Pi Kappa Alpha: The New Gentlemen On Campus

Pi Kappa Alpha: The New Gentlemen On Campus

On Oct. 30, San Diego State revealed its newest members of the Greek community at an event held at the Aztec Student Union, formally known as "Meet The PIKE's Night." The cocktail-attired event was open to the public, welcoming all those interested the chance to meet the founding fathers and learn about Pi Kappa Alpha’s expansion this fall semester.

Keynote speakers Jeff Clark (SDSU Delta Kappa ‘67) and  Patrick Miller (SDSU Delta Kappa ‘66) spoke to those in attendance about their experiences as Pi Kappa Alpha’s. It was clear that, in their times at San Diego State, they truly learned about the meaning of brotherhood. The founding fathers’ names were then announced and brought up onto stage, following with the announcement of the chapter’s executive board and a speech by chapter president Jonathon Ruiz.

First founded at the University of Virginia in 1868, Pi Kappa Alpha has the slogan “Scholars, Leaders, Athletes, Gentlemen.” Their mission statement says, “Pi Kappa Alpha is dedicated to developing men of integrity, intellect, and high moral character and to fostering a truly lifelong fraternal experience.” In order to find men at San Diego State who exemplified that, national consultants Patrick Hamel and Chris Ehiogu held a five-week project recruiting, appointing, and training colony members to be able to function self-sufficiently after the process was over. They did this through referral-based recruiting, which included meetings with faculty, administrators, athletic coaches, sororities and student organizations. There were nearly 430 names referred and over 250 interviews conducted. 

Now that the colony here at San Diego State has been established, members must petition to charter in order to become a nationally recognized chapter. I had the opportunity to meet several of these men and get an insight to their aspirations as founding fathers of San Diego State's PIKE chapter. 

When talking to freshman Kyle Fontimayor, he expressed that he decided to join the fraternity "to enhance the Greek community by showing true gentlemen." Junior David Lin-Cesena built upon this statement by affirming that "a part of being a founding father is building up an organization in which you believe in its core values." He mentioned that he wanted to leave SDSU with an organization that "fosters brotherhood and holds true to core values, adding value to the community here at State." 

Senior Chris Guglielmucci added that he wanted to joined PIKE to “improve upon the Greek experience at SDSU” and hopefully “reset the standard of what it is like to have a fun fraternal experience.” The men had a general agreement that the dynamic of the group of men in PIKE truly represents the values of the fraternity through their attitude and character. 

Sophomore Joshua Owens touched upon the fact that the fraternity “puts so much emphasis on what it means to not only be a man, but also a gentleman.” Through meeting with these men, I could certainly see that PIKE’s chapter here at State is comprised of a well-rounded group. It became clear to me that they all valued establishing a legacy here at State, while creating new experiences and forming a “brotherhood that surpasses college” as stated by Fontimayor. Lin-Cesena felt that one thing that made PIKE unique was the fact that they were looking for people who already represented the principles of the fraternity, rather than looking to “create” members.

The men I spoke to were very excited to get to know the rest of the Greek community, as well as non-Greek organizations on campus. Likewise, I am excited to see what PIKE has in store to offer to the community here at San Diego State for years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Jasmine Stith

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Rising Homeless Population Rate In NYC

Children Are the Most Affected

The harsh winter has brought concerned of the known homeless population in major cities. Despite the positive economic growth in the US since 2010, the homelessness population increases each year. Currently, in 2017, there are 554,000 people who are homeless in America, NYC and Los Angles with the highest percentage. In New York City, we spend more than a billion a year on the homeless. With a population of around 63,000 in shelters including 23,000 families, the money each year is about 19,000 per homeless person.

While this is only numbers of those who spend the night in shelters, we can see who is most influenced by this, children. When someone thinks of a homeless person in New York City, rarely they think of children, but there are the most affected. In fact, according to Elizabeth A. Harris for the NYTimes, 1/7 students in New York Public Schools will be homeless at one point. The struggles a child can endure during this period are extremely impactful as they risk missing school, jumping from place to place and future hardships.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has addressed the concern for this topic and posed multiple plans since office including increasing the number of shelters.

"Under the plan, the city would use public financing to help nonprofits buy roughly a third of the apartments currently used for the homeless, and then convert the apartments into affordable units, helping the mayor fulfill two goals: lowering homelessness and adding to the city’s affordable housing stock."

However, the rate of homeless people is increasing and it might be due to the rising population and rising rent prices. Bill De Blasio has only provided mostly temporarily solutions. The Department of Homeless Services even doesn't have the authority to force landlords to follow rent regulations, which if possible would be a permanent solution.

New York City actually improved landlords to increase rent prices which affects more than 1 million apartments. If the city cares so much about this issue, wouldn't it make sense to promote the opposite and make landlords maintain constant rent prices?

Children didn't ask for this fate and the city needs start focusing on this issue.

"Nearly one-third of adults in homeless families in New York City are employed, yet they are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. The issue remains that low-cost housing is on the decline and their paychecks can’t cover market-rate apartments "

Shelters are a temporary solution, the government needs to stop with that and finally have a debate to fix this issue. While some of the public see increasing the number of shelters as compassion, I see it as a lazy tactic to avoid the main issue. If the government truly cares for this epidemic that has been increasing, they would fix regualtions, find a way to increase gross income and lower expenses's rather than dumping money into shelters that doesnt provide a perment solutions to families.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.cartoonmovement.com/cartoon/15207

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Why Trump's Vulgar Comment Matters

"But one person at a time, we can start calling out these injustices."

Unless you've been living under an actual rock, you've heard that President Trump - yes, President of the United States Donald J. Trump - reportedly referred to Haiti and African nations as "s***hole countries" and said we should take people in from countries like Norway before we take in people from those other countries. (Disclaimer: This statement has been questioned for the last few days because apparently no one in the room thought to remember if it happened or not. Lawmakers have been arguing back and forth in the media for days.) This is the latest incident in a long line of incidents that seem to prove that our president is a racist, following birtherism, saying Nigerians should go back to their "huts," his lack of condemnation of the Charlottesville Nazi riots, alleged racial discrimination in his apartment buildings, and other incidents.

Looks like a pattern of behavior to me. (Even if we're excluding the latest comment.)

I've heard from a wide variety of people that this comment doesn't matter, that all it's doing is distracting from the current legislative agenda, that people get too hung up on off-handed comments Trumps says. And to some extent, I can usually agree with those people. As horrible as it sounds (and feels to say), I disregard a lot of what Trump says because I know that most of it will never come to fruition - we have checks and balances, and his worst plans generally don't come to light. But this is different. This isn't a plan, this is an ideology. A terrible ideology.

Commentators like Tomi Lahren have said things like, "If they aren’t s***hole countries, why don’t their citizens stay there? Let’s be honest. Call it like it is." This comment has made its rounds through conservative groups, most of the time accompanied with a picture of a poor, stereotypical village. I have some issues with comments like this.

One, Tomi Lahren is from South Dakota, while she now spends her time split between NYC and California. Why did she leave South Dakota? Opportunity. To be a political commentator, logistically speaking, she needed to make her way to a media hub. I want to be a congressional staffer, so while I love living in Johnstown, near my family, I will eventually need to make the move to Washington, D.C., because my desired occupation requires it. America is branded as the land of opportunity, and while the countries Trump mentioned are far from what he called them - more on that later - it is acknowledged that the opportunities are fewer and farther between in most of them, depending on what the person wanted to do.

Two, yes, many people from African nations and Haiti want to emigrate to the U.S., but the overwhelming majority choose to stay and better their countries so that less people need to move to the U.S. for opportunity - they can get it right at home. And their countries are beautiful, definitely not the "huts" that President Trump describe. Sarah Dikum is a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania, teaching math and physics in the Tanga region. She and I talked about the international repercussions of such comments from the leader of the free world; she can feel the tension in her village, and she's in one of the most rural parts of Tanzania. Recently, she shared an album of pictures she's taken in the months she's been in the area.

Does this look like a s***hole to you? These countries are growing and evolving by the day. Every country has its downfalls, including the U.S. There are areas of Johnstown that are depressing and dying, and there are parts of the town that are revitalized and alive. It's all in where you look.

Three, I completely acknowledge that something needs done about border control. I want immigrants to come into this country, but I want them to do so illegally. But this unprofessional, racist, childish, selfish language from our President

needs to end immediately and a full apology is warranted. This isn't "not being PC" or "just speaking his mind" (even though it is, and that's scary), this is just rude and ignorant, and this does not show the thinking of the majority of Americans. The America I know is good and kind and just, not whatever this is. The Haitian embassy was flooded with emails following these comments that this is not who we are, this is not what America stands for. And those emails are right. It's not.

I know it's crazy to think that a man in his seventies is going to change his way of thinking. I know it's crazy to think that his entire devout base is going to change and start not tolerating this behavior. I know it's crazy. But one person at a time, we can start calling out these injustices.

Cover Image Credit: https://ohheyitssarah.wordpress.com

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