The Valparaiso University Colony of Pi Kappa Alpha has officially been granted chapter status and are now the Epsilon Beta chapter of Pike fraternity.
This news comes after a two year colonization period. Pike was originally a fraternity on campus from 1953-1995, and after a 20-year absence recolonized in January 2015.
Former Pike president and Valpo junior Jon Schildwachter spoke about the process of recolonization and Pike’s journey from colonization to chartering.
“(The process was) very long. A lot of work needed to be done, a lot of paperwork, a lot of documentation,” he said. “We needed to fill out the petition to charter, (it) needed to be submitted to our nationals, our headquarters, and it was about 150 pages.”
On top of all the paperwork, certain requirements needed to be met in order for the charter to be granted by Pi Kappa Alpha headquarters.
“We had to start from scratch, and that petition to charter was everything that we needed to create, and then we submitted it, and we heard about a month later after three different staff members voted,” Schildwachter said. “And then they explained the conditions were recruitment numbers, and we got that, so they approved us for a charter after that.”
In order to receive their charter, Pike needed to welcome 17 new men at the Fraternity Bid Signing Ceremony on Friday, Jan. 27.
“It was nerve-racking but I think we were pretty confident going into it,” said current Pike president and Valpo junior Matt Pieroth.
The bid signing ceremony turned out to be the final step; Pike exceeded their goal of 17 men.
“It was kind of funny sitting there because it was just like one after the other, Pi Kappa Alpha, Pi Kappa Alpha, and then 23 names later, here we are,” Pieroth said.
Now that they are officially at chapter status, the men of Pike will be initiated and will celebrate their achievement. One of their main focuses at this point is building alumni relations.
“There’s over a thousand alumni from Epsilon Beta, the original (Valpo) chapter, so we’re working on contacting them as much as possible,” Pieroth said. “They’re all invited to the banquet we have on the 18th, but we’re still in the trivial stages of connecting with them and getting their support and whatnot.”
The Pikes have felt support from other chapters on campus as well. They spoke of a close relationship with Sigma Lambda Gamma, who was also chartered last week, as they were concurrently going through the same process.
In addition, Pike also felt the support from their fellow fraternities.
“The entire night of bid night, 17 was the number we had to get, and as soon as we hit 17 everyone was shaking my hand at the table. It was really, really cool,” Pieroth said.
While they are officially chapter status, they will not receive their physical charter until the national convention, the gathering of all Pi Kappa Alpha chapters.
“They present the charters at the convention which is every two years. There will be a couple guys who will be very lucky and get to go to Las Vegas and receive that,” Pieroth said.
For the men of Pike, the charter means only good things for the future ahead.
“(It’s been) rewarding. I learned a lot from this entire process that I don’t think I would learn from any other fraternity I would’ve joined,” Schildwachter said. “Having to start everything from scratch, I think everyone in the colony had to grow up a little bit and realize that we’re doing something bigger than ourselves. So now after doing all that hard work, which was frustrating sometimes, now that we’re here and now that we’ve finally got our charter, it was definitely worth it.”