AEPi back at ASU

Rabbi Mendy Rimler of Chabad at ASU, left, joins the brothers of newly reinstated AEPi at ASU at a late-night basketball game.

The Alpha Sigma chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, founded in 1951, is back in the good graces of Arizona State University a year earlier than previously expected.

“Alpha Epsilon Pi is a recognized fraternity at Arizona State University,” wrote Monica McGee, ASU’s associate director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, in response to a recent email query from Jewish News. “The organization was reinstated at the end of the Fall 2016 semester.”

ASU revoked the chapter’s recognition in December 2013 over conduct code violations and told Jewish News in August 2016 that the fraternity would be “permitted to request recolonization [reinstatement] beginning no earlier than the fall 2017.”

Asked about that, McGee responded, “The organization approached the local IFC [Interfraternity Council] and the Office of the Dean and requested to return to campus and be recognized one semester earlier.”

Chapter President Danny Goldberg told Jewish News that he wanted the chapter’s new leadership to have a full semester on campus to learn the ropes of recruiting so they’d be ready to “hit the ground running” in the fall, which he called a recruiting period that would be critical to the chapter’s success.

Therefore, the chapter with help from the fraternity’s international office intensified its efforts this past fall to get the chapter reinstated by ASU.

“I’d say our major success stems from the support we received in the Jewish community because it showed the school that we actually care and people care about us,” he said in a telephone interview, referring to the leadership of ASU Hillel, Chabad at ASU and Jewish Arizonans on Campus. “The fact that all three organizations put their names behind us, I think, really showed the school that ‘OK. We can trust these guys.’ We’re very, very, very grateful for the support that we’ve been given.”

The chapter had 36 members when the 2013 revocation occurred, and Goldberg told Jewish News that the reinstated chapter has about 40, none remaining from the earlier membership.

The effort to get the chapter reinstated began in January 2016, when “a few Jewish kids got together” and decided “they wanted to bring the fraternity to campus,” Sam Kaplan, now the chapter’s vice president, told Jewish News in August 2016 (“AEPI works to rebuild at ASU,” Jewish News, Aug. 19, 2016).

The group’s most recently publicized activity was co-sponsoring with several other ASU Jewish organizations the Jan. 25 screening of “Mekonen: The Journey of an African Jew” at the Hillel Jewish Student Center in Tempe (“A message of diversity: Ethiopian-Israeli teen visits ASU students,” Jewish News, Feb. 3).

Hazing was among the violations of the Arizona Board of Regents Student Code of Conduct cited in revoking recognition of Alpha Sigma chapter in 2013. The chapter previously had been suspended from campus activities for a year in 2010 over hazing.

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