The Theta Omicron Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha has been a leader in Greek life at Indiana State University. From our founding 35 years ago, our proud history constantly strives towards high academic achievement and leadership at Indiana State. With nearly 1,500 initiates, our Chapter has influenced the lives of hundreds of men while creating life-long friendships.
Through being a member of this fraternity at Indiana State University, college men can learn and develop important skills of intellect, success, and high moral character. The purpose of our Fraternity is to develop men of high-integrity to be Scholars, Leaders, Athletes and Gentlemen.
Here are the stories of several Brothers from Indiana State on the reason they joined and the experiences they have had while in PIKE at STATE:
- According to Ben Weber, President
- According to Stephen Lamb
- According to Kyle Varble
- According to Zachary Pygman
- According to Nate Berg
- According to Tyler Bouslog
- According to Spencer Gasper
- According to Joe Ybarra, Grad Student
- According to Brandon Nettrouer, Alumnus
- According to Kayla Dunagan, Dreamgirl
PIKE allows undergraduate men to embrace an experience that is bigger than themselves. It enables young men to partake in an experimental extracurricular activity that will enhance their overall collegiate experience to make them the best man they can become for their endeavors following education.
PIKE means a family away from home. The men that I am fortunate to be surrounded by help me strive for goals and objectives I may have never reached for. It is living a life of purpose with men who are determined to uphold their academics and achieve the set objectives laid forth.
Fraternity did not come into my life until my sophomore year of college. I did not want to join as a freshman because I felt as if I should get acquainted to campus, and also to be sure I could handle my scholarship program requirements first. During the second semester of my Freshman, I had a campus job, landed an internship for the spring and summer, and participated in a few clubs on campus. I was closed-minded and would have never joined a Fraternity had I not met a man by the name of Edward Pease. He made me realize the real value in Fraternity; no matter how much an undergraduate conveyed it to me, it only sank in when Ed shared it. So I decided, that if I never tried, I would never know. The rest is history.
Although I have been blessed for so many great experiences through PIKE, two in particular stand out to me. The first is the enriching educational materials that PIKE provides through a program called PIKE University. I have been gifted to attend three PIKE University events thus far and they have been phenomenal, plus they were paid by the Chapter and alumni which is a perk. We are very blessed to have alumni and wonderful staff committed to developing better men and enriching educational material. The second event would be the chartering of Austin Peay State University. We took a van of men to Tennessee and helped initiate a group of men into the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. It was an awesome experience, one in which we gave back ,and did something bigger than the Theta Omicron Chapter.
Some of the best friendships that I have made from college have come from the men in my Fraternity. Despite some judgement, you do not pay for your friends, but if you choose to believe that myth, then I have gained so many great friends for a cheap price in college. It has also been fun an honor to see some of my closest friends to join the Fraternity. The most enjoyable part about PIKE is encountering success and failure together, and we are better because of the experience. I have gained so many skills applicable to the workforce after and am honored to say, “I am a PIKE.”
I have been fortunate to help with recruitment and serve as an officer for the chapter. This has helped me gain many skills like communication, calendaring, and goal setting. The amount of event planning and critical thinking that an officer of a Fraternity encounters is astounding. Some of my favorite growth areas are in community service and philanthropic events. Before college I did not do much community service and had never participated in a philanthropy event, but because of PIKE, that has changed and instilled the importance of giving back for the rest of my life. Events like these are beyond rewarding because you get to help those who are less fortunate and benefit the community.
PIKE at STATE has a great set of advisors that have covered many facets of life. Some of the areas that these men have covered are professors, university administration, Fraternity staff, etc. The reason that PIKE is successful at ISU is because we have extraordinary advisors that have ensured the culture of Fraternity done right does not leave. Your son will be able to be surrounded with numerous great men and great advisors to help them become the best man they can be through their college experience.
-Ben Weber, President, Class of 2017
I had no intention of joining a Fraternity when I arrived at Indiana State. For my Freshman year, I wanted to take it easy in order to become acclimated to the University. Taking it easy—at the time—meant limited involvement in extracurricular activities, so I could focus almost exclusively on academics.
But after my best friend and her roommate encouraged me to rush a fraternity, I decided to attend Fraternity 101. It was a forum hosted by the Interfraternity Council (IFC), and every Fraternity’s President was able to give a 4-5 minute speech on behalf of their fraternity. To be honest, many of the speeches sounded like a used-car salesman was talking to me. All of the fraternities had tables set up in the back of the room, so when the speeches were over, the attendees of the forum could go and talk to the ones they liked. When I started walking to the back of the room, I started to get an awful feeling of anxiety in my chest. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, even though I knew I would have to. The first two fraternities I talked to were alright. But the third one I talked to really made a strong impression.
