LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Scandals at fraternities across America have made headlines over the last few years, including a sex scandal at a fraternity at Cornell University brought to light just this week.
But a new fraternity at Cameron University wants to change the bad reputation fraternities seem to be developing and says they should not be held responsible for the actions of others.
Kappa Sigma was established at Cameron in 2017 and as they look to grow, they want people to focus on the charitable work they do, not on the inappropriate actions of people on the other side of the country.
Cameron University Kappa Sigma public information officer Brian Weaver is a military veteran. He said being in a fraternity is very similar to his time serving his country in the fact that if one person gets in trouble, everyone gets punished.
"When someone gets in trouble and it's bad enough to make the news, it casts a bad image on the entire organization. It's just a few select people that do that. I ask people, I beg people, please, don't judge me for the actions of others," Weaver said.
Weaver said there have been stereotypes of fraternities for years that they have to fight on a daily basis. He said one way they are trying to do that is how they brand themselves.
"We don't like the term frat because it brings up that negative connotation and we're trying to change our image," Weaver said. "We hold each other to a higher standard, we challenge each other to be better each day. When you say frat it brings to mind the party days, the Animal House, the Old School image and that's not us."
Weaver said the stereotype that they simply party all day every day is just that, a stereotype, and not the truth about their fraternity. He said they actually do a lot of work for the community.
"We spend time at the humane society, we're trying to get down to the veteran's center to spend time with the older generation. Plus, we do a lot of fundraising for charity. Our big one is military heroes," Weaver said.
Weaver said the constant headlines other fraternities create don't make things easy, and they have policies in place to make sure those things don't happen with their fraternity.
"If we're out, say you're in my fraternity, and you start being stupid and I don't stop you, I can get in trouble for it. It comes under my brother's keeper. It's my responsibility to make sure you're not getting in trouble, just as it's your responsibility to keep me from doing something stupid and getting in trouble," Weaver said.
Weaver said he understands that other fraternities may continue to do things to paint them in a negative light but he hopes people here locally will judge them and only them on their actions, as well as judging the fraternities here locally for only the things they do.