BY ADAM ROGAN
The Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) chapter at Drake University has been suspended for five years following “severe allegations” made against the fraternity.
Members of PIKE Delta Omicron (the title of Drake’s chapter) are permitted to continue living in their fraternity house, located at 1219 34th Street, until the end of the school year.
They are also still allowed to participate in some fraternal activities – such as competing in intramurals, wearing letters and contributing to philanthropies – but are no longer allowed to host events or participate in Greek Week on April 11-16.
The chapter has been on probation since the end of 2015. Over the last few months, both Drake and the Pi Kappa Alpha national fraternity have been investigating the chapter. The investigations began when the allegations were filed against the fraternity sometime in late 2015.
The decision to revoke Delta Omicron’s charter was made by the PIKE national fraternity. Drake has accepted that decision, according to Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Kerry Jordan.
Members of PIKE were informed of their suspension during the final week of March.
“The allegations that happened made it to the point where it wouldn’t go through (the Drake Interfraternity Council, IFC) or anything at all. It went straight to the University,” said Nick Kocisak, the president of Drake IFC. “Since it was so serious of an issue, (PIKE and Drake) decided to put them on probation until there was a decision made.”
IFC was not part of the decision-making process for the probation and subsequent suspension of PIKE. That decision came from a collaboration of the Dean of Students Office and PIKE nationals.
“(IFC is) a little hands-off at this point because it was such a severe allegation, a lot of what’s happening is dealt with (by) the university,” Kocisak said. “We don’t want to overstep our bounds when communicating, and we also want to make it clear that we are willing to work with everybody for every situation that arises … We would like to make the message known that we are here to work with chapters, (not) against them.”
Although IFC aims to help and support its members, certain situations prohibit the governing body from taking action. Usually IFC or The Panhellenic Council (the governing body of sororities) would handle situations of misconduct and reprimanding rule-breaking Greek organizations.
But when protecting student confidentiality is called into question, the Dean of Students Office will overtake the investigation and decision-making in regards to fraternity and sorority violations.
This is the case with PIKE, as the specifics of the allegations have not been disclosed other than the broad confirmation that the Code of Student Conduct was broken by the organization.
This hardly narrows down the possible offense(s) that brought the fraternity under suspicion of misconduct. The Code outlines student expectations on subjects ranging from sexual assault and hazing to academic plagiarism and the misuse of campus equipment.
“It was (found that) the chapter collectively … did break the Student Code of Conduct,” Jordan said. “They also were not upholding their national fraternity standards, either.”
There was no significant change in regards to PIKE’s status on campus between the beginning the probation and now, according to Jordan. The time gap simply allowed for the investigations to be carried out and the PIKE national fraternity to make a fully informed decision regarding the future of the Delta Omicron chapter.
The five-year suspension means that most, if not all, of the chapter’s current members will have graduated or left Drake by the time PIKE can be permitted to return.
Suspensions aren’t a particularly new occurrence on Drake’s campus, although the returns of suspended chapters are far from routine.
Phi Delta Theta was suspended in 2010 and returned to campus almost immediately after its four-year suspension was served, while Alpha Tau Omega didn’t recharter until April 2015, nearly three decades after it had been suspended in the 1980s. PIKE Delta Omicron’s future is unknown.
If PIKE does return, its refounding members will need to prove to the university and national fraternity that they can exist within the bounds of Drake’s Code of Student Conduct and the bylaws of Pi Kappa Alpha, a change from the actions that led to the withdrawal of the chapter’s charter.
Throughout the investigation process, Delta Omicron remained silent in regards to its probation.
The chapter’s leaders and a representative from PIKE’s national headquarters both declined to comment. The chapter is no longer listed on the Drake Fraternity and Sorority Life website that launched on Monday and has been removed from the list of chapters on PIKE’s national website.
Delta Omicron’s only comment in regards to the suspension so far has been a tweet posted on March 29 from @DrakePIKES that says, “Yesterday is gone forever…”
Digital Editor Jake Bullington contributed to this article.