After eight years, Pike, also known as Pi Kappa Alpha, has decided to work with Fraternity and Sorority Life to become re-affiliated with CSU.
Pike was free to rejoin the Greek system at any time, but chose not to due to the restrictions and university requirements, members said.
“We’ve been trying for several years,” said Ray Martinez, Pike chapter advisor and former mayor of Fort Collins. “We’ve had these conversations with CSU and it’s met with a lot of roadblocks, complexities and rules and over hampering us with self-made regulations in Greek Life.”
Series of incidents
On Sept. 6, 2005, Pike lost official university recognition.
According to Martinez, Pike had a few members who caused damage to a hotel room, which lead to their loss of recognition from CSU.
“Two people did something wrong, the whole chapter got blamed for it. They did some damage to the hotel,” Martinez said. “We paid the damages and we settled out. We took care of it. We shouldn’t of had to, but as a whole those two people should of been held accountable.”
According CSU Dean of Students, Jody Donovan, their loss of recognition is attributed to a series of events leading up to their 2005 expulsion.
“There was a series of incidents, significant incidents… dating back to the early 90’s,” Donovan said. “Then, in the 2000’s it just increased – a pattern of alcohol abuse, a pattern of disregard for the rules and policies.”
At the time, Pike had a handful of houses and were cited by the City of Fort Collins for multiple infractions.
“There were some significant alcohol issues, party issues, just a blatant disregard for their own risk management policies, the university alcohol policies, and laws, regulations. I mean, it was bad,” Donovan said.
“The hotel was the final crux, so that was the reason that I understand,” Martinez said in response. “You’re talking about seven years ago. These guys were in junior high school and grade school.”
Despite being barred from the Greek system at the university, the national chapter allowed Pike to continue as a fraternity.
“The national Pike organization allowed them to continue without recognition from the university,” Donovan said. “Most fraternity and sorority organizations would never do that.”
After Pike lost recognition from the university, they still saw one of its largest new member classes.
“Even when we were unaffiliated with CSU, we were getting bigger,” said Ryan Coffey, a Pi Kappa Alpha member.
Returning to campus
Pike is in the midst of discussions with Fraternity and Sorority Life to establish new guidelines if they regain recognition.
Part of Pike’s desire to return to campus is due to the support of Lindsay Sell, CSU’s new Fraternity and Sorority Life Director, members said.
“In the past, the discussion of going onto campus have been only that – discussions,” said Jesse Kindelberger, president of Pi Kappa Alpha. “And this year with the new Greek Life director, she’s been extremely helpful to us and she’s reached out to us, she’s even come to speak to us.”
“(Regaining recognition is a) conversation with our office, with administration, and student organizations to talk about what the steps are going to look like, what our expectations are, what might have changed from last time when they were recognized as a student organization on campus,” Sell said. “They would complete and agree to abide by those expectations in order to become recognized.”
In addition, the Greek chapters within the Interfraternity Council would have to vote to allow Pike to regain recognition.
According to Sell, Pike would also have to agree to the terms set forth by the Interfraternity Council, CSU’s Student Code of Conduct, the Fraternity and Sorority Accreditation Process, and Risk Management policies.
These are policies which Pike will have to abide by if they want recognition from the university and the ability to gain the benefits of recognition.
Some benefits include:
-Being listed on the Fraternity and Sorority Life website
-Participation in Homecoming, Greek Week and social events
-Official recognition by other fraternities and sororities
-The ability to reserve rooms on campus
Building a new reputation
During Pike’s eight year span away from campus, they have focused on community involvement and the recruitment of new members.
“We started doing more things in the community and not just the campus community,” Martinez said. “We have a lot of respect from the people in the business community, which they didn’t have before because no one really knew – you just focus on campus life.”
Regardless of the relationships Pike has built outside of campus, members said they miss the relationships within campus.
“Being there on move-in day is one thing we haven’t been able to do that we would definitely like to do,” Kindelberger said. “Being able to wear our letters when the freshman move in, that’s one thing we’re looking forward to.”
Coinciding with their return to campus, Pike is constructing a new house that is costing the fraternity $4.2 million, according to member Ryan Coffey.
Pike currently has three houses on the corner of Laurel Street and Meldrum Avenue. They are in the process of being torn down to make way for the new house.
Prior to the construction of Pike’s new house, members had to gain the rights to the third house to demolish, which made it possible to build a new home on such a large piece of land. The former owner of the third house was a senior citizen who had a relationship with the Pikes. Some members took it upon themselves to take care of him.
At his passing, he left the first rights to buy his home to the Pikes.
“It was because of our good samaritan act of taking care of an elderly man next door and he liked it,” Martinez said. “You know when they had parties he could hardly hear. Because he couldn’t hear, he didn’t have any complaints. That’s just an example of the kinds of things that we have done.”
The members of Pike are ready to move away from their past and move toward a new future.
“These are all new guys, they didn’t participate in those things and we don’t want to hang that over their heads,” Donovan said. “We want them to be successful. I want Pikes to be successful.”
Collegian Senior Reporter Lawrence Lam can be reached at email@example.com.