Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity recently recognized its Beta Tau chapter at the University for completing about 7,200 hours of community service.

Casey Bourke, president of the University’s chapter of Pike, said the fraternity’s history of community service was the driving force behind their countless hours. Pike was very strong in community service when it was founded 11 years ago, Bourke said.

Members originally participated in more than 6,000 hours per year, but two years ago were down to 2,000 hours.

“We hadn’t kept (community service) up in the tradition we used to,” Bourke said. “It was unacceptable, and our brothers took it to heart. We knew we really wanted to be part of the community, so we pumped up our chapter. The entire house became enthusiastic about community service. We’re still going on our hours and very excited about it.”

Brothers of the Beta Tau chapter individually participated in about 2,000 hours of service. In total, the chapter worked at a number of organized Pike events in the Ann Arbor and Detroit areas.

They sponsored a car-bashing fundraiser during the weekend of the rivalry football game against Michigan State. Two days per week, 15 to 20 brothers mentor children at Scarlet Middle School in Ann Arbor. They also volunteer with the Detroit Project, Ronald McDonald House, K-grams, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and other organizations. Most recently, Sigma Kappa sorority joined Pike at the Brookhaven Nursing Home for a Valentine’s Day dance.

LSA freshman Mike Rudin, public relations chairman for the Beta Tau chapter, said Pike sponsors parties and participates in sports activities, but community service plays a more important role in the fraternity.

“Some fraternities can throw parties. Others win sporting events. But our community involvement puts a positive spin on the Greek community,” Rudin said.

On behalf of the Beta Tau chapter, Bourke accepted Pike’s “Community Service Award” of the Great Lakes region at the annual Great Lakes Leadership Conference held on Feb. 8 in Columbus, Ohio.

The University’s chapter considerably surpassed the other 13 chapters in the Great Lakes region competing for the award. The Kappa Mu chapter at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario came in second place for the award with 5,700 hours.

Rudin said winning the award over Kappa Mu was an enormous accomplishment, since the Ontario chapter won last year’s, which Pike presents to one chapter each year for community service.

“With the amount of hours Beta Tau has accumulated, they should definitely be a front-runner for the award this summer,” Chapter Services Director Jason Belland said.

“We have been very impressed with the men of Beta Tau and Casey himself,” he added. “We hope to continue to see great things out of this chapter.”

Pike stresses leadership and involvement in organizations on campus in addition to community service, which Beta Tau has also exemplified well, Belland said.

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