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September 29, 2023

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Pikes still unrecognized

Stemming from an incident that occurred last January, the University put Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity on probation – removing their recognition as a student organization.

According to previous BG News articles, the incident involved the alleged harassment of a former fraternity member by then current fraternity members.

One of the sanctions against the group was to maintain its status as a colony, and not be chartered as a chapter, said Jill Carr, associate dean of students.

At the beginning of this semester the fraternity, also known as Pike, was chartered as a chapter by their national organization. It is because of this that they are currently not recognized as a student organization.

Being chartered as a chapter, even though the group lost recognition as a student organization, was important to Pike because “it finally brought some closure to at least one aspect of things that we were going through,” said Ben Mossing, president of Pi Kappa Alpha.

This means the University won’t allow them to use facilities or have events. As individuals they can participate in activities, but they cannot as a whole group, according to Ed Whipple, vice president of student affairs.

“The University cannot have anything to do with them,” said Ron Binder, director of greek affairs.

The loss of facility use has caused the group to hold their meetings off-campus, said Mossing.

It also means that other fraternities and sororities cannot host events with Pike, according to Binder.

Had Pike stayed a colony – an interest group of the international fraternity that has to meet certain goals before getting chartered – rather than going ahead and being chartered as a chapter, they would still be a recognized student organization, Whipple said.

They were told that this would be the result of them becoming a chapter, Carr said.

Though Pike was warned of what would happen, it was not what the University wanted to happen.

“We wish they wouldn’t have made that decision,” Binder said.

Pike decided to become a chapter because they felt they deserved it after all the hard work they had put into being a colony for two years, according to Mossing.

“We thought chartering when we did would be best,” Mossing said.

Other conditions Pike has to meet before it can reapply to be recognized as a student organization included reorganizing their new member education and doing a review of their membership.

According to both Carr and Mossing, the last thing Pike needs to complete is the review of the membership.

“The University wants us to remove anyone with below a 2.5 grade point average and a University record,” Mossing said.

In order to comply with this, Pike has rewritten its scholarship program so that those who have consistently poor grades can no longer be members. Pike members chose to do things this way because their national constitution won’t allow them to remove members without a vote from the chapter.

Once this is complete, Pike will be able to reapply to be recognized as a University organization next semester.

The earliest Pike will return as a recognized organization is fall semester 2006, as long as the application is approved.

“We definitely want to be back on campus,” Mossing said.

For now, Pike is planning on reapplying to come back as soon as possible.

“Ultimately we would like a strong Pike chapter,” Binder said. “We’re trying to ensure that happens.”

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