The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday May 19th

Pi Kapa Phi Fraternity finds home

David Hamrick, RJ Yost, Tyler Aiken, Bradley Harrison, and Rudy Aguilar (left to right), members of Pi Kappa Phi talk outside of their new house at 216 E. Rosemary St.  The house is much closer to campus and has helped recruitment after improving the house this summer.
Buy Photos David Hamrick, RJ Yost, Tyler Aiken, Bradley Harrison, and Rudy Aguilar (left to right), members of Pi Kappa Phi talk outside of their new house at 216 E. Rosemary St. The house is much closer to campus and has helped recruitment after improving the house this summer.

A two-year journey ended at 216 E. Rosemary St.

For the brothers of Pi Kappa Phi, moving into their house was the tangible result of a painstaking effort to return to UNC.

Pi Kappa Phi closed its doors and gave back its charter in 2004 after its national organization said recruitment was too small and hazing policies had been violated.

Members said their distance from campus was a factor in low membership. Their last house was on Finley Golf Course Road, about two miles from campus.

Last spring, the fraternity earned a new charter after proving to the University that they were viable. The 55 members then started talking about finding a house.

Chapter President Todd Stacy said the purchase of their home was finalized in early June. Out of 23 Interfraternity Council fraternities, 17 have houses on campus.

“What we’ve accomplished in the past two years, for most frats, is unheard of,” said Blake Zanardi, chapter secretary and house manager. “We went from meeting in the basement of a dorm to having, in my opinion, one of the nicest houses on campus.”

This fall, brothers said having a house has made the rush process easier.

Recruitment chair Patrick Ryan said having a house helped them bring in 24 out of their 28 bids this year.

“It was easier for people to visualize themselves in that house.”

Making a home

Pi Kappa Phi members first began moving into their house after spring finals, on May 10.

“I got the call when I was packing up my room in Granville (Towers),” Zanardi said. “Basically the TEP guys had moved out and they wanted guys in the house for security.”

Zanardi and other members said Tau Epsilon Phi, which is currently inactive, owned and lived in the house through the end of last year, and left it in a state of distress.

“Everything was so dirty,” Zanardi said. “No matter where I went, I would see cockroaches running around.”

The fraternity hired help to replace the flooring and make repairs to the building.

“There was a huge gaping hole in the kitchen where you could see sunlight coming through,” Zanardi said.

Fraternity members would not say how much the repairs cost, but did say the money came from membership dues, alumni support and donations, and national funds.

Once the house was cleaned, the brothers landscaped the lawn and nailed their Greek letters above the door. They were home.

Starting anew

When the fraternity returned, they vowed to recruit more members and maintain visibility on-campus through service.

In early August, after moving into their polished house, the brothers capped their summer with a charity bike ride.

They also wasted no time getting to know their neighbors from Kappa Delta, many of whom welcomed the newcomers.

“I think it makes it safer because there’s more activity and people around,” said Anna Christian Allen, a senior and Kappa Delta member.

Pat Richardson, director of development for the Arc of Orange County, said that the fraternity will be receiving a key to the city in recognition for its service.

Caroline Peterson of Kappa Delta said she is excited about what the fraternity is doing.

“These guys are on their way up,” she said.

Contact the University Editor at udesk@unc.edu.

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