Apple Pi 'forority' -- mix of
fraternity and sorority -- offers party alternative
By Rachel Christensen
December 11, 2008 | Fraternities might pull out a
keg, whereas Apple Pi chooses to party alcohol free.
While Greek houses have strict initiations and rushing
procedures, Apple Pi welcomes any who are interested
and remains open to new membership. Greek life is often
stereotyped by lewd lifestyles and unhealthy addictions;
Apple Pi embraces a clean image. And just as students
began to believe there was no place they could experience
Greek life without feeling pressure to change their
standards, Apple Pi proudly proved them wrong.
"We are the alternative to the Greeks," said Kyle
Nield, one of the Apple Pi's founding fathers.
Welcome to the Apple Pi House, the yellow-brick house
that sits on the corner of 700 East and 700 North and
is home to Logan's first 'forority.' The house encompasses
much more than nine beds, a drum set, and a macaroni
self-portrait of Nield. It is also home to the idea
that a student's personal values don't need to be sacrificed
in order to have a social college experience.
The Apple Pi Forority has about 30 members and hopes
to attract more. The founding fathers of the group came
up with the idea last year, but the "officialness,"
as forority administrator Jake Kearns put it, didn't
start until this year.
Apple Pi Chairman Christopher Barney said the idea
for the forority came to him and a few of his friends
as they walked down Greek Row on the way back from classes
last year. Later that year one of Barney's roommates
considered joining a fraternity. At the risk of losing
a friend, Apple Pi residents began to argue they had
their own brotherhood within the house. This sparked
the idea of creating a new, unique organization based
on the Greek system.
"Only we didn't want to be exclusive against females,"
Hence the birth of 'forority,' a combination of sorority
"Basically, we're open to all anatomy," said Kearns,
self-proclaimed grand pouba of the Pi.
The forority is the founders' attempt to create a
Greek-like social atmosphere without the stereotypical
"Everyone thinks college is about partying," said
Mitch Vaterlaus, explaining that he wanted to have a
full college experience without having to sacrifice
his personal values. "I want to have fun without drugs
"There's no drugs or alcohol on the premises," Kearns
said, and with a teasing grin, added, "None of the founding
fathers participate in such devilish activities."
The new forority lacks the strong structure of time-tested
Greek houses, and the group still debates how it should
Signatures in scrawled black marker cover a wooden
paddle hanging in the house's living room. The signatures
are as close as it gets to a formal membership list.
The Pi is working on creating actual membership documents.
Membership in the group is loosely defined. However,
by delivering an apple pie to the house, a student can
ensure almost instant membership into the only forority
So far this year three eager prospects have climbed
the cement stairway to the front door of the house with
their own homemade apple pie. During the previous year
several others also brought warm homemade pies, each
overflowing with sweet-smelling apple filling, as well
as a variety of other baked goods. Many more students
have expressed their interest in the forority, and news
of the Apple Pi's unique atmosphere is spreading throughout
Apple Pi made its debut on the Web this year with
its own Facebook group. The group is closed, which means
Facebook users must either be invited by the group or
send a request to the administrators to join. The group
informs members of upcoming activities, delegates responsibilities
in preparation for events and posts pictures of past
"The purpose of the group is to promote future activities
and celebrate what we've already accomplished," Vaterlaus
True to Greek life, the forority is planning a rush
party called a "sugar rush."
"We want everyone who is willing to live with our
values to join," said Pi founder Chris Barney with his
back to the house's rear window where the forority's
symbol an apple encasing the mathematical sign for
pi is crudely painted white by hand. "Faith, family,
fun, friendship, forority," Barney listed the values,
and after thinking it over for a minute or two, added,
The Pi has already thrown four bashes this year. The
first was a bonfire on Labor Day, which was limited
to the residents of the house. The second event was
a dance party themed "Golf Pros and Tennis Hoes" with
an estimated 250 guests in attendance throughout the
night. The guests crammed into the house's backyard,
danced, ate and socialized. Firehouse Pizzaria hosted
the third event, which entailed all you can eat pizza
and a private viewing of "The Office" season premier.
The fourth event proved the forority is not just interested
in creating social opportunities. The Apple Pi, like
other Greek houses, wants to serve the community. The
Apple Pi's organizers have formed relationships with
members of Aggies for Africa, a USU student-run organization
devoted to creating and raising money for charitable
opportunities in Africa. The latest Apple Pi party included
a food drive and a kissing booth, which raised food
and money for Aggies for Africa.
Future activity ideas include an Exfoliation Celebration,
an event catered to the sorority side of the group which
will involve facial masks and pajamas, and a GI Joes
and Rainforest Hoes party.
Above all, the Apple Pi forority's aim is to create
a feeling of welcome and to extend a hand of friendship
to members of the community.
"There's a sense of brotherhood," said Christian Brinton,
the father figure of the group.
"And sisterhood," said Barney.
"And sisterhood," agreed Brinton. "Any 'hood,' really."
His housemates laughed in approval.
The founders of the forority hope the Apple Pi House
will become a place of refuge for the community. They
want neighbors to stop by if they need anything - from
shelter to advice. "We have a walk-in policy," Nield
said. "You don't have to knock or ring the doorbell,
just come in."
Referring to the swimming pool game in which one blind-folded
participant tries to find the others through call and
response, Kearns added, "Just be prepared to answer
'Polo' when we yell 'Marco.'"