The third fraternity I talked to was Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE). The two guys I spoke to were Brandon Nettrouer, President of PIKE, and Jake Byers, a recent graduate. We ended up talking to each other until about a half hour after everyone else had left the room. Before I left, I filled out an information sheet because I was curious about the fraternity. Later that night, Brandon contacted me.
He told me that he enjoyed talking to me and asked me to go to lunch with him the following day. To begin with, I was extremely excited to be contacted by a Fraternity’s President because it made me feel like I made a good impression on them. The next day, Brandon picked me up and took me to J. Gumbo’s for lunch, and he and I sat, ate, and talked for over an hour. He and I kept asking and answering questions. When we were done, he asked me to come over to a Rush event that week, and I said that I would come.
I went to the house for two rush events that week, and after seeing that they were a bunch of interesting, fun-loving guys, I signed my bid with them. This fraternity actually practiced the values it preached. I joined because I saw a group of men united behind the values of SLAG—Scholars, Leaders, Athletes, and Gentlemen. PIKE had the top GPA on campus; the Pikes were very involved in other student organizations; they were one of the top intramural competitors; and they stressed the importance of respect, not only to women, but to everyone.
The fraternity knows that its members are at STATE for an education, and it is expected of our brothers to excel academically. I earned a 3.96 GPA my first semester and a 4.0 GPA my second. In addition to good academics, I was the President of Jones Hall Council, Sergeant at Arms for the Sycamore Leadership Coalition, and a Supreme Court Justice for the Student Government Association. All the while, I was an invested member in PIKE putting as much into the fraternity as I possibly could at the time.
When it comes to the college experience (much like the fraternity experience), you get out of it what you put into it, and I have been putting my all into it. By jumping in to the college and fraternity experience, I was able to quickly acclimate myself to the university and make many meaningful and lasting friendships.
On 21 October 2015, I was initiated with the Fall semester’s Delta Iota class. To this day, I have no regrets about becoming a brother. My brothers pushed me to be the best man I could be, and I reciprocated their actions by pushing them to be the best men they could be. When I came to campus, I had no intention of joining a fraternity, and now, I don’t know how I would have succeeded in my freshman year without it.
- Steven Lamb, Class of 2019
It wasn’t until I was a Junior that I gave Greek Life a chance.
During college my first few years of College, I was heavily involved in a variety of organizations, developing my leadership skills, achieving a high GPA with academics, and had numerous connections across campus. However, I felt like something was missing – I was searching for something more out of my college experience. Surprisingly, I found what I was looking for in PIKE.
Pi Kappa Alpha at Indiana State University was founded on moral principles and values. Despite the negative stereotypes and bad publicity surrounding fraternities, I noticed the men of PIKE at STATE didn’t encourage those negative behaviors. The Pikes are the Scholars as top in academics, the Leaders in multiple campus organization, Athletes on the field and on the court, and Gentlemen towards other all other people. After speaking to three very influential alumni, I decided they were the type of Men that I wanted to befriend and eventually call my Brothers.
Once I was initiated in the Fall of 2015, I instantly became heavily involved in Pi Kappa Alpha. Quickly, I became the webmaster the next semester, went to Pike University in Chicago, donated over 30 hours of service to the community with my Brothers, and was elected to the Vice President of Administrative Affairs for the Fall semester. Already in Pike, I have gained many great memories – from meeting new people from other Chapters in Chicago, sleeping outside in a cardboard box during our philanthropy event Pikes for Change, attending church together every Sunday at St. Joseph University Parish, or just spending time playing games with other Brothers.
Because PIKE was founded on principles, it is a life-long commitment. In college we are encouraged to network and make new connections, and because of these common principles that each PIKE shares, it’s a good foundation to use the Fraternity as a networking tool with other individuals. This past year I had internship offers from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Rolls-Royce because of the connections I have been able to make through Pi Kappa Alpha. Our chapter at STATE has nearly 1,500 alumni with many ways to actively engage with them as mentors, seek out for job opportunities, or ask their professional advice. As excited as I am to be actively involved as an Undergraduate, I know that when I graduate in May I can continue to be influential and welcomed in Pi Kappa Alpha at Indiana State University because it is truly a life-long commitment.
-Kyle Varble, Class of 2017
Being a member of Pi Kappa Alpha has provided me with numerous opportunities and experiences that you cannot get inside of a classroom. PIKE has given me the opportunity to pursue new passions of mine in service and philanthropy, and PIKE has also helped to develop me as a more effective leader. Pi Kappa Alpha has given me not only wonderful learning experiences, but also life-long friendships that I will cherish forever.
