Members of the Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority are upset after their sorority was placed on social probation Oct. 6 for violating two sorority rush rules .
The sorority was found guilty of violating a rule prohibiting sorority members from providing or consuming alcohol with a rushee prior to or during recruitment, said Janine Geraigery, president of the Panhellenic Association.
This is the most major infraction in at least the last two years, Geraigery said.
The sorority was also found guilty on two counts of breaking the silence and contact rule. The rule prohibits sorority members from speaking with a student who is rushing for more than five minutes, before or during recruitment, Geraigery said.
Rachel Sonenshine, president of Alpha Epsilon Phi, said the alcohol charge was misconstrued, but acknowledged her sorority is guilty of breaking the silence and