Gamma Alpha First Degree
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.
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Alumni Relations Officer 2022-2023