IFC wants two fraternities out
The Inter-Fraternity Council, Office of Greek Life and Office of the Dean of Students have taken measures to disband Epsilon Iota, an unrecognized and unsupervised AU "fraternity" that describes itself as "the bad-ass" alternative.
University officials believe that Epsilon Iota poses significant threats to the campus community because it does not follow any sort of bylaws and engages in questionable behavior such as hazing and excessive drinking, according to Danny Kelley, coordinator of Greek life.
EI has not been supported by the university since 2000 when the organization, formerly known as Alpha Tau Omega, forfeited their national charter and restructured under the name of Epsilon Iota. EI members say they believe they are not doing anything wrong because they are a group of friends like any other fraternity or sorority on campus, according to Peter Kasimis, an EI member and senior in Kogod School of Business.
"I didn't hold the fact that [EI] was unrecognized against them," he said. "I felt that I was so much closer to them and they were such a closer-knit group."
The Office of the Dean of Students has hired a former prosecutor and federal judge for recommendations on how to remove the groups from campus, according to Alex Plitsas, a vice president of Inter-Fraternity Council and senior in the School of Public Affairs.
"They have outlined a formal plan, and, because IFC has no governing control over EI or Sigma Omega Alpha (SAMY), there is a very limited role we can take," Plitsas said.
According to IFC Resolution F0601, released Sept. 5, unrecognized groups such as EI and SAMY are "hinging on the support of members of legitimate Greek organizations." IFC has demanded that other members of the Greek community not attend or invite members of the unrecognized groups to Greek functions and warned AU Greeks that serious action will be taken if chapters support EI or SAMY.
Sorority members are allowed to bring members of EI or SAMY to their events, such as hayrides and formals, but should not attend the fraternities' events, Kelley said.
"We would initially leave it to the nationals and chapter advisers, and I'm pretty confident that any of our national organizations would respond appropriately," he said.
While the IFC did provide some members of the Greek community with the initial resolution, it has not been finalized, according to Kelley.
The IFC's drafted resolution does not discourage people from maintaining or establishing relationships, Kelley said.
"We're not going to interfere with an individual's rights to have friends with people in underground groups," Kelley said.
While the resolution has been drafted, Plitsas said he does not necessarily agree with all the steps the campus has taken to get rid of EI and SAMY.
"When I walked in a year ago, the plan was ridiculous," Plitsas said. "They wanted us to collect names of EIs and SAMYs, and we said that we weren't going to go on a witch hunt."
There is no way for the IFC to enforce the resolution, Plitsas said.
"We aren't a police body. That isn't our job, as far as I know," he said.
EI members say they are not fazed by the assertive position the Greek Office has taken regarding their underground status, according to Hernado Cano, an EI alumnus.
"We pride ourselves on not being recognized," Cano said. "The brothers are a lot more together because of the fact that the school is trying to do something to us."
The university's efforts to dissuade people from associating with EI, including posters hung up around campus, are unsuccessful, according to Cano.
"One [poster] says EI is hazardous to your health. ... The signs actually helped," Cano said. "People come and say [they] saw the signs and wanted to go to [our] parties."
What many non-Greek students do not realize is that the underground organizations are not considered part of the Greek community, said Rachel Zanetz, president of the AU Panhellenic Association and a senior in the School of International Service.
"[Greeks] provide a sense of community for the entire campus because Greeks are very visible," Kelley said.