For fraternity recruitment, it seems that bad taste is a great selling point.
I am talking, of course, of the infamous Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and their so-called “Dreamgirls.”
For the uninitiated, the PIKE “Dreamgirls” are a group of CSU women selected every year to aid the fraternity in recruitment. They attend rush events and pose for an annual calendar photo shoot for which all proceeds go to charity.
With the help of these women, PIKE, the only functioning fraternity unaffiliated with the university, has managed to pull in impressive numbers for pledge classes that are often larger in number than the total membership of some smaller fraternities. According to their Web site, they have been the largest fraternity and have had the largest pledge classes out of all CSU fraternities for the past three years.
The PIKE tradition of having women help them with recruitment started, according to their Web page, very early in their history. Apparently, one of their early founders decided to join due to the “recruitment efforts of a woman-acquaintance of the fraternity.”
For that reason, women have been a long-standing part of their fraternity, their site says, and are given special privileges for helping the house.
“These women, although not members of the fraternity, are given special treatment for their help and efforts to strengthen the chapter.”
In the early 1980s, however, the women became less a group of women aiding the men of the house than half-naked eye candy. It was then that the tradition of the PIKE “Dreamgirls” calendar began.
Now it seems, rather than being a respected asset of the men, as the “special treatment” statement on their site would lead one to believe, the “Dreamgirls'” sole purpose is lure horny freshmen into the PIKE fold.
If you don’t believe me, just take a look on their Web site in the “Meet the Dreamgirls” section. One by one, all 12 of last year’s models are lined up, with their year, major and interests listed below.
Come on guys, even Playboy gives a more in depth interview than that.
Absent, too, from the site were the last names of all of the models. To many, this may be but a minor detail. But for me, this just shows indifference toward the women in the calendar for anything that extends further than their cup size.
Beyond showing the indifference with which one group of fraternity men treats the opposite sex, these posters are even more troubling when you think about the impression they leave on new students and their parents.
At a time when the university as a whole is trying to ease parent’s concerns that college is a place where their children will go crazy drinking and having promiscuous sex, the last thing they need is the PIKE crew running around distributing these fliers.
On the bright side for the university, though, at least none of the men I saw handing out the posters were wearing their infamous “We’re the ones they warned you about” shirts.
Members of Greek Life affiliated with CSU, too, have reason to be concerned with Pi Kappa Alpha’s tactics.
For years now, since the tragic death of Samantha Spady, Greek Life on campus has been trying to get away from the image that the “Dreamgirls” poster represents – that of an oversexed group of young adults going wild away from home.
Every time a parent or new student sees one of these posters, they think all these stereotypes are true, and that hurts both the university and the Greeks – the PIKEs, too, even if they refuse to identify with their peers in the Interfraternity Council.
If the men of Pi Kappa Alpha are serious about the continued existence of their house at CSU, eventually they are going to have to shed their ultra-macho image and grow up.
Editorial Editor Sean Reed is a junior political science major. His column appears Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org