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Nathan Rich (Left) and Kyle O'Rourke (Right) are both expansion consultants for Pi Kappa Alpha. Pi Kappa Alpha is rejoining OU after the chapter was suspended in 2012. (Kevin Pan | FOR THE POST)

One new and one returning Greek organization come to OU campus

One new Greek organization is coming to Ohio University this year, and another is making its return to campus.

Theta Delta Sigma has joined the Multicultural Greek Council, and Pi Kappa Alpha is rejoining the Interfraternity Council. 

“Pi Kappa Alpha will be similar to other Interfraternity Council fraternities,” Kristen Kardas, assistant director of Sorority and Fraternity Life, said in an email. “Theta Delta Sigma, however, was intentionally chosen because of student interest for a fraternal organization that accepted members regardless of gender identity or expression.”

Theta Delta Sigma was created in 2001 as a gender-inclusive and multicultural organization, said Jamel Catoe, the national president and interim director of expansion for the organization. The fraternity uses the term “siblinghood” to represent its inclusiveness instead of brotherhood or sisterhood.

“Our goal is to provide space in the Sorority and Fraternity community where any student that meets our minimum eligibility criteria could feel at home,” Catoe said in an email. “As an organization committed to social justice, students with marginalized identities (people of color, LGBTQ+, first generation, international and low-income) are typically the students that find our organization appealing.”

Theta Delta Sigma was invited to apply to join OU in 2016. Catoe said OU is the type of institution Theta Delta Sigma would be proud to be a part of. 

“We believe that it is important for colleges and universities to provide a variety of different organizations so that all students feel that there is an option for them,” Catoe said in an email.

Recruitment for Theta Delta Sigma is similar to the process for other greek organizations on campus. Since it is a new chapter, Theta Delta Sigma is looking for students who are interested in becoming founding members. Other students looking to join the chapter can participate in open recruitment events to be considered for chapter membership.

Pi Kappa Alpha is rejoining OU after the chapter was suspended in 2012. According to a statement by the OU Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility, the fraternity was put on probation in January 2011 due to an alcohol violation and "disturbing the peace." In April 2011, the fraternity was disciplined for the incident through the student conduct process for an alcohol violation, disturbing the peace and a probation violation. In March 2012, a violation related to marijuana resulted in the suspension of the fraternity effective until May 2014.

Before that, Pi Kappa Alpha had been a part of OU since the the 1930s, when it joined OU as Gamma Omicron.

“We had a really great relationship with the school,” Kyle O’Rourke, an expansion consultant for the fraternity, said. “We’ve been here for an incredibly long time. We said, 'let’s hit the restart button,' and we really trust our expansion process.”

O’Rourke and Nathan Rich, another expansion consultant, are looking to set up a full-functioning chapter. They are looking for men that uphold the fraternity's values: scholars, leaders, athletes and gentlemen. 

“It’s really about getting to know the guys: what their aspirations are, what they do on campus, why they are pursuing to join a fraternity,” Rich said. “We aren't picking out guys that are just here to party because there is so much more (to the experience).”

Pi Kappa Alpha focuses on philanthropy at the chapter level. The fraternity finds something important to specific chapters. A chapter's cause could be anything from large charity organizations to community-based projects.

“We want the guys to get more passionate about (philanthropy) because it’s personal, and we think it’s important having that footprint on our communities,” Rich said. 

Recruitment for fraternity members will be referral-based. Rich and O'Rourke will then conduct interviews with men interested in joining.


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