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.