying Biology. Caitlyn enjoyed the candidate process and getting to meet people from multiple sections of the band. Caitlyn likes milk and thinks cereal is a soup.
George Mooradian: ΓΑ, 1st year, Political Science, Horn
George is the current owner of King Kerfuffle. His big is Brian Acevedo. His twin is Caitlyn Lo. George is studying Political Science. He has enjoyed the supportive community and interesting people that he has met. George likes milk and thinks cereal is a soup.
I hope you enjoyed the introduction to the new Lion Line. If you have any questions at all please direct them to Matt Van De Mheen. He will be writing this article next year in order to keep you all updated on the going ons of chapter's #1 fans of milk, as writing this article has become a line tradition. If he does not write the article next year, please send him a sternly worded email.
by Jamie Weisel, ΓA
On the afternoon of Saturday, January 29th, the active brothers and the candidates of Psi gathered for the first degree ceremony. With the first four weeks of winter quarter being held online at UCLA, which served as another COVID-19 precaution with the spread of the omicron variant, the hybrid format of this degree made it one for the books. Some candidates and actives were taking their online classes from home, so they were not able to join first-degree in person. Even though this was the case, the executive officers made sure to make accommodations by hosting a zoom meeting at the same time. Multiple laptops were brought to first degree, and they were placed around the steps and patio outside of Schoenberg’s entrance. Luckily, the weather was clear, and brothers who were online could still see the ceremony take place, and could experience it with everyone.
One of the impacts of this degree was the acknowledgement of the new candidates of the Psi chapter as this marked the beginning of their candidate process. Furthermore, bigs and littles were revealed towards the end of first degree. Everyone was very excited to meet their new family members, including those online who were added to their respective breakout room on zoom. This allowed them to have each person on a device, so they could be brought around and included in their family getting to know each other. People proceeded to take pictures in (as in climbing in) the tree outside of Schoenberg, to symbolize a family tree being expanded by the addition of the new Gamma Alpha class as littles.
From their candidate presentations, a few candidates pointed out a couple things they realized by attending first degree:
1. How to pronounce Kappa...Kappa...Psi...
2. “Business Casual” means pretty formal
3. The Fraternity Hymn contains a repeat and a visual on “bRotHeRrrr”
4. Reserve time for family hang out after degree
5. Don’t show up hungry to a degree.
The day was quite busy as most families hung out for a couple hours after the ceremony, followed by National’s zoom meeting for first degree that everyone had to log on for. Additionally, there was a men’s basketball game gig that same night (and yes - we chopped the trees)! Overall, hybrid first degree was a memorable event of winter quarter and was an exciting start of the candidate journey for Gamma Alpha class of the Psi chapter of KKPsi.
By Fidel Negrete, BΨ
Throughout our very successful marching band season this past fall quarter, our Vice President of Membership, Ariel Fernandez, was hard at work organizing five wonderful recruitment events for our Gamma Alpha class. Three of these events were new for us returning in person, and we were very excited to see so many new and familiar faces join us after last year’s online membership process. Hype for in-person recruitment events!
Joint Info Night
In spite of some technical difficulties with the slide presentation, officers from both Psi and EK were eager to introduce the prospective candidates to the orgs. They were invited to learn about our history on this campus and our purposes, allowing them to ask questions about the candidate process.
Joint Speed Dating
Once again, Brothers and Sisters collaborated to organize our “speed dating” event, with actives and prospective candidates forming concentric circles and briefly getting to know each other through thoughtful and wacky questions (e.g. If the Starship bots started taking over the world, what would you do?). I had a blast with actives Angel Lopez and Natalie Wang, learning more about these great people! Through brief interactions, both actives and prospective candidates were able to get a better introduction to these new faces.
Cards and Coffee
For our service recruitment event, prospective candidates were invited to dip into their creativity and make some cards on a pleasant Saturday morning for nearby children’s hospitals. This event proved to be my personal favorite because of the calm and relaxing vibes, and because we were happy to spread love and kindness through our crafts.
Brothers were happy to gather over some pizza and share their values to prospective candidates after band rehearsal. With presentations from current officers about their positions, as well as actives Alexis Arredondo, Sophia Buraglio, and Thong Dinh sharing their experiences, prospective candidates were able to hear first hand what it is like to be an active member of chapter!
PsiEK Self-Care Day
Prospective candidates were able to disengage from academic stress during week ten for our last recruitment event at the Hedrick Hall movement studio. Refreshing face masks and chill music set the relaxing atmosphere, as everybody got to chat and reflect on their fall quarter. The many laughs and experiences shared over these five recruitment events are sure to have inspired prospective candidates to join our chapter. We are thrilled to welcome our Gamma Alpha class!
by Sophia Buraglio, BΨ
On October 24th of 2021, members of the Psi chapter’s Beta Psi class gathered in Schoenberg Music Building to complete the Ritual of the Third Degree, thus finally bringing to a close their year-and-a-half-long candidate process–which began on January 18, 2020. The class completed the First and Second Degrees in early 2020 (prior to UCLA’s transition to online school), and gained Active status later that spring after a replacement ceremony over Zoom, but had yet to experience Third Degree in person. The day was marked by mixed emotions; while Beta Psi expressed excitement and nostalgia about reuniting as a class and being met by Erica Vellanoweth, their Vice President of two years prior, an undeniable air of melancholy hung over the ceremony as well. Many were without their Bigs or family members who had graduated, and fewer than a dozen total Actives and Alumni attended the ceremony. Beta Psi itself was somewhat diminished, missing several members who had assumed Conditional or Inactive status, or else had scheduling conflicts. After the Ritual completed, the few “candidates” who had family present received gifts, took pictures, and left to celebrate elsewhere, but many milled around, unsure of how to celebrate or with whom. A handful of those without their Bigs/families present eventually joined up and went out to eat as a group, and others left alone.