As an aspiring business student, Pi Kappa Alpha is helping me bridge the gap between the academic and professional workplace. During my internship this summer at Moneta Group in St. Louis, I have had the opportunity to sit in on conference meetings with my entire professional team, and these meetings mimic those that I have been a part of as an Executive Board member of PIKE. Many of the same practices, like utilizing an agenda, encouraging team members, or discussing specific clients and issues, is similar in both the professional world and Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity at STATE.
- Zachary Pygman, Class of 2017
There are several reasons to join a Fraternity – to gain friends, to network with professionals, or to better your chance of earning a job after college. Regardless of your reason for joining, let me assure you that rushing PIKE is the best decision I have ever made.
Joining the Theta Omicron Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha was the best decision I have ever made in life, and I’m confident that many of my brothers would agree with me. Pike has given us opportunities that we would have otherwise never had the chance to gain. Joining a fraternity is a life-long commitment that is absolutely priceless.
To me, PIKE is several things. For starters, PIKE is a support system. My brothers are always there when I need them, and we all keep each other in balance. When your car breaks down at 3am and you need help, a brother will be there. When you’re cramming for a final and you need to study, a brother will be there. When you just need someone to talk to in order to relieve some stress, a brother will be there.
Just like the support system that the fraternity offers, there are also several other benefits of joining a fraternity, specifically PIKE. One can utilize the loft during study hours where you will always find brothers studying together in order to better prepare for their exams and finals. You will have the opportunity to travel and to attend leadership summits all around the nation on behalf of the chapter. You have the chance of finding your best friends that you will have by your side for the rest of your life. The opportunities are endless.
College is a great opportunity to develop friendships and connections to support and celebrate with you throughout life. By joining Pike, you can gain over 100 Fraternity Brothers and nearly 1,500 alumni connections. Every second of being with your Brothers is worth every ounce of energy that you put in. Whether we are raising money for a good cause, or cheering on our fellow brothers in the football championship game, every second is worth joining our Fraternity to celebrate each other’s accomplishments together.
-Nate Berg, Class of 2017
I joined PIKE at STATE looking for a reason to stay at Indiana State University. I joined second semester of my freshman year, and up until that point, I had been miserable in feeling I was not getting the full collegiate experience. I had met some PIKEs because we lived across the hall from each other in Pickerl Hall, and they seemed to be great guys so I wanted to see what the Fraternity had to offer. After finally making my way to the chapter house, I met many of the men I can foresee being my best friends for life. I knew Pi Kappa Alpha was where I belonged almost instantly. My only regret four years later is that I didn’t join in the Fall of my Freshmen year.
PIKE, along with fraternities in general, is about building relationships. I’m not best friends with every man in the Chapter, but I realize that many of the men in the Chapter will have my back even at my lowest. When my father passed away, many of the first people to check in on me were PIKEs, many of my friends who came to the visitation were PIKEs, and I received numerous letters from PIKE alumni whom I had met only a handful of times to express their condolences.
It has given me three extraordinary things: a reason to stay at the University that I have grown to love, some of the strongest friendships I have, and an amazing support group.
-Tyler Bouslog, Class of 2017
In my opinion, someone should join Pi Kappa Alpha at STATE for a number of reasons. First, it will enhance your undergraduate and overall collegiate experience. In my years at Indiana State, I’ve learned that you may pay for an education but you gain an experience. While academic achievement is the most important aspect of college, gaining additional skills is also imperative for future success. It’s important to find an organization or a purpose where you can become a part of something more than yourself.
PIKE has helped me grow as not only a person, but as a student and future business leader as well. PIKE has given me opportunities to take up leadership positions and gain real-life experience in ways that relate to my studies. I am an Operations and Supply Chain Management major and was recently elected as Treasurer for the fraternity. With that being said, I am already learning how to operate a non-profit business through managing approximately $50,000 per semester and collectively working with and delegating tasks to a financial committee. These are similar responsibilities that I will be doing in my career once I graduate. PIKE is an experience while at the same time providing you with a safe and enjoyable environment to meet some of your life-long friends.
-Spencer Gasper, Class of 2018
It’s never too late to join PIKE. Throughout my undergrad, I had many close friends involved in the Fraternity. I was continually encouraged to rush, but I kept on making excuses. Despite my excuse making, my friends still treated me like I was one of their own. Unfortunately, Graduation came around and I never made it around to joining. I was full of regret, and I kept on thinking about how I would join if I could do things over again. When I returned to Indiana State for Graduate School school, I thought it was too late for me to join, but I was wrong. Accepting my bid to Pi Kappa Alpha had to be one of the best things I did since coming back to STATE. I was accepted with open arms and I have been thriving in the Fraternity. Your own Fraternity experience is what you make of it. So if you are going to have one year or all four years (or more) in PIKE, make the best of it!
