Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity rechartered on campus



By Kelsey Caudill

The end of the semester is quickly approaching, but a new chapter is just beginning for one group on campus.

Pi Kappa Phi fraternity was rechartered Saturday at the Lexington Hilton Downtown Hotel, officially becoming an active chapter at UK once again. The event was commemorated by several guest speakers, including Walter Pape, a national staff member who sparked new interests in Pi Kappa Phi at UK in February 2009, and Phillip Summers, a former national president of the fraternity.

Caleb Vanwinkle, a political science sophomore, is the first elected archon of Pi Kappa Phi. He said for the fraternity to be rechartered, the members had to write their own bylaws and constitution, recruit 50 members and raise more than $1,000 through its philanthropy. Vanwinkle said the ability to complete those tasks was a huge accomplishment for the fraternity to achieve before being chartered.

“Today’s not really a ceremony, it’s more of a celebration,” Vanwinkle said.

Pi Kappa Phi maintained an ongoing chapter at UK from 1996 until December 2008, when the national council revoked its charter due to low membership. A group of 45 students led by former archon Alan Herbst began to regroup in February 2009. Those students pre-initiated and officers were appointed.

Vice Archon James Bishop, a psychology sophomore, said he enjoys being part of Pi Kappa Phi because it’s different than other fraternities on campus.

“It’s kind of cool to be going away from established traditions here,” Bishop said. “We consider ourselves to be a breath of fresh air. All these guys joined this because they wanted to be a part of something new. It’s fun and very rewarding.”

Nick Ullrich, an undecided freshman, said he decided to join because he felt the fraternity was a place he could simply be himself with no reservations.

“We’re all ourselves,” Ullrich said. “Our goals are a lot different than other fraternities. We’re more service-oriented and we’re truthful. We’ll give you what we are, and I think that’s why I joined.”

Pi Kappa Phi will not establish on-campus housing as of now, although its leaders said recruitment is a top priority.

“Our plan is just to grow and do things the right way and eventually something will open up for us to jump on,” Bishop said.