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Pi Kappa Phi to return to campus after three years

Carmen Valencia

Jake Henderson (left), president of Pi Kappa Phi Alumni Association and James Maloney (right), director of Expansion & Growth talk about Pi Kappa Phi’s future plans on Sept. 1. The fraternity which was kicked off in 2013 is returning to campus.

The UA chapter of Pi Kappa Phi is returning to campus this week after being kicked off campus in 2013 for a number of misconducts and violations.

Pi Kappa Phi, which had previously been on the UA’s campus for over 60 years, was shut down by the fraterity’s national organization after several incidents of underage drinking, hospitalization due to alcohol consumption and hazing of new members. The fraternity’s national organization, in partnership with the university, decided on a period of three years for the UA chapter of Pi Kappa Phi to be shut down.

Now, three years later, the fraternity’s UA chapter is being reestablished with the help of alumni and a team from the national organization, according to the fraternity.

“We’re working with fraternity and sorority life programs to really come back and work with the university and recruit the right kinds of guys and show them the programs that we offer and really what fraternities should look like,” said James Maloney, director of expansion and growth for Pi Kappa Phi.

Although Pi Kappa Phi is not new to the UA, the chapter here is essentially starting from scratch. There are four staff members from the national office here for the sole purpose of meeting people and educating them about the fraternity. Efforts will include tabling on the UA Mall, going around to different organizations, talking to professors and getting referrals.

“This is a fresh start with guys that want to do fraternity for the purpose of leadership, athletics, scholarship service, good citizenship and just want to be an active contributor to the community,” said Jake Henderson, cpresident of the Pi Kappa Phi Arizona Alumni Association.

For the next 13 months, the chapter will be in a phase Maloney calls a “learner’s permit fraternity,” meaning that it will have a lot of staff support throughout the first year. Maloney says he will be living in Tucson this first semester, guiding the new members to create an executive council, run meetings and host a philanthropy, among other things. He will also be around to help the new members bond and hopefully form a brotherhood.

During this period, UA Pi Kappa Phi will be considered an associate chapter. Nationally, that means that they will operate like other chapters, but will not know the secrets of the fraternity. Locally, being an associate chapter means that while the organization will be represented at Interfraternity Council meetings, it will not be able to vote.

Once Pi Kappa Phi becomes an official chapter at UA, it does not mean it will participate in formal recruitment or move into a house right away. That decision will eventually be made by nationals and the UA.

“Our philosophy nationally is you do not need a physical location to be a fraternity,” Maloney said.

For now, the staff from the national organization is focused on recruiting. Tyler Droste, a leadership consultant for Pi Kappa Phi, is coming to Tucson for three weeks to help start off the process.

“We try and table as much as we can to try and get our names out there, not only for the gentlemen that we’re going to try and recruit, but also so the campus knows that Pi Kappa Phi is coming,” Droste said. “I think we’re just very excited to be able to come to campus.”

Both Maloney and Henderson said they hope potential members will consider the difference between service and philanthropy, and will be passionate about both.

Maloney said Pi Kappa Phi is unique in that category, since it is the only national fraternity that has ever started and still maintains its own nonprofit organization, which is called the Ability Experience. The local UA chapter will have the opportunity to do both philanthropy and local community service.

Those who are interested or have questions can email for more information.

“If people have interest … what we’re looking for is people who want to build a fraternity experience, not join a fraternity experience,” Henderson said.

Follow Leah Merrall on Twitter.

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