Fraternity moves forward despite ongoing suspension

EMPTY NEST: The entrance to the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house bears a "No Trespassing" sign as the fraternity is currently in the process of being reinstated at ASU. (Photo by Rosie Gochnour)

Alpha Epsilon Pi is resuming independent fall rush activities despite its continued suspension of recognition by ASU.

AEPi is allowed to rush new members, but does not have access to ASU facilities or events such as the Interfraternity Council Walk Around on Aug. 31, Ronald Hicks, the ASU associate dean of students with the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, said.

“Basically, they are allowed to rush a class but they cannot use the resources other organizations on campus have access to,” Hicks said.

The fraternity was suspended August 2010 for, at least, one year following reported alcohol violations, hazing and sexual misconduct after an unidentified student sent an email obtained by The State Press to ASU officials with pictures depicting fraternity members performing sexual acts with strippers.

Adam Newman, a senior business management major and the president of Alpha Epsilon Pi’s chapter at ASU, said the fraternity rushed 25 new members last fall and plans to recruit new members without University sponsored Greek Life events.

“Obviously that is necessary for us to obtain the sufficient amount of members to keep our numbers up,” Newman said.

The fraternity is also barred from interacting with sororities or fellow fraternities, making the process of attracting new brothers challenging.

“It has been somewhat difficult because incoming freshman want to know what the involvement with the University is, what our capacity is to do events with sororities, things like that,” Newman said.

AEPi went through a restructuring in February conducted by the national organization, taking their membership down from 60 to around 20 brothers who were members during the violations to clean up the fraternity, Newman said.

“All the guys remaining in the chapter now were in the chapter beforehand,” Newman said. “The only difference is we have more younger members, more sophomores and we have a couple of seniors left over to provide assistance to help for the future.”

The fraternity has moved from Alpha Drive into four off-campus houses since the violations and is in the process of slowly restoring its relationship with ASU in the hopes of being eventually reinstated, Newman said.

Newman said the fraternity’s national chapter has been in contact with Hicks and ASU to discuss the process of moving forward, but neither the national presence nor the local chapter has officially applied for reinstatement.

“Currently our national (organization) is in the process of working with the school and trying to get us reinstated,” Newman said. “We are waiting to find out what it is we are going (to) need to do to get back into reinstatement.”

Hicks said the often-maligned fraternity is allowed to rush members without the University’s oversight.

“We just hope they are doing it the right way but they don’t get the benefits and if there is an issue or concern, they don’t get that part either,” Hicks said.

Newman said his main priority is to separate the fraternity from its past transgressions and start over.

“We want to show more than just the University, but the community of Tempe as well, that AEPi does not want to be associated with what we have (done) in the past,” he said. “We truly want to be a productive fraternity here on campus.”

 

Reach the reporter at brennan.j.smith@asu.edu