Many college students enjoy joining fraternities and doing everything that it entails — volunteer work, fundraising, even a fair bit of partying. But there are limits, which the Alpha Sigma chapter of the Jewish Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity at Arizona State University (ASU) learned the hard way.
In 2010, the chapter was suspended from campus activities for one year over hazing allegations. Then, in 2013, the Arizona Board of Regents Student Code of Conduct cited hazing again when revoking the Alpha Epsilon Pi chapter’s recognition. ASU officials informed the fraternity that the earliest it could request reinstatement would be fall 2017.
However, the national Alpha Epsilon Pi chose to shut down the chapter.
In fall 2016, the chapter was reinstated at ASU earlier than expected, but its national arm did not “recolonize” Alpha Sigma until August 2017. On Feb. 25, 2018, the chapter officially received its charter from Alpha Epsilon Pi.
Now the brothers must follow the university's guidelines as well as the polices of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Foundation in order to keep their charter active and stay out of trouble, said Danny Goldberg, president of ASU’s Alpha Epsilon Pi chapter and Interfraternity Council.
“About two years ago, we started the meeting process with Arizona State on what we needed to do in order to be reinstated and working toward getting our charter back up and running,” Goldberg said.
Goldberg himself was not a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi when the violations took place. Getting the fraternity going again required starting from scratch.
“The fraternity started with 25 founding fathers and was initiated at the University of California, Los Angeles,” Goldberg said. “From there, we took more time planning ... and in the fall of 2016 we took in another 20 brothers. This is when we decided to start talking to [ASU] to see if maybe we could get recognition, and in late November they said yes.”
The fraternity is overseen by the Indianapolis-based Alpha Epsilon Pi Foundation, which recently named Andrew Borans CEO after several years as executive director. He will work with Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternities around the country, including the chapter at ASU. In a recent press release, Alpha Epsilon Pi’s international president, Scott Cohon, said Borans has meant more to the success of the fraternity than any individual in the last 40 years.
“His contributions to our growth to nearly 200 chapters and interest groups in six countries as a leading Jewish college organization can never be [overstated],” Cohon said.
Goldberg added that he will work with the foundation to make sure “we are living up to our potential as brothers.”
With the ASU chapter just reestablishing itself, housing is not yet available on campus for the brothers to live together.
“Many of the brothers do not let the housing situation deter them from being together, as many hang out during the school week and most, if not all, attend Shabbat services on Friday nights at Hillel, Chabad and Jewish Arizonans on Campus, which are within walking distance from campus,” he said.
Members also travel attend conferences at other universities and meet brothers from different chapters across the country.
“When I leave ASU, and when my term is up as president, I want my legacy to be that I made a difference for many of my Jewish brothers here on campus,”
Goldberg said. “And for people to understand that we aren’t just all about partying and having fun, which we do from time to time. But it’s a safe environment for all Jewish students who might be interested in pledging in years to come.” JN