Pi Kappa Alpha to return to FMU campus in 2020

James McCarley, Copy Editor

FMU has been working since fall 2019 to bring back the Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) fraternity to the FMU campus.

On Feb. 6, two representatives from the national PIKE organization will be coming to FMU to begin recruiting and laying the groundwork for the 64th student organization and the 3rd active Interfraternity Council (IFC) fraternity at FMU.

Christopher Kennedy, vice president for student life and professor of history, said FMU is different than other schools when it comes to Greek life.

“It’s a weird thing,” Kennedy said. “Nationally, fraternities are actually receding, but here we actually want to grow them.”

The two representatives of PIKE will be staying in the Student Life office, meeting with interested students and laying the foundation for the returning fraternity. They will be arriving just before IFC recruitment, which begins on Feb. 17.

Kevin Shupp, student life specialist, said FMU and PIKE have been collaborating on this since the fall of 2019.

“It’s been in the works for a little bit,” Shupp said. “We’ve been working since last semester. We’re really excited for the opportunity to have them back.”

Even though there are already two active fraternities on campus, Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) and Kappa Alpha (KA), Shupp said they will work closely together.

“They all fall under the IFC,” Shupp said. “They’ll collaborate, they’ll work together, but they’ll do separate things in their organization.”

PIKE was first established at FMU in 1974, but thanks to support from notable FMU alumni, George McIntyre (‘78), Robby Sisco (‘78) and the Pee Dee PIKE it will be returning to FMU.

Shupp also noted that FMU has been active in supporting Greek organizations.

“Francis Marion, as a whole, is really backing and making a push to grow Greek,” Shupp said. “A lot of schools are pulling the reins back on Greek life. We’re making a push to try and grow it.”

Kennedy said the diversity of the IFC fraternities is one of FMU’s priorities and that a growing Greek life can help the campus.

“We want to have the fraternities representing our student body, to be as diverse as our student body,” Kennedy said. “I think the Greeks could be the leader of the social direction of the campus. They have strong traditions. We want to grow these traditions on campus.”

With a new fraternity coming to FMU, Kennedy and Shupp believe that PIKE will have a positive impact on the campus and community.

PIKE will have a table at the Activities Fair, from 1-4 p.m. on Feb. 6 at the Smith University Center (UC). The PIKE representatives will also have an office in the Student Life office (UC 205), where students who are interested can meet with them and learn about the organization.

Anyone interested in PIKE or the IFC can contact Shupp at kevin.shupp@fmarion.edu.