The requirements differ for each organization, but the act of attaining a charter is a process every fraternity and sorority goes through to be recognized by their nationals on a university campus.
March 22, the University of Idaho’s Pi Kappa Alpha colony was given its charter — meaning the men of Pike were initiated to official membership status and UI’s Pike organization is now officially recognized as a Pike chapter by their nationals.
In spring of 2011, Pike re-colonized after being removed from UI’s campus for a number of years, Greek adviser Matt Kurz said.
“The process to getting a charter is subjective to each organization,” Kurz said. “The group of men who ‘start’ the fraternity have to fulfill the list of requirements their nationals have in order to be recognized as an official chapter.”
Pike President Blake Upus was one of the eight “founding fathers” from when Pike colonized in 2011. From then, Pike grew to 63 members — all of whom were initiated March 22 by members of nationals who flew in from their headquarters in Memphis, Tenn.
It’s still a little surreal to have finally graduated to charter status. Not to mention an honor to be the first president as an official chapter,” Upus said. “This has been a long time coming, especially for those of us who have been there since the beginning.”
For the men of Pike, Friday’s events included their initiation, a chartering banquet and a formal dinner, all with the members of nationals who flew in to make the chartering process official, Pike Treasurer Chris Hudson said.
Hudson joined Pike in spring 2012 and, like Upus, said he is relieved and excited about finally being recognized as a national chapter.
“This goal we have been working toward is now a reality,” Hudson said. “The initial guys were pretty driven to make a name for Pike. I joined because I wanted to be part of the goal they were working toward.”
Although achieving their charter is a big accomplishment, Hudson said since they do not yet have a house, recruiting new members can be a challenge. They recruit continuously thorough the year.
“Those who go through rush are typically looking for a traditional fraternity experience and want to live in a house, so most guys who join are friends of the existing members who are looking for a non-traditional Greek experience, but still want to be a part of something,” Hudson said.
When Pike previously existed at UI, it had a house on New Greek, but it has since been boarded up. Hudson said they will not be returning to their old house, but has heard in the next couple of years they will be building a house in the lot behind Delta Delta Delta.
Michelle Gregg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org