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Pi Lambda Phi Attempts Return to RC

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Editor-in-Chief – After being suspended from campus and gone for almost 14 years, the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity is hoping to make a comeback at Roanoke College.

In 1997, members of the RC Pi Lambda Phi fraternity, also commonly referred to as Pi Lam, left various forms of drug paraphernalia as well as kegs of beer in one centralized area when they left for spring break.  RC Campus Safety found it and after further investigation, the members of the fraternity decided to take the blame altogether instead of placing it on a couple individuals.  The fraternity had previously been on probation due to parties that involved underage drinking that forced one female student to go to the hospital.  The fraternity was suspended from the RC campus for four years, and after several failed attempts to re-colonize, has not been able to make a comeback until now.

Ben Everest ’14 looked at all of the fraternities last year and was unable to find one that fit his viewpoint.  After talking to several alumni from the 90’s, he decided that the best way would be to bring back the Pi Lamb fraternity and start it up on his own.

“I did research and knew several alumni and just felt that is where my beliefs fit,” Everest said.  “I thought it would be fun to start from scratch and had a lot of alumni backing.”

In order to get the fraternity started, Everest had to contact the Pi Lam Nationals and get approval from them as well as RC Residence Life and Brian Chisolm for a re-charter.  Everest hopes to have enough men to start a colony, which is in the intermediate trial stages of the fraternity, by the fall.  He already has 18 interested men who would serve as the fall pledge class.

After the original fraternity was suspended from the school, many of the members took it underground to form the Pi Lambda Brotherhood.  That brotherhood is still active on RC’s campus today, although it is not formally recognized by the school. Everest feels that that group should not have any impact on his fraternity.

“I’ve talked to some of them and I think we should be able to co-exist,” Everest said.

The Pi Lam nationals did mention that members of the underground are to have no affiliation with the actual fraternity, and will not be allowed to join.

When the fraternity’s suspension was up in 2001, an attempt was made to re-charter, but at the time they were not able to gain enough interest in undeclared men to have a fourth fraternity on campus.  Pi Lamb would now be RC’s fifth recognized fraternity, since Pi Kappa Phi revived their chapter in 2005.