Greek letter courage

GW’s Greek-letter community took a courageous stand against members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, asking the fraternity’s national organization to discipline its GW chapter for its long history of inappropriate behavior.

In a show of unity, 22 fraternity and sorority leaders signed the letter – which called Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s GW chapter a public nuisance. Only a year ago, the University’s legal team initiated action against the fraternity’s national organization after an alleged incident reported by University Police in which a brick was thrown from the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house at 2034 G St.

The IFC contends that Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which lost IFC and University recognition in 1993, has shown a pattern of behavior not condoned by the Greek-letter community. The IFC’s letter cites disciplinary action against the off-campus fraternity, both by UPD and the Metropolitan Police, for repeated violations of University and city laws.

But the issue goes deeper than that. Fraternity members who conduct themselves in such a menacing manner are a danger to all members of the GW community. Anyone walking by the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house could have been struck by the brick thrown from the building. College students who are young adults should know better. It is a simple matter of human decency.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s rap sheet with GW’s Office of Student Judicial Services, which is cited in the letter, depicts a fraternity that is completely out of control. The alleged violations mentioned in the letter include alcohol violations, such as kegs being reported being brought into the (Sigma Alpha Epsilon) house, sexual assault, vandalism, and physical altercations with students, University Police, and members of the D.C. Metropolitan Police.

The list of alleged violations committed by members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon is disturbing. The offenses cited in the letter indicate that Sigma Alpha Epsilon poses a significant threat to the health and safety of the GW community.

The IFC’s letter to Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s national organization, in conjunction with the University’s legal action against the fraternity, makes a powerful statement about the fraternity’s poor standing in the GW community.

The behavior of the members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon needs to be discussed openly. By taking a united stand against Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the IFC shows that it is willing to fight against the fraternity’s tactics of intimidation.

Delta Tau Delta President Jeff Butler bravely revealed his fraternity’s alleged problems with Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Other Greek-letter members signed the letter. More of them should be willing to tell their stories and report any future incidents in which Sigma Alpha Epsilon disturbs the peace.

Butler personifies the apparent new attitude of the IFC in dealing with Sigma Alpha Epsilon. The IFC’s letter shows that disrespectful behavior from Sigma Alpha Epsilon will result in negative consequences for the fraternity. No longer will incidents be swept under the carpet out of fear of retaliation.

The IFC showed courage in standing up to fraternity members, whom it believes are neighborhood bullies. Members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon should change their behavior before it loses its charter, and, more importantly, before someone else gets hurt.

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