On Friday, Feb. 6, Trinity students turned out to Miller Fountain for Bid Day, during which fraternities and sororities announced their new active classes of 2015. This year, sororities offered a total of 129 bids, of which 129 were accepted. Sixty-nine fraternity bids were offered with 66 accepted. Trinity sororities saw an increase of six bids from last year, with fraternities down 11 bids.
According to Briana McGlamory, coordinator of fraternity and sorority life, this year’s Bid Day went well and was done in a timely and smooth fashion.
“I think Bid Day this year, overall, went really well, it seemed to go much faster this year,” McGlamory said. “Everything went smoothly all weekend.”
Student’s echoed this sentiment, feeling that the time leading from semester’s start to Bid Day passed quickly.
Following Bid Day, fraternities and sororities will undergo orientation for their new active classes. The calendar period is determined by Greek Council and ends prior to spring break.
“They are governed by Greek Council, telling them how long the calendar period can be””the orientation period is up to four weeks so it has to end by Friday March 6,” McGlamory said. “There are multiple reasons for that, spring break factored in and thoughts on the appropriate length of time for an orientation program because it does not need to drag on.”
While sororities saw an increase in bids from last year’s new active classes of 2014, the decrease in bids for fraternities, according to many, in part stems from the Triniteer’s inability to take an active class of 2015 and Pi Kappa Alpha’s recent suspension last fall.
Pi Kappa Alpha receives national support following suspension
While Bid Day was happening for the current fraternities and sororities on campus, Pi Kappa Alpha faced review from their national counterpart. Pi Kappa Alpha is currently suspended from campus for two years following Greek Council’s decision in the fall of 2014. Following the decision, the Pi Kappa National chapter reviewed the incident, and recently decided to continue to recognize the local Trinity chapter.
“The national organization took a vote and decided that they would not stop this chapter from existing even if Trinity does not recognize us,” said Brad Tenorio, the Pi Kappa Alpha chapter advisor to Trinity and San Antonio. “This chapter has been cleared to continue its existence in the interim until Trinity chooses to take us back or, if they do not, we will still be given that opportunity.”
Tenorio noted the rarity of this decision that opposed the ruling of the university, something he states showcases the reception to the suspension within the national organization.
“This was not a lightly handed down situation””there are 220 active chapters of Pi Kappa Alpha between the United States and Canada and at this point less than five of them have ever been given that status [where] the vote was taken in the opposite direction,” Tenorio said. “Our national fraternity [has] said if my members choose to continue they will be recognized because of the way the university treated this situation and they felt that it was not done in a fair or proper manner.”
Following the suspension and recent remarks from Greek Council regarding “˜underground rushing’, the decision was met, by some, including Tenorio, with criticism, particularly regarding the inability of students to affiliate with various organizations.
“There was a letter out there that told people that they should not consider joining Pi Kappa Alpha that it would be we were doing something illegal which is completely false,” Tenorio said. “Any person at your school has the right to at least try to join [organizations] and its yet another attempt by the university to play this backhanded game of threatening people and telling people “if you do this you might get in trouble” and we are sitting here saying “you don’t have that ability to take that away from those people”””yes they are your students but its not right to do it.”
Pi Kappa Alpha president Frankie Arndt, junior, also spoke out against the recent comments, which he found out of place.
“I thought [the email] was pretty hurtful as, one, it came from another student, and also without the school actually knowing the decision of national at the time and our plans moving forward I think they kinda overstepped their boundaries,” Arndt said. “I did not even get contacted regarding it at first.”
While the national organization has recognized the chapter at Trinity, Greek Council co-chair, Cameron Archer, junior, noted the fact that the chapter’s charter, which was not revoked in the suspension ruling, is tied to the university, and as such faces deferment to Trinity.
“The way I currently understand it is that [Pi Kappa Alpha’s] charter is originally to Trinity University so they have to defer to the university in regards to discipline and taking classes and what not,” Archer said. “Nationals work as they are given a charter for a university and as long as they have that charter they can function on that campus, however they are still under legislation of the Greek Council and the campus apparatus.”
Archer also noted that for the organization to operate outside of Trinity during their suspension they would have to gain a new charter, one independent of the university at this time.
“Their charter is specifically to Trinity University and in order to do things outside of the university they would have to get a city charter and would have to give up their current charter and go through the process all over again,” Archer said.
If the fraternity continues in its charter under Trinity, following the two year suspension they will be allowed to come back to campus.
“Still having their charter means they have not been dissolved as an organization,” Archer said. “Once they are done with their suspension is over they can come back and basically start over again as if they were any organization.”
However, to Tenorio this suspension serves another alternative and in order to continue the chapter at Trinity would force national into heavy spending with all active members graduating.
“It is not like a fraternity that has been established on your campus where if the young guys get in trouble two years later you get back on campus you have ten, twenty and thirty year out [of college] alumni who are willing to come back where the school does not dislike them or they have enough money to make the school not dislike them,” Tenorio said. “I personally felt that this was not a “two year and you can come back”””this was a death sentence, flat out “we are figuring out a way to make sure you can’t come back”.”
Pi Kappa Alpha has yet to decide on further action at this point, with Arndt noting the discussion being ongoing.
“Right now we are in a limbo and we are considering that if we do this then how are we going to approach it,” Arndt said. “Now we will not only be compared to local organizations on campus but also on the national spectrum even more so; its something we just have to talk about, it takes time.”
Arndt also noted his willingness and hope at future respect between Pi Kappa Alpha and the university, and his appreciation at the decision from national.
“Whatever we do decide to do in the future I hope the university will respect us because I can guarantee that we will show respect towards them too, we are not going to come out and try to rebel,” Arndt said. This is a big deal and this is a whole new chapter in our organization’s life. We want to make sure we make the best decision especially because national did give us the opportunity to operate and we want to make sure if we do continue we are nothing less of success.”