The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Members of CSUN?s first fraternity relive memories

The members of CSUN’s first fraternity, Kappa Delta Psi reunited as part of the university’s 50th university celebration. The fraternity was formed in 1957 when the university was still San Fernando Valley State College.

The founding fathers were Fred Lane, Dick Lane, Jack Yost, Bob Schultz, Larry Berg, Hack ‘Chubby’ Obrien and John Byrne.

‘The fraternity was started by Korean War Vets in the 50s,’ said Chet Needleman, who graduated in 1965. ‘The frat helped give you a feeling of place and belonging, most people drove home after school. The frat gave us another place to go.’

The founding members and their brothers met in Juniper Hall Friday where a reception was held. Afterwards, the members took a guided tour of a campus to see how the university has changed significantly since they were students. They discussed the differences between the school then and now. Some of the changes include tuition, which according to one of the members, was as low as $29; today, tuition is $1,851.

Another member remembered the population was 3,500 students and today, the school has an enrollment of 36,000.

The Kappa members were excited about reuniting and were even told to ‘keep it down’ upon entrance in the Oviatt Library by one of the staff.

Tony Gardener, curator of special collections and archives, led a tour of the Tseng Gallery reading room, where there are 40,000 special collection books, some dating back to the 15th century. Some of the members filled the air with conversation, even mentioning a visit by former President Lyndon B. Johnson. One member noted how he ‘worked from 1963- 1965 pulling periodicals for binding.’

Mike Villalobus, circulation services supervisor, led the tour of the Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) in the east wing of the Oviatt Library, which was the first in the nation. When unable to answer a question asked by one of the alumni, the alumni joked ‘you can be vice- president!’

Robert Bucker, dean of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication, then showed the members the Armer Theatre, screening room, and television sound stage.

After the tour, the Kappa Delta Psi brothers met in the reading lounge of the Sol Center where they ate dinner and reminisced about the years as a Kappa Delta Psi and student at Valley State College.

Jim Stoley, a political science major who graduated in 1966, reflected on his days as a Kappa.

‘I was so young so na’iuml;ve, got married in my last year’hellip;Parties, drinking way too much, not enough time in classes,’ said Stoley, who currently works in information technology consulting.

Jim Stewart, class of 1963, said he joined the fraternity ‘to meet people, talk to girls, and for parties.’ He also remembered an article written in the Daily Sundial on Jan. 9, 1962. The headline read, ‘5 students Kidnapped by Pledges.’

According to the article, Stewart and four others were ‘captured’ and sent to Searchlight, Nevada on a gambling spree with only 50 cents and 12 pledges dressed Stewart in a ‘bum suit’ before sending him to Burbank Airport.

Stewart added something not mentioned in the article.

‘They took me to the Burbank Airport men’s room, took my clothes off and put maple syrup and cornflakes on me,’ he said. One member noted how initation rituals and hazing today is a lot different and taken more seriously.

Kappa Delta Psi member and former Daily Sundial sports editor Arnold Friedman reflected on what he called the biggest new story of his time, the Cuban Missile Crises and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He remembered a former staff writer named Marty Ball who wrote about the assassination and the story about the ‘kidnapping’ incident.

‘The assassination of Kennedy for us was like 9/11,’ Friedman said.

Friedman, who majored in journalism, wrote an article remembering the death of JFK in the April 12, 2008 issue for CSUN’s 50th anniversary edition of the Sundial. ‘I remember going to the Sundial when Kennedy was shot,’ Freidman said.

Another event was held on Saturday for the Kappa Delta Psi alumni to cap off the gathering of CSUN’s first fraternity started 51 years ago.

‘We feel like were 25, not in our late 60’s and early 70’s, those of us who made it,’ said one member on Saturday.

For the Kappa Delta Psi members that were there, it was a chance for them to share their memories and life experiences with their brothers, perhaps for the last time.

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