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Pi Kappa Phi to be added on campus

Cal State Long Beach is getting ready to welcome Pi Kappa Phi, the first fraternity to be brought to the campus since the mid-90s.

Pi Kappa Phi is joining the Greek community as a new chapter on campus. Its mission statement includes “a lifelong brotherhood of its members… through scholarship, leadership, service and social experiences.”

Caitlin Roberts, coordinator of Greek Life, noticed their ambition to building a strong social and academic fraternity.

“They have an excellent leadership and an outstanding philanthropy organization called PUSH America,” Roberts said.

PUSH America is an organization that helps support people with disabilities and was founded by Pi Kappa Phi in 1977.

“We’re the first and only fraternity to start our own philanthropy organization called PUSH America. What PUSH America does is it raises money and they build structures for people with disabilities,” said Steve Mivelaz, president of Pi Kappa Phi.

Aside from its contribution to others, Pi Kappa Phi also offers academic support.

“I think a lot of other fraternities are keeping their grades up higher; our goal is to keep our grades on top,” Mivelaz said. “We have a national GPA requirement of 2.5. We want to set our own. I’d like to see us be higher than the other fraternities on campus.”

Vice President Mark Morettini agreed with Mivelaz.

“Nationally, Pi Kappa Phi strives towards scholastic achievements and academic excellence,” Morettini said.

The leaders of Pi Kappa Phi said they worry about their members’ success as well as their safety. The group has a zero tolerance and no-hazing policy.

“Our stance on hazing -against hazing – is really good for any associate brother who is trying to become an activate brother because he can’t be hazed at all,” Mivelaz said. “It’s very strict.”

Hazing builds a gap between the active brothers and the pledge brothers, Morettini said. That is something they want to avoid.

“If we start, first and foremost, by saying it should never happen and it will never happen, then we will bridge that gap,” Mivelaz said.

Mivelaz added that hazing has so many gray areas and many fraternities that have been around for years keep pushing along the gray areas, causing them to expand.

Michael Barker, who is involved in the Greek community, is in favor of sticking to the rules.

“How are you going [to] grow as a leader if you’re hazing? What good is that going [to] do?” Barker said.

He joined Delta Kai in the fall of 2005. He also supports the idea of Pi Kappa Phi becoming a role model for other fraternities.

“Pi Kappa Phi will show that positive image of the Greek system, which is not only good for Cal State Long Beach, but also good for other fraternities because whatever they do might rub off on to us,” Barker said.

As of right now, Pi Kappa Phi is classified as a colony and has 17 members.

“We are associate brothers working to become active,” Mivelaz said.

Pi Kappa Phi has the same rights as a fraternity, however, it cannot become a member of the fraternity counsel just yet, he explained.

Roberts said that in order to be recognized, the new chapter must have a certain number of members, certain GPA expectations and contributions to the Greek community.

Long Beach policies on fraternities can be kind of discouraging, along with housing, when it comes to bringing new frats on to campus, said Pi Kappa Phi Warden John Andy Brunner-Brown. He said it hasn’t been easy, but with ambition and effort it’s been possible.

“We’re very excited,” Roberts said. “I think other fraternities are excited as well.”

Pi Kappa Phi doesn’t have any planned events just yet, but its members are looking forward to rush events in early spring 2007.

“We are having our meeting on the second Monday in January to see what we want to do for Rush,” Mivelaz said.

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