| 03.24.2018

Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity joins Greek community


The University of Idaho Greek community’s newest addition, Pi Kappa Phi, is actively recruiting members as it prepares to join campus in the fall.
“We’re excited to work with the two consultants and help bring in the new group that is expanding our fraternity and sorority community,” UI Greek Adviser Matthew Kurz said. “When choosing an organization to come to UI, it comes down to being a good fit, both in policy and national practice — Pi Kap had both of those aspects.”
The two leadership consultants, Vince Velasquez and Patrick Smith, travel to different universities for a minimum of five to six weeks to recruit and guide the new members, who are called “founding fathers,” until an official charter is established. From there, any student who joins Pi Kappa Phi during the 12 to 13 month chartering process — which constructs the basic elements of the fraternity — is considered one of the founding fathers.
Smith said the hardest part is the beginning — reaching people and getting them interested enough to learn about Pi Kappa Phi.
“Right now, we’re recruiting from the national level, and to help guide those who will be the chapter’s founding fathers at UI,” Velasquez said. “We’re here to set-up the first people we recruit, with everything they need to know to be successful in gaining members, starting the chapter and be ready for fall recruitment.”
To get the word out and make their presence known on campus, Velasquez said they will organize weekly informational presentations at 7 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday in the Teaching and Learning Center, Room 146.
“In these sessions, we will be sharing information about Pi Kap, and the opportunities of starting a Pi Kap chapter, as well as explain what it means to be a founding father,” Velasquez said. “From there, they’ll sign a bid card and become an official member.”
Although Pi Kappa Phi will not start out living in a Greek row house, Smith said they are looking at partnering with Resident Housing to have specific floors or rooms reserved.
“We will eventually look into housing at a normal chapter house, but that’s a couple years in the future,” Smith said. “Either we’ll rent from a chapter that is no longer living in their house or one looking to sell, but our philosophy on housing is to look for the best options, but also at what is affordable.”
This can be a chance for students who want to be part of a fraternity, but do not want to live in a house, Kurz said.
“Not all fraternities and sororities are tied to housing, and although a lot of them happen to have houses, they are two separate things,” Kurz said. “This is a unique opportunity where students can be part of an organization but don’t have to live in a house.”
Smith said they want to be prepared for Vandal Friday, so they will have a chance to recruit and get the Pi Kappa Phi name out to potential students.
“By partnering with Resident Housing, it gives us the best chance to find people that aren’t necessarily looking to live in a Greek house but are just looking to start their own thing,” Smith said.
Velasquez said they intend to make their presence on campus known and understood so students are willing to reach out to them.
“As leadership consultants, we’re not here to sell a product,” Velasquez said. “We are big on relationship building, we are looking to get to know the people so we can find the niche of top, quality guys who can start a chapter on this campus and guide them to success.”
Michelle Gregg can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu

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