Fraternities rebound after campus policy violations

Part 3 of 3: Despite previous violations, some fraternities are re-establishing a good relationship with ASU.

This is part three of a three-part series. See parts one and two.

Some fraternities have recovered from University sanctions with the help of their national organizations, while others faced more serious consequences for violating the ASU code of conduct.

Alpha Epsilon Pi

Computer information systems sophomore Adam Train chose ASU over other universities because its chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi was large and had its own fraternity house.

Both of these aspects were gone before his freshman year ended.

Shortly after Train pledged with Alpha Epsilon Pi in fall 2010, the chapter’s University recognition was revoked because of several alcohol and hazing violations.

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Video: Fraternities work to rebuild image following violations

When Train was a pledge, he was unaware of these allegations from pledge classes before him.

“I didn’t even really know what was happening,” he said.

At the time he pledged, the chapter was on University probation for hazing — something Train said he never saw any of his brothers do.

He said ASU mistook some of Alpha Epsilon Pi’s actions, like requiring pledges to wear white dress shirts on Wednesdays, as evidence of hazing.

“If the school wants to say that’s hazing, I guess they can,” Train said. “I loved the brothers while I was pledging, but when you are on probation you are put under that microscope and, if you have any little mess-up, you can be penalized for that.”

Train said the national organization continued to support the fraternity despite losing University recognition.

“We still held chapter meetings every week. We still threw brotherhood events,” Train said. “Even if the school doesn’t recognize you, you can’t tell a group of people not to be friends.”

The national organization reorganized Alpha Epsilon Pi after the fraternity lost its University recognition.

In early 2011, the national chapter removed most of the sophomores, juniors and seniors from the chapter, leaving only Train’s pledge class and any subsequent classes.

Alpha Epsilon Pi Executive Director Andrew Borans said the ASU chapter expects a large pledge class in the fall and has been growing strong.

“I'll speak only to the current and future,” Borans said. “The chapter is doing extremely well now.”

ASU recognized the chapter again in January, although it is still barred from hosting social events with sororities or alcohol.

Train said he is optimistic about the fraternity’s future.

“As much as it kind of stinks to have to go through what we went through, I think we’re dealing with it in the best way possible,” Train said.

Sigma Pi

Other fraternities have not been so fortunate.

Sigma Pi was placed on disciplinary probation in August 2010 following a party where alcohol was provided to minors.

In February 2011, right after this probation ended, the University received another complaint regarding multiple reports of underage drinking, minor in consumption violations and medical transports for excessive alcohol drinking.

ASU again suspended the chapter in March 2011 following this complaint.

The international organization pulled the ASU Sigma Pi chapter’s charter in June 2011 after repeated risk management violations, failures to register members and financial delinquency.

In a March 2012 press release, then Sigma Pi Executive Director Mark Briscoe said Sigma Pi has high standards for chapter conformity.

“Unfortunately, it became apparent that these standards were not adhered to at (ASU),” Briscoe said. “We were forced with revocation.”

Sigma Chi

Sigma Chi has also rebounded from disciplinary sanctions.

Sigma Chi violated several different ASU policies between 2003 and 2008, ranging from hazing and drug use to an accusation that two former fraternity members sexually assaulted a fellow student in February 2008.

Since then, Sigma Chi has improved its relationship with ASU and its national organization.

Sigma Chi Executive Director Mike Dunn said the national organization has worked with the ASU fraternity chapter extensively and it has moved away from its past issues.

“We're very proud of the work they do,” Dunn said. “The things they've done in terms of fundraising are incredible. We continue to challenge them to do even better.”

Members of Sigma Chi and other ASU fraternities are trying to improve campus Greek life.

Sigma Chi brother Jacob Goulding, a political science senior and the Tempe Undergraduate Student Government president, said in an email that fraternities have done a lot this year but still have a long way to go.

“I think we need to establish an honest vision for where Greek life stands at ASU and how to go about implementing that vision,” Goulding said.

Reach the reporters at julia.shumway@asu.edu and dgrobmeier@asu.edu or follow @JMShumwayand@danigrobmeier on Twitter.

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