-Joe Ybarra, Graduate Student
PIKE can bring the complete college experience to any value-based male student that is coming to college to become the best version of them-self--inside and outside of the classroom.
To me, PIKE means a commitment to living a higher set of ideals and values. It inspires me to continually live up to my values regardless of the world I live in; PIKE instills the importance of staying true to your values despite the culture that may exist around you.
As a first generation college student I was most concerned with succeeding in the classroom and had not even thought about fraternity life. After meeting some PIKES on campus, they invited me to the PIKE house and continued to show a genuine interest in me and included me in various events they held. Through Pike, I found a family of like-minded people that I enjoyed spending time with and that helped enrich my freshmen experience.
Through PIKE I created great friendships with people I never would have met if it wasn't for PIKE and Fraternity and Sorority Life. My leadership skills grew exponentially through the many challenges of leading the fraternity, a 110+ nonprofit organization, in various roles. PIKE constantly pushed me to excel in the classroom so that we could collectively remain number 1 in grades for all fraternities.
An immediate advantage of joining a Fraternity is the diverse and welcoming brotherhood. Another great advantage is the immediate social exposure to 1,000 people plus in the Fraternity and Sorority life community at STATE. The fraternity's faculty advisor, chapter advisor, and alumni advisors become an immediate personal, professional, and academic resource as well. Advantages over time include a robust resume with a GPA higher than an average non-greek student and equipped with many community service hours and leadership positions.
It's impossible to put a metric to how much I feel I've grown as a person from my time in PIKE. So many opportunities of my life unfolded in front of me that I never thought I could experience. At the end of my college experience, I was able to walk away feeling complete and satisfied that I took advantage of every opportunity I had and that I would never have any regrets. Those opportunities, friendships, and that feeling of accomplishment are absolutely priceless--and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I am most proud to say that I made my parents, grandparents, coaches, teachers, friends, family, and myself proud through my involvement in the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at Indiana State University.
-Brandon Nettrouer, Alumnus
I personally have felt a connection to Pi Kappa Alpha since I moved in Freshman year and had my first house tour given to me by a member who is now an alumnus. He told me the men of Pi Kappa Alpha were chosen based upon four core values -- they have to be Scholars, Leaders, Athletes and Gentlemen. I immediately saw this in my interactions with the men of Pike, and I knew instantly that I wanted to find a way to become close to these men.
In the past year they have become brothers to me. I had the idea of running for Dreamgirl this past year when the men of Pike were there for me in times they didn’t have to be, but chose to. Whether it was late night runs to get ice cream or Steak n’ Shake, I knew there would always be someone to go with me. I can’t even begin to count the amount of times they all have walked me home to be sure I was safe. When I need a place to go to do homework, someone to keep me up, or I am nervous about being able to measure blood pressure for my nursing exam the next day and needed people to practice on, I have always been welcome to come to the Pike House at any time day or night.
I am so thankful for Pike being there for me in every aspect of my life. They have returned the favor time and time again of being Brothers to me. They have cheered for me at Trike, stayed up late to watch Hercules with me just because it’s my favorite movie, cheered for my sorority when no one else was there, asked me to play softball with them, donated to my sorority’s philanthropy because they knew it would mean the world to me, encouraged me to run for any leadership position I could even think about applying for, and ensuring I am giving a tour of the Pike House correctly to my sisters anytime they come over.
Pike men have been the Brothers I have needed in college. In this past year, I have had some really rough things happen. Four months ago the best guy friend I had in high school lost his two year battle to cancer. As soon as they all realized this had happened, I had so many texts sent to me with encouragement; it was truly humbling to me. They asked me how I was doing, offered to bring me food, and gave me the biggest hugs when they saw me. I couldn’t imagine my life without Pike. Whenever I have needed someone to listen or talk to, they have all been there. I consider Pike’s men to be family, and I would do anything in the world for them. The men of Pike have done so much for me in the past two years of my life, and I can never tell them thank them enough.
If you feel like you could keep the legacy of high academic achievement, living life with high integrity, being leaders on campus in a plethora of organizations, and treating everyone, especially women, with respect like a true gentlemen, then I'd encourage you to join the men of Pi Kappa Alpha and continue the phenomenal reputation PIKE already has on Indiana State University’s campus.
-Kayla Dunagan, Dream Girl