Rumors that the Pi Kappa Alpha (Pike) chapter at the University of Miami operates as an underground fraternity were confirmed by an email from university administration.
On Thursday, the Division of Student Affairs sent a university-wide message addressing the Gamma Omega chapter that was suspended in 2012 by Pike’s national headquarters due to “violations of university and fraternity risk awareness policies.”
According to the message, the university has received reports that students previously associated with the fraternity have continued to operate as an organization under the name “Pike,” despite suspension.
The letter was signed by Vice President for Student Affairs Pat Whitely, Dean of Students Ricardo Hall and Director of Greek Life Steven Priepke.
“Allegations have included vandalism, disorderly conduct, unsupervised off campus parties, underage alcohol consumption and hazing,” the email said. “There also have been alleged instances of other serious misconduct at off-campus parties that have reportedly been hosted by ‘Pike.’”
Justin A. Buck, Pike’s vice president and CEO, said that the fraternity stands with UM.
“The Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity supports the University of Miami administration in their efforts to address the behaviors of an unrecognized and disorderly group of students that do not adhere to the lofty expectations of both the University and Fraternity,” he wrote in an email statement.
Interfraternity Council (IFC) President Matt Getzoff said that underground Pike does not fall under the jurisdiction of IFC.
“They are not under the council of the IFC, and they do not follow guidelines and rules about pledging set forth by the IFC,” he said. “Complaints are treated through the Miami Police Department and not the IFC’s governing body.”
Some students said they feel the email only increased Pike’s popularity on campus.
Senior Gretchen Schroeder is an Resident Assistant in Stanford Residential College. She said that the email only made the group more popular among her residents.
“This email kind of backfired and gave Pike more publicity and credibility as an organization on campus,” she said. “Some girls on my floor had not heard about them or been to something they were throwing, and now all want to go.”
Junior Emily Eidelman shared similar sentiments.
“Sending an email isn’t going to help,” she said. ” They’ll continue to get underground pledge classes until either their nationals or UM revokes their charter for good. Pike is attractive now because there’s potential for it to come back, but for now they’re not living under any rules.”
Other students also said that the university should be doing more to keep them at bay. One female student, who wished to remain anonymous, said because Pike is operating underground, the group no longer has to follow the rules that suspended the fraternity in the first place.
Another female student said that she also thinks the university should be taking more proactive steps to stop Pike and promote the other recognized Greek organizations.
“The administration should also work on building up or recognizing the fraternities in Greek Life who have values so that the freshman are more inclined to join the actual organizations rather than the fake one,” she said.