One of the “sidelines” of the Greek fraternity world is the existence
of a number of fraternities which recruit specifically from one college or professional faculty at whichever university they are located.
Some of these societies are referred to as “honorary fraternities”: the invitation to join is extended,
as a special privilege, to men who reach a high degree of competence in their studies.
Others are social fraternities, operating much as the mainstream Greek-letter societies do, but with the membership restriction.
Only one of these subject-specific fraternities has had an effect on the story of Beta Theta Pi in Canada.
That was the honours science fraternity, Kappa Tau Sigma, at the University of Western Ontario.
Kappa Tau Sigma would eventually affiliate with Beta Theta Pi to become the Delta Alpha Chapter.
Four of the seven chapters of Beta Theta Pi in Canada have arisen from the affiliation of a local society with Beta.
Of these four local bodies, Kappa Tau Sigma had by far the longest history as an independent local fraternity: twenty years.
This long term of independence was possible because of the high standards the fraternity set and enforced upon itself.
On March 30, 1932, a group of chemistry students met in Huron College to discuss the chances of forming a fraternity specifically for honours science students.
At that first meeting, they drafted a rough constitution, and adopted a motto which expressed their ideal: “Knowledge through Science.”
The name Kappa Tau Sigma was chosen as representing the initial letters of this motto.
Notice the difference from Beta practice where the Greek letters of a chapter name stand for the words of a chapter motto in Greek, which is then translated into English for common use.
A petition for formal permission to set up an honours science fraternity was drawn up and presented to the board of governors of the University.
At this time there were only two fraternities on the campus: Alpha Kappa Kappa and Delta Upsilon. The Board of Governors must have been worried about too much of a good thing.
The petition from the Kappa Tau Sigma group was unexpectedly rejected by the University’s administrative council.
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