Fraternity prohibited from on campus events

Stephanie Sansoucy

The Iota Psi chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha will not be allowed to participate in recruitment on campus at Appalachian State University during the fall 2013 semester.

The university no longer recognizes the fraternity after alleged violations against Appalachian and Interfraternity Council policies arose in fall 2012 while the chapter was already on suspension. However, the fraternity is still recognized by its national organization and still functions off campus and separate from the university.

“They’re still functioning as a national organization because they have that national support,” said Becky Cooke, assistant director for Fraternity and Sorority Life. “The difference is that they can’t actively recruit on campus so it’s not like they can be set up somewhere on campus handing out information about their organization.”

Associate Vice Chancellor Dino DiBernardi sent a letter to parents Friday explaining recognized and unrecognized fraternities and sororities on campus, as well as those on probation.

DiBernardi said in the letter that unrecognized fraternities and sororities cannot recruit on campus.

“It is important that your student and you understand that such situations exist,” DiBernardi said in the letter. “Groups on probation are not to be engaging in recruitment.  In most cases, groups are placed on probation or suspension because they have engaged in hazing related activities, have poor academic records and/or have engaged in risky social behavior.”  

DiBernardi listed Sigma Phi Epsilon, also know as the Xi Society, as another unrecognized fraternity that does not have national support, as well as Kappa Kappa Psi, a national honorary band fraternity that is on probation at Appalachian.

The Iota Psi chapter released a statement confirming that it is a functioning, chartered member of its national organization and is encouraged to recruit new members, but not on campus.

“Any potential new member looking for membership into the brotherhood of Pi Kappa Alpha will be able to be fully initiated and become an integral part of our chapter and the International Fraternity,” according to the statement. “During
recruitment we will be abiding by the standards of our International Organization.”

Interfraternity Council President David Gordon said there are no rules against Pi Kappa Alpha from recruiting off campus, despite the chapter’s lack of campus recognition.

“We want everyone interested in joining a Greek organization to realize that Pi Kappa Alpha is no longer on our campus because of multiple actions that do not reflect the values of our school or organization,” he said.

Unrecognized fraternities are also not allowed to have social events with sororities on campus because it can create an unsafe environment, Appalachian Panhellenic Association President Kathryn Cannon said.

“It’s not something that we encourage,” she said. “It’s encouraging rule breaking, it’s encouraging underage drinking and irresponsible drinking. There’s just no regulation on it.”

According to a March 7  letter from the National Panhellenic Conference’s College Panhellenics Committee Chairman Julie Johnson, it is a violation of national policy for sororities to take part in events with unrecognized fraternity chapters.

“It is my understanding that the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity on your campus is no longer recognized by the institution, yet continues to operate in an off-campus facility and underground manner,” she wrote in the letter. “Your continued participation as a chapter and as individual members violates this policy.”

Recruitment for the fall 2013 semester begins Wednesday with information sessions for recognized fraternities and Wednesday, Sept. 11 for sororities.

Story: MICHAEL BRAGG, Editor-in-Chief