For current Sergeant-at-Arms Natalie Wang, of Beta Psi, this event posed a particularly strange challenge: she was perhaps the first Sergeant to plan her own Third Degree. Because she had no reference point for the in-person ceremony, Wang relied on older Brothers and previous officers for input. She described the experience as “really weird, because obviously I was still participating as a “candidate”... I probably spent most of Third Degree worrying about if everything was going well.”
Only a few weeks later, members of Beta Psi convened again for Degree–this time joining their older Brothers as Actives–to welcome the Beta Omega class during their round of make-up, in-person Degrees. While Beta Psi was able to experience First and Second Degrees before the pandemic, Beta Omega joined Chapter during the 2020-2021 school year, becoming the first ever class to complete their entire candidate process online. This included slideshow recreations of the Ritual, created by Nationals and presented over Zoom, which took the place of each Degree. While the Beta Omega class was officially classified as Actives by the end of the school year, they still had not gone through any Degree in person. So on November 7th, 2021, the Psi chapter hosted a marathon session, performing First, Second, and Third Degree back-to-back with interludes of forty-five minutes between each ceremony.
Wang believes that there are certain elements of Degree that simply can’t be replicated over Zoom, so she was excited to finally give Beta Omega the chance to experience Ritual as it was intended. Still, the three-in-one event required a tremendous amount of preparation and work. “I pray that no Sergeant will ever have to do that again,” she joked.
Vivian Yee and Jack Nelson of Beta Omega both expressed gratitude to Chapter and to Nationals for their dedication to preserving as many of the traditions of Degree as possible during the stretch of online instruction. “They did a great job of helping us candidates feel like we were part of the process throughout the whole thing,” Nelson said, noting the compassion and flexibility shown by the then-Vice President, and the use of resources such as breakout rooms to preserve the secrets of the Ritual and facilitate components such as family reveals. “They definitely did the most they could with the ceremonies online.”
Still, Nelson noted of the virtual Degrees, “There was only so much we could do to honor the traditions and everything we usually do... because so much of it is steeped in tradition.”
Yee agrees. When Beta Omega was able to attend in-person Degrees, my pride in Psi grew even further,” she said. She described the experience of witnessing, for the first time, her Brothers assembled under the Chapter flag. “Seeing and hearing the Psi traditions in-person truly was a whole different experience, in the best way possible.”
Volume XVI - Issue III - Spring 2021
Here it is, the last edition of the Encore for the 2020-21 school year. Hopefully (and I say this with nearly full confidence, but you never know) this will also be the last edition of the Encore brought to you during this era of completely remote learning. I'm sure you're as excited for a return to normalcy as I am! Summer is in full swing but we would be remiss without a recap of this past spring quarter.
As always, our Chapter had an ambitious quarter full of projects and events. Some were new -- like our Alumni v. Active Jeopardy Trivia night -- while others were more familiar -- like our 4th annual Day of Music and Leadership (DOMAL). All events provided opportunities for our Brothers to engage in service, music, leadership, and brotherhood whilst staying connected. Continue reading to see what we've been up to, as well as to celebrate some new and old faces: particularly in our Senior Spotlights and in messages from your new Psi President and Alumni Relations Officer.
Speaking of our new officers... Without further ado, I am incredibly proud and excited to present to you: the Psi Chapter Officers for the 2021-22 school year!
President: Gina Talcott
Vice President of Membership: Ariel Fernandez
Sergeant-at-Arms: Natalie Wang
Director of Service: Joshua Cielo
Director of Music: Renee Shanteler
Treasurer: Samuel Black
Brotherhood Relations Officer: Alannah Linden
Director of Brotherhood/Sisterhood Relations: Sheryl Ocampo
Director of Band Activities: Brianna Becerra
Secretary: Bryan Jefferson
Alumni Relations Officer: Angel Lopez
Historian: Olivia Raskin
Webmaster: Adam Traut
Congratulations to all our new officers! I am grateful to know this Chapter is in great hands as I graduate and join you all as a Psi alumnus. With that being said, I want to offer you all my sincere thanks and appreciation for embracing me as your Alumni Relations Officer this year. I was able to meet and reconnect with many of you, and I hope the future holds even more of those relationships to be created and cherished. Thank you for trusting me as your point-person of contact, allowing me to try new things in this role, and for coming to my events (I hope you had a great time). Above all, thank you for trusting me with the legacy of this Chapter's alumni base. I am extremely grateful for your Brotherhood, and your involvement -- in ways both large and small!
Alumni Relations Officer, 2020-21