Rutgers University has had two band fraternities, Kappa Kappa Psi and Mu Upsilon Alpha. Kappa Kappa Psi was chartered at Rutgers, as an all male honorary fraternity, in 1942 as the Alpha Phi chapter. Little is known about the Alpha Phi chapter until Rutgers went co-ed in 1972. The RU Board of Governors mandated that all honor societies throughout the University admit women.
According to the national rules of Kappa Kappa Psi, no women were allowed to be initiated into the order. It was suggested that the members create Kappa Kappa Psi's sister sorority, Tau Beta Sigma. The chapter at Rutgers felt that this was not an option because "a bandmember is a bandmember", whether they were male or female, and everyone should be able to serve music if they wished to do so. They felt that creating a Tau Beta Sigma would violate the principles behind allowing women into the band and the University at large.
The brothers informed National Headquarters of their intentions to initiate women. They also invited Robert Rubin, the National Secretary at the time, to help ease the tension between National and the Alpha Phi chapter. At this point in time the brothers had 3 options:
1. Initiate women and risk expulsion from National.
2. Establish a Tau Beta Sigma and violate new University Rules.
3. Delay pledging until after the National Convention where they could try to change the Kappa Kappa Psi constitution.
Knowing full well that they would face problems with National, they started to plan their own independent fraternity.
On November 11, 1972, Mr. Rubin came to Rutgers. The brothers of the Alpha Phi chapter presented three major issues to him.
1. The desire for a co-ed fraternity.
2. The unreasonable national financial obligations.
3. The lack of support from the national organization.
In turn, Mr. Rubin gave the brothers two options.
1. Postpone pledging until after National convention in August.
2. Have their charter revoked.
The brothers voted in front of Mr. Rubin and unanimously decided to continue the pledging process despite the consequences. In response, Rubin revoked their charter. Two days later, November 13, 1972, Mu Upsilon Alpha was formed. Of the 28 new brothers, 13 were women.
As the year progressed, the Brothers wrote to all the chapters of Kappa Kappa Psi to explain the circumstances leading to the creation of Mu Upsilon Alpha. The Brothers received responses from some of them. Some were moderately supportive, however most were critical, imbued with ignorance, sexism, and hypocrisy. Quite an interesting fact considering that it was the 70's.
In 1978, Kappa Kappa Psi went co-ed. Since that time Kappa Kappa Psi has made countless efforts to re-establish the Alpha Phi chapter. The Brothers of Mu Upsilon Alpha have declined, and although Kappa Kappa Psi has much to offer Mu Upsilon Alpha, the Brothers continue to let their fraternity which they built from scratch grow and flourish.