New fraternity joins already growing Greek Life
• Ball State Greek Life continues to grow; more than two percentage points above last year.
• More than 12 percent of Ball State students take part in fraternities or sororities.
• Ball State’s numbers are almost half that of Purdue and Indiana University
Two new fraternity chapters have joined Ball State this academic year: Kappa Alpha Psi, which was reactivated, and Pi Kappa Phi.
Greek Life on campus makes up 12.31 percent of all students.
Kari Murphy, assistant director of Student life, said there are currently 2022 students who take part in the university’s 34 fraternities and sororities.
The newest fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, began in November 2013 when members from the national fraternity were on campus recruiting members when they approached Casey Miller, current president of the chapter on campus.
“I was actually recommended to [members of Pi Kappa Phi] by a couple friends,” Miller said. “These two guys reached out to me and I liked everything they stood for — everything they talked about. And I saw that this opportunity was something I really wanted to get involved with.”
To start a new chapter at Ball State and be approved into the Interfraternity council, Miller said the fraternity members have to petition for associate membership and to be an associate member for at least one year.
Miller said a lot of the process includes recruiting new members and building a brotherhood.
Pi Kappa Phi has 36 members now, which Miller said is largely due to the national members who came to recruit and also taught him how to recruit.
“It was kind of on us as the founding fathers to recruit and bring some guys in,” Miller said. “[The national members] taught us about the values of the fraternity and how to recruit based on those values. We’ve been really successful at it.”
Chris Conner, coordinator of chapter development at the Pi Kappa Phi national branch, said the fraternity looks to see if the university will be able to sustain the new chapter and if there is an advisor willing to support its startup.
“We want to see if there is a willingness to join Greek Life on the campus and if there is a need for a new fraternity,” Conner said.
He said they chose Ball State to start a new chapter at partially because it’s a large, well-known campus that has a lot of academic integrity and pride.
“I think there’s room to grow in the community; when you look at the percentage of how many men and women are Greek, there’s room for growth there,” Conner said.
Ball State has far fewer students in Greek life compared to Purdue, with 18.4 percent of students, and Indiana University, with nearly 20 percent.
Murphy said the decision to start a new chapter on campus is a collaborative effort between chapter leaders and Greek Life staff.
“The increase in the amount of students who are interested, and the increase in our community, is very appealing to chapters,” Murphy said. “I also believe the sense of community and support our chapters receive also factor into national organizations’ decisions to start a chapter here.”
Ben McIntosh, a freshman member of Pi Kappa Phi, said although Ball State’s Greek Life is well established, there is still room for new chapters to form.
“At least so far, everyone’s been really open, really welcoming to us,” he said. “I feel really welcome in the Greek community.”
He said the biggest appeal to him in starting a new chapter on campus was being able to make a fraternity that wasn’t a “stereotypical fraternity.”
“I feel like mainstream America has this bad taste in their mouth for fraternities and Greek Life in general, [thinking] that all we want to do is go out and party and get drunk all the time,” McIntosh said. “So I just really wanted to do this to try to overshadow that a little bit.”