Alpha Taux Alpha Tau Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi Featured in this Issue Message from the Archon (pg 1) Editor’s Note (pg 1) An Update from ROHM (pg 2) Chaplain’s Year in Review (pg 3) Sports Update (pg 3) Chartering Iota Omicron (pg 4) Warden’s Word (pg 4) Senior Quotes (pg 5) EVP and the IFC (pg 7) The Year in Philanthropy (pg 7)
Message from the Archon Hey All! Here are a few words from myself, Jordan Snyder, outgoing Spring ’13 Archon. This semester has been an exciting one for Alpha Tau. Our brothers have been making strides in getting our faces and letters seen in big ways on campus. One important step in this direction was hosting Pedal for Push, a 24-hour bike-a-thon on campus to raise awareness and funds for Push America. This has been our first revenue-generating event for Push America since 2003! We’re hopeful that we can use Push America as a unique attribute to attract positive-minded, active men this fall and well into the future. We garnered support from the entire campus community, especially our fellow Greeks, with sisters from Alpha Phi taking turns on the bikes. Another great step forward for us was being recognized as a Five Star chapter for the 2012 calendar year. This distinction was given to nine out of the 29 chapters in the IFC, and reflects excellence by our brothers in a wide range of activities. These include scholarship, leadership development, meaningful ritual practice, inter-Greek relations, involvement in campus activities, and a Continued on page 2…
An updated picture of everyone in their yellows outside the house
Spring 2013 A Pi Kappa Phi Newsletter Published by the Alpha Tau Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein. The Alpha Tau Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi, nor Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity is liable for errors or omissions. © 2013
It has been quite the semester here at Castle and I did not think that such a radical change would be made to the Alpha Taux. This is a modified version of a template that our national organization sent me a few weeks back so I, personally, am still getting used to fiddling with the layout. I hope you all like it! With even more articles than earlier in the semester and a lot more events, we can give the proper salute to the end of the school year and head off to summer. However, I actually received a lot more text than I ever anticipated so it was definitely a little bit of a struggle figuring out how to structure everything. It has been worth it though! Please remember that your input is very important, especially to know what you would like to read about in the next issue of the Alpha Taux. You should direct your suggestions to our incoming Historian Brian Chin at firstname.lastname@example.org. With that, I would like to say that it has been a pleasure to be part of the revival of the Alpha Taux and hope to contribute to it more in the future! Abir Momen ‘15
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… Message from the Archon continued slew of others. The Five Star award earns us a letter of recognition to Pi Kapp National HQ, and is sure to be a valuable selling point in our upcoming Fall rush. I hope I’m not alone in being extremely proud of each and every Alpha Tau brother for all we’ve done, and continue to do, to be recognized as an outstanding chapter. In the social arena, the Castle has been making a strong comeback after a few years of relative obscurity, due partly to our inability to host RPI-registered parties. Now that our alcohol ban has been lifted and we are officially a Five Star chapter, we’ve been able to host two registered parties this semester. And here’s the kicker – thanks to the diligence of our brothers, we’ve been able to successfully host both of these parties on the first floor! It’s been a real treat being able to share the grandest part of our home with enthusiastic guests from the RPI and Sage communities. One more change you should start noticing if you’re reading this is a major uptick in alumni communication and (hopefully!) involvement. For the past few years, the Alpha Taux has been lagging, and our chapter website has been in a pretty sorry state. That’s all poised to change, and has started changing already. Our outgoing Historian and newly elected Alumni Secretary, Abir Momen, will be coordinating with the RPI Alumni House to get the Alpha Taux into the hands of every alum that’s still with us. We’re also looking forward to hosting a reunion for the class of ’63, as well as alumni-focused events during RPI homecoming weekend and throughout the year. If you ever want to stop in to check out the house and meet the actives, please feel free! We’d love to meet you too. If it sounds like I’m just beaming with pride for Alpha Tau, it’s because I am. As any past Archon will certainly know, it’s not an easy job, but, for me at least, it’s been one of the most rewarding semesters of my college experience. Being archon put me in the position to think long and hard about what I value in Pi Kappa Phi, and actively pass those messages on to our youngest brothers. I could have just as easily floated through the remainder of my semesters and left RPI and the Castle no different for my being there, but I’m eternally grateful to have had the opportunity to leave my mark. Jordan Snyder ‘13
An Update from ROHM It has been such an honor to be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of our beloved historic castle at 49 2nd street over the past semester. As to be expected, the grip of time has shown its effects on several areas of the house. Throughout the semester several appliances were repaired, and we also acquired a new stove for the kitchen. Currently, brothers are hard at work with their brotherhood projects. Projects include a new sump pump system, lighting in the attic, sound insulation for the first floor, and resurfacing the kitchen tables.
The re-surfaced kitchen tables done by our newly initiated Brothers!
A large project which will take place over the summer of 2013 is the asbestos abatement in the basement of the house. The project will cost the Pi Kappa Phi Housing Corporation $30K. This being, the basement will be closed off during this time. The brotherhood is also looking to repair a leak in the roof and investigating a new dish washing system. I will end my segment with my rose and thorn of the semester as ROHM. The thorn: when the norovirus, nicknamed “the pee-poops” by the brothers, crippled the house and forced some to quarantine the bathrooms. The rose: keeping the Castle tidy, and in a good state to pass to the next ROHM. Kyle Doce ‘14
Our new stove! It’s seen some use so far...
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Chaplain’s Year in Review We had another successful Rose Ball this year. We returned to Dunham’s Bay Resort on the edge of Lake George, a little over an hour away from the house. Those who attended stayed over in small cabins located around a central lawn with a swimming pool not too far away. Hors d’oeuvres, dinner, and dessert were as delicious as usual. Everyone had a great time and we are looking into the possibility of returning. Founder’s Day formal will take place again at Birch Hill on Saturday, December 7th. We would all like to see more alumni at our formals in the future. If you are interested, please contact our new Chaplain, Dave Slaw at email@example.com. In March, our house volunteered to initiate the Iota Omicron chapter at Iona College in New Rochelle, NY. We bought in about fifty new brothers over the course of several hours. In addition, we initiated a total of eleven pledges into our own house this year. Kyle Lyke ‘15 Brother Michael Enck and his girlfriend, Rose Queen Zoe Borozny
Sports Update This semester we have remained very active in numerous intramural sports. Our most noteworthy teams with respect to overall support were dodge ball, ultimate frisbee, and both our indoor and outdoor soccer teams. Although we did not bring home the victory in any sports this year, our teams have clearly demonstrated an improvement in both having fun and participating.
Some of the boys on our intramural soccer team after their final game. Pictured left to right: Abir Momen ’15; Nicholas Pachulski ’14; Kosta Andoni ’16; Kyle Doce ’14; Andrew Dugan ’16; Tomas Matias ’15; Peter Murphy ’15; Taylor Jellerette ’16; Mason Xue ‘16
The brothers were also able to play racquetball this season, a new addition to RPI intramurals. Towards the end of the season we really started to improve and it showed when we played two very close games for our semi-final and final playoff matches. A similar improvement was experienced on our 5v5 basketball team. Despite being placed in a very tough and competitive division one league, our basketball team developed tremendously and really played some skilled matches. Next semester we hope to once again become champions on many of our intramural teams and expect our sports program to progress even further. Marc Burnette ‘15
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Charting Iota Omicron at Iona College When our Archon, Jordan Snyder, told us that he is two men short of a chartering team, I decided to join without any hesitation. However, I did not know that this decision could be such a wonderful experience. After having initiated twenty associate members, all the new Pi Kapps have been thanking us for our work. I feel flattered that my tiny contribution can have such a big impact on the brothers from Iona College. I am also grateful to our Archon, the Iota Omicron Chapter and our national organization for giving me this terrific opportunity to be a witness to the growth of our fraternity. Part of our initiating team at the chartering banquet at Iona. Don’t think we had ever seen a flag that big…
Warden’s Words Many changes have occurred at the house this past year. Being Warden provided me with a unique experience; one that I will never forget. My accomplishments over this past year include having educated and initiated 11 new brothers, in addition to having worked on several projects throughout the house. The projects that I worked on, alongside various Brothers, have greatly enhanced the common areas of the house. The upgrades and renovations were well worth the time and efforts that were expended by all those that were involved. And the projects that I was a part of are only a fraction of those that have occurred over the past year. Last Summer, Brother AJ Nihill and myself decided to perform a renovation in the basement. The renovation involved a variety of different things. First, a wooden platform was added around the bar in order to turn the bar, which was previously a standing bar, into a sitting bar. New saddle stools were purchased to be placed, and used, around the bar. Additionally, a TV was mounted behind the bar. Furniture was obtained & added to the room, including a pub table with stools, and a pool table with pub chairs (to be used as a poker table). Finally, décor was added to the room including a number of posters and signs. The project also… Continued on page 6…
Going to Iona College also let me learn about the Greek life of other colleges. I realized that I am spoiled here at RPI where there are many people joining the Greek community and people around campus are not hostile toward us. In RPI, I seldom feel like people thought we are students that just party all the time without doing anything productive. However, I heard Pi Kapp brothers from other colleges saying that the school and local government have been trying to prevent fraternities and sororities from having houses and also limit the number of fraternities on campus. I feel sorry for our brothers there that are dealing with these issues. However, I still have hope that they can overcome this pressure from the community around them I believe that we can wear our letters and be actively involved in service events which can show the community that our fraternity has many positive aspects. As long as we keep up doing the good work with our community and Push, we can really get rid of the bad rep associated with fraternity. Franklin Lan ‘16
The redone basement bar
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A word from our graduating seniors…
“If you are ever feeling down, just imagine reading in Morgan Freeman’s voice.”
“Don’t be afraid to open yourself to the possibility of failure, because the only failures that are mistakes are ones that you don’t learn from.”
“Even at a tech school, we should all strive to become Renaissance men and leaders.”
Alan Nihill “Get a degree or cheat tryin’”
The graduating class at Rose Ball with Brother Josh Steiner, who graduated fall semester.
Jordan Snyder “They Don’t Think It Be Like It Is, But It Do.”
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…Warden’s Words Continued involved repainting the room off of the bar room, among several other small things. Earlier this semester, we unfortunately had a small fire involving our old range. Luckily, we responded quickly and no collateral damage occurred. However, a new replacement range was needed, as the old appliance was red-tagged. With the efforts and team work of Brother Andrew Haslam and myself, we were able to quickly purchase a new range and get it installed quickly. The new range is awesome, and functions much better than the old range did. We are grateful to the housing corporation for assisting us in the purchase of this great, new appliance. The associate members from Fall 2012 – Brian Chin, Andrew Dugan, Christian Gonzalez, Will Hooper, Taylor Jellerette, Will Kraemer, Franklin Lan, & Mason Xue - recently completed a project as well. We built a shufflepuck table in the basement. Having become one of my favorite games after playing it at the Ruck when I worked there last summer, I decided that building a shufflepuck table would continue to enhance the basement area of the house. With the combined skills, efforts, and time of each member of the associate member class, we were able to build a functional 9 foot shufflepuck table. I am hoping to start a shufflepuck league at the house next semester with this new and fun addition. The associate members from Spring 2013 – Kosta Andoni, Joseph Baker, & Tim Gibbons - also completed a project. We replaced the cracked, uneven kitchen table tops with new vinyl tile tops. The new tops have greatly enhanced the look of the tables and of the kitchen. In addition to replacing the kitchen table tops, we also replaced the wooden kitchen benches with new, single boards. These boards replaced the wood that used to make up the benches, which consisted of 2 pieces of wood with a gap in between them. This replacement has made the benches much more comfortable to sit on. Additionally, the benches were cut so that they can now fit under the tables. And, the benches and kitchen tables were also (re)painted, and greatly enhance the look of the kitchen as well. All of the projects that I have worked on with others over the past year, in addition to numerous other brotherhood projects that other brothers have completed, have greatly enhanced the house. I am very proud of the projects that I was able to be a part of, and I am very proud of all of the newly inducted brothers. Not only have I contributed, but I have also learned a lot from those that I worked with. These projects have truly provided evidence that team work, diligence, and hard work does indeed pay off. It is my hope that the additions and changes to the house will encourage the brothers to come out of their rooms and enjoy each other’s company in the common areas of the house. And, it is my hope that these areas will provide the brothers, both now & in the future, with fun, cool areas to socialize in. I anticipate that many great things will continue to happen over the next year as well. YIPKP, Dave Slaw ‘14
←Pictured left The shufflepuck table built by the fall class Pictured right→ All but two of both fall and spring class
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EVP and the IFC RPI's Greek community has always been described as strong, if not vibrant and close-knit. However, Matt Hunt, our new Greek Dean and a brother from our Alpha Phi chapter, has set out to fix just this. Hunt, appointed at the start of the 2010-2011 school year, initially worried the Greek community with a Greek Life Commons Agreement (GLCA) that many feared would give RPI too much control over the chapters. The GLCA turned out to be less Hunt's doing and more just coincidental timing. It was also far less evil than feared. Now, two and a half years later, no one even remembers the GLCA and the community is closer than ever and about to get physically closer for us. FIJI has bought a church only a block from the Castle and will be leaving their long-time residence in RAHPs as soon as they can. We are looking forward to our new neighbors and are excited by the creeping of the Greek community into downtown. On a somber note, a very recent tragedy that struck RPI, the Greek community, and one of our brothers in particular has shown what a closer community really means. When a brother of another chapter took his own life this semester, the Greek community acted within a day. There were emergency meetings to talk about what this meant to us as Greeks and how we should deal with our own grief and help others. Nearly every chapter showed up on their own volition to support the others. There was a candlelight vigil. There were speeches from Matt Hunt that elicited emotions and tears from everyone, but also evoked a sense of duty to watch the back of every other Greek. If it is true that the true character of a person or group is only seen during times of trial and hardship, then I am confident in saying that our Greek community is stronger and closer than ever. Ben Krieger AT 1272, Senior EVP
49 2nd Street Troy, NY 12180 Phone: (518) 271 - 7060 pikappcastle.org
A signed banner from our Brothers in Iona
Brothers Matt Griffin and Franky Lan doing their hour on the bike with support from more Brothers.
Year in Philanthropy This has been an exciting semester for charitable events. On March 7th, the Stair Climb team finished second at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation event. Alpha Tau also hosted their first Pedals for Push event on campus. Starting at noon on April 25th, at least two brothers were on the bikes for twentyfour hours straight. Hundreds of students and faculty stopped by to learn about Push America’s service to people with disabilities and the campaign to end the r-word. The brothers rose over $275 with the help of students and local restaurants, and positive reception on campus guaranteed its continued presence on campus in upcoming years. We were close to getting even more money donated to Push America this semester. The Green Greeks of RPI started an aluminum can drive, and the winners of most cans and most per capita donated the winnings to their respective charity. Although Castle finished just behind the winners, we are increasing our efforts and looking forward to the Haunted House next October. Taylor Prince ‘14