Pike President Has Big Ambitions for the Future

By Faryn Duncan | January 28th, 2018

Daniel Bulgatz feels pride for the city that raised him. The Pikes are planning a charity event to honor the first responders that protect Las Vegas. Photo by: Faryn Duncan
Daniel Bulgatz, junior hospitality major and Pike president, has high ambitions for what UNLV can become. Photo by: Faryn Duncan

Daniel Bulgatz, a junior hospitality major, is part of the Pike dynasty that has ruled the fraternity for five years — the title was destined to be his whether he knew it or not. As president of Pi Kappa Alpha, Bulgatz is working to change UNLV and his community and plans to continue that work into his professional career.


Bulgatz joined Pike, a nickname for the fraternity, as a freshman off advice from his sister, a former president of the now-defunct UNLV sorority, Delta Zeta. She said Pikes are the gentlemen on campus. She set up meetings for Bulgatz to meet Pike leaders. Initially determined to do the opposite of whatever his older sister told him, Bulgatz was surprised at how well Pike seemed to click.


“It was just the human connection,” Bulgatz said on choosing Pike. “It was them sitting down with me and figuring out who I am and if I’d be a good fit.”


At the end of rush week, Bulgatz attended Smoker, an event hosted by the fraternity. He spent the night talking to Pike alumni and active members, staying hours past the event’s actual end time, and woke up the next day knowing Pike was where he needed to be.


Two weeks after joining, Bulgatz was elected president of his pledge class. Now in his junior year, Pike elected him as the fraternity president, following in the footsteps of his Pike Big Brother, Grand Big, Grand-Grand Big, and Grand-Grand-Grand Big. In Greek organizations, everyone is assigned to a “Big” who acts as a mentor to their “Little.” He has plans to continue his little family’s legacy and take Pike another step forward.


On his to-do list is raising the fraternity’s average GPA to a 2.65 and involving themselves in as much community work as possible. He wants to focus on recruiting more members who are determined to see the same vision come true.


“Greek life isn’t just all about us,” Bulgatz said. “We want to give back to the city because it is where we live and what we love.”


Bulgatz said he is frustrated by the typical selfish, partier stereotype that falls on members of Greek organizations, especially when people do not take the time to see all the positive work they are doing. Bulgatz and the rest of the Pike boys are currently working on setting up their philanthropy event that will take place mid-March.


An event called the Fireman’s Challenge will focus on honoring Vegas’ first responders. The Pikes will have many activities throughout the day, but the main spectacle will be a chili cook-off. Invitations have been sent to all of the EMTs, fireman, policeman and first responders in town to judge whose chili reigns supreme.


“Vegas is home to me,” Bulgatz said. “I’d really like to give back to the city that shaped who I am.”


Las Vegas is the ideal location for someone like Bulgatz who is looking to enter the hospitality industry. Bulgatz said he loves talking to and meeting new people, making connections and spreading information, and hospitality does all of that and more.


With bold ventures and goals in Bulgatz’s mind, having access and insight to the hub of hospitality has been huge. The brand new, state-of-the-art Hospitality Hall is just another resource he has full intentions of getting the most out of.


“It really is the city reinvesting into its students,” Bulgatz said. “It was pretty evident when we had all these executives here saying hi to students and visiting classes. UNLV and all my professors have been incredible with that.”


Bulgatz said asking these hotel executives questions, getting advice and networking has led him to being within reaching distance of accomplishing his own goals at such a young age. He said UNLV deserves a lot of credit. Some of his projects include creating a new social media platform and opening an attraction in Vegas that focuses on art, community and harmony – some things that Vegas has lacked in but is working to grow.


One day, Bulgatz hopes to own and operate a bar of his own and possibly become a professor down the line. He said he would love to teach and give back what he has learned to future generations. Although his ambitions are high, he said he knows through his schooling, networking and his distaste for mediocrity, he will be able to accomplish it.


“Learning how to enable others to lead as a leader has been my greatest acquisition through Pike,” Bulgatz said. “I have my own passions and way of doing things, but I have really learned how to manage people. I’m not just me, me, me anymore.”


Although joining a fraternity comes with its fair share of parties, Bulgatz wants to stress to others that it can be more. The Pikes are also four-time champions of intramural sports and are looking to make it a five-peat. Bulgatz said this is “just because we can and we will.” The Pike boys are also joining forces with the other Greek organizations on campus to set up a trip to clean up the wetlands during the semester.


Bulgatz wants to see more people getting involved with organizations on campus, whether that means going Greek or joining another club on campus. He said that although UNLV is a commuter campus, he sees a stronger campus pride amongst students as a real possibility — it just starts with involvement.


“I am working on something new everyday,” Bulgatz said. “That is something that is really important to me. Complacency is poison in the mind.”

Daniel Bulgatz, junior hospitality major and Pike president, has high ambitions for what UNLV can become. Photo by: Faryn Duncan

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