JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — A fraternity plans to return to East Tennessee State University (ETSU) several years after it was suspended by the university.
Pi Kappa Alpha, also known as PIKE, says its “professional expansion consultants” will arrive on campus in early February to begin recruiting members for a new provisional chapter.
“The International Fraternity and the University have been working in partnership for several years to coordinate the creation of the new Provisional Chapter,” Pi Kappa Alpha Director of Expansion Zachary Brown said in an email to News Channel 11. “Fraternity Staff will be onsite in Johnson City conducting the establishment throughout the course of this spring semester.”
ETSU placed the fraternity’s previous ETSU chapter, Epsilon Zeta, on probation in 2015 before imposing an interim suspension in 2016. At the time, the university cited several complaints and violations by Epsilon Zeta as reasons for the suspension.
Pi Kappa Alpha leaders also placed the chapter on interim suspension about a month after the university did and said the fraternity planned to return to ETSU “at a later date.”
In 2018, ETSU imposed a two-year suspension on Pi Kappa Alpha, barring the fraternity from having a chapter at the university. The following month, Epsilon Zeta, which had been around since 1955, surrendered its charter.
Now that the suspension is over, Brown said the fraternity is excited about returning to campus.
“Pi Kappa Alpha endeavors to build a new provisional chapter at ETSU that best aligns with the Fraternity and University’s values and policies and is a positive contributor to ETSU and the Johnson City community,” Brown said.
According to ETSU, the chartering process can take as many as three semesters, and it could be spring 2024 before the new chapter is fully chartered.
The university also said that until the chapter is established, it will not have a dedicated space on campus. But once that happens, it will be able to have its own space similar to what other ETSU fraternity and sorority chapters have.
ETSU stopped recognizing off-campus fraternity housing in July 2021 after a years-long effort to move local chapters on campus.
According to Brown, the provisional chapter will not be housed.
“If the future members of Pi Kappa Alpha at ETSU express an interest in pursuing housing, the Fraternity will work with the University and local alumni to assist in finding a solution,” he said.