With Halloween approaching, many of you are already in the midst of planning chapter Halloween events. Some will engage in community philanthropies, others may choose to host a gathering, and some of your members may be planning to attend a function at an approved location, with approved numbers of folks, and in compliance with other Covid-19 guidelines which may be in place.

Unfortunately, each year, as fraternity men and sorority women plan activities and search for Halloween costumes, there are a few members who choose to dress up in ways that are offensive and insensitive to individuals of various races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, abilities, and/or genders. In a world of instant connections and social networking, pictures of these events and costumes inevitably end up posted online, leaving your chapter and/or universities and inter/national headquarters with a responsibility to address the behavior.

In consideration of our values and recognizing that social events are a part of our engagement in campus life, we encourage you to use party themes should that are respectful of the race, ethnicity, national origin, familial status, sexual orientation, gender, religion, class, age, and ability status of all.  Cultural appropriation (the adoption of some specific elements of one culture for entertainment value) should be avoided.  When art, jewelry, dress, etc. are used outside of educational context and without respect to cultural tradition, our values are compromised, and our reputation as PIKE is damaged.

Impact, not intent is important and as such please take the time to have a conversation within your brotherhood about expectations for celebrating Halloween. Talk about costume choices, socially responsible behavior, as well as the plans that are in place to address those that do not comply with expectations.

We ask that each of you model for your community what it looks like to be a TRUE PIKE in both how you dress and how you choose to behave. Please take the time to plan ahead, communicate social event expectations, and discuss how you will respond if a brother or guest tries to join your function or attend another group’s gathering with an offensive or insensitive costume. If you have questions, you should engage with your chapter advisor and/or alumni advisory board. Additionally, your chapter consultant, or Kim Novak, Director of Health & Safety can provide advice and counsel on these areas and any other situations you may need help with.

Always remember Pi Kappa Alpha’s True PIKE Commitment and be sure to continue to ensure that your conduct at all events and activities reflects Pi Kappa Alpha in a positive light. Have a safe and enjoyable Halloween!


Kimberly Novak

Director, PIKE Health & Safety

The Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity