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REIMAGINING PI KAPPA ALPHANot since Pi Kappa Alpha instituted the Return to Values initiative, that was spearheaded by Beta Pi’s Bruce Wolfson ’71, has Pi Kappa Alpha set forth a plan to refocus the mission of the fraternity.

The Autumn 2021 issue of Shield and Diamond magazine explains reasons for this new initiative, A Reimagining of Fraternity, and the area where changes will be made to matters of health and safety, new member education, and the fundamentals of managing and operating a fraternity.

A PIKE University event was held in Memphis, Tennessee, in late July 2021. It was attended by the presidents of over 150 chapters. Divided into three groups, they discussed the needs of the future for PiKA. With the aim to maintain the excellence of PiKA, each group discussed the needs of a modern fraternity, the barriers to change, and ways to overcome these barriers.

Foremost in the thoughts of our fraternity’s leaders is the health and safety of its members. They discussed the need to create and maintain a culture of health and safety including prioritizing health and safety within each chapter, incorporating health and safety into recruitment programs, and establishing a greater awareness of accountability.

It was decided that new members (formerly known as pledges) could learn more during new member orientation if the program was shortened. Accordingly, PiKA now recommends that no new member orientation period should be more than 30 days. The expected results of a shortened program would include higher GPAs, less drop-outs during the new member period, and greater participation by the newly initiated immediately after initiation and continuing until graduation.

The inability to have in-person meetings and events during the last 18 plus months, due to coronavirus protocols, has resulted in many of the present chapter officers, including presidents, having a lack of experience in leadership and the “nuts and bolts” of running a fraternity. Chapter presidents in attendance were given information and direction in addressing ways to overcome the limited chapter operations experience in their own chapter.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, many chapters have gone silent. There are now 204 chapters and provisional chapters with an active membership of approximately 12,700. Prior to the coronavirus, these figures were 225 and 15,000 respectively. A Reimagining of Fraternity lays the groundwork for a revival in these categories.