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Pi Kappa Phi earns charter

Pi Kappa Phi’s chapter at Florida Gulf Coast University was chartered Oct. 25, making the chapter an official member of the national organization. Pi Kappa Phi, a fraternity under the Interfraternity Council, came to FGCU in fall 2013.

Pi Kappa Phi’s chartering process took approximately one year. Brent Grunig, the assistant director for fraternity and sorority life at FGCU, said that it’s normal for a fraternity to take about a year to become chartered.

“A year is a pretty standard turnaround time for IFC organizations,” Grunig said. “Phi Delta Theta is our newest fraternity on campus; they just colonized this semester and they’re expected to charter in fall of 2015. I know a lot of universities expect it to happen within two years within the time of colonization. Any longer just kind of drags out.”

There are seven fraternities with IFC at FGCU: Kappa Alpha Order, Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Sigma Chi, Kappa Sigma, Pi Kappa Phi and Phi Delta Theta. The average IFC chapter size is in the mid-70s and, in total, approximately 1,600 students on campus are involved in Greek life across the four councils.

In order for a fraternity to become chartered, members must complete the tasks sent to them by the national organization. These tasks include recruiting a certain number of men, maintaining a certain GPA and raising money for their philanthropy. Pi Kappa Phi’s chapter at FGCU recruited 87 men and has raised thousands of dollars for its philanthropy, the Ability Experience, formerly known as Push America. The Ability Experience is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1977 by members of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. Every summer, Pi Kappa Phis across the country participate in the Journey of Hope, a cross-country bicycle trip, to raise awareness for the organization that helps people with disabilities.

Nikko Valderrosa, a member of Pi Kappa Phi’s philanthropy committee and one of the Founding Fathers of the FGCU chapter, is looking forward to the future of Pi Kappa Phi on campus now that it has been chartered.

“We’ve raised at least $5,000 to $10,000 for Push America,” Valderrosa said. “It’s really special for us now that we’re chartered and initiated. I really want us to leave an impact and to be known as the fraternity of gentlemen and not your stereotypical frat guy.”

Joe Rotella, the chapter historian for Pi Kappa Phi, has the same wish for the fraternity that he helped charter. Rotella was part of the execution of the events throughout the week, which included initiation and a chartering banquet at the Forest Country Club, in which representatives of the fraternity’s national headquarters attended.

“Moving forward we hope to work harder to embody the values of Pi Kappa Phi as men and become the ideal chapter on campus. We’re looking to gain more campus involvement, improve our scholarship and work harder to put service before self,” Rotella said. “Being chartered kind of makes everything that we’ve done concrete and official. Our national headquarters and council members and past national presidents were in town, so it was a really big deal for our chapter.”

Pi Kappa Phi’s chartering makes them the newest chartered chapter on campus.

“We have a strong foundation of 87 men,” Rotella said. “We want to grow closer as a brotherhood, tighten our bonds and become a stronger cohesive unit.”

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