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PIKE PODCAST - Episode Five150th Anniversary Preview and The Future Vision of PiKA

Pi Kappa Alpha has created the Pike Podcast, an Internet program dedicated to subjects of leadership, chapter operations, and individual improvement. Episode 5 of the Pike Podcast featured a presentation by Shad Williams, PiKA’s International President, and Justin Buck, PiKA’s executive V.P. and CEO.

Shad Williams reminds everyone of the 150th Anniversary of the founding of PiKA, at the University of Virginia, that will be celebrated at the International Convention being held this summer in Richmond, Virginia.

At the convention, discussions will be held on various topics effecting the fraternity experience in the near future and the far future. In addition, the special guest at the convention will be Mike Hopkins, Beta Eta (Illinois). There will also be an excursion to the University of Virginia, home to PiKA’s founding chapter, to get a feeling of what life may have been like 150 years ago.

Brother Buck spoke that this is a critical time for all fraternities as a result of the media exposure of hazing, actions taken by municipal authorities to review zoning regulations that would prevent fraternity chapter house living arrangements, and certain Colleges and Universities looking to end the “single sex status” of fraternities.

A recent “Dateline” television show sharply criticized a fraternity lifestyle that has often resulted in serious harm or death to pledges and members. The increasingly sharp scrutiny of the Colleges and Universities that are home to these episodes can only result in Colleges and Universities taking action that would not only affect those chapters and members where the criminal activities and poor behavior occur but also fraternities where there are no problems. As a side note to the “Dateline” show, the producers of “Dateline” brought together what appeared to be approximately 10 families who suffered the loss of their sons due to inappropriate fraternity activity. The host of “Dateline” asked them if fraternities should be abolished. It is interesting to see that the majority did not wish for the end of fraternity life. Perhaps, they recognized that fraternities can have a positive effect on young men if they act in accordance with moral standards.

PiKA’s vision and purpose is to make every member a “better person, a better leader, and better prepared for life”. To this end, PiKA intends to raise awareness of all members of their health and security.

Recognizing that PiKA is different than it was 150 years ago and will be different 10 years from now than it is today, it is mandatory that PiKA “evolve along the way”. If a fraternity does not evolve, it will surely be extinct. It is critical for the future success of PiKA to establish membership practices, by virtue of a commitment document, that impact education and social life. Every chapter must commit to PiKA standards involving attendance and participation at PIKE UNIVERSITY, satisfactory completion of PIKA educational programs, host visits to the Chapter House by PiKA Int’l Chapter Advisors, and undergo a self-assessment of accountability measures.

In the wake of the recent tragedies that occurred due to the criminal activities of certain chapters and their members of all fraternities, PiKA Int’l intends to limit their exposure to legal responsibility. Brothers Williams and Buck state that PiKA Int’l will not support those whose conduct and create these situations. Instead, PiKA Int’l intends to use the legal process to have those chapters and persons responsible make PiKA Int’l whole.

PiKA Int’l has taken measures on the Int’l fraternity level to prevent itself from being responsible for the behavior of individual chapters and their members that bring shame, disgrace, and financial liability to Pi Kappa Alpha. Pi Kappa Alpha International can not supervise the daily actions of its’ members. It remains for each individual chapter to uphold the standards of Pi Kappa Alpha and to prevent any activity by its’ individual members that is not in accordance with PiKA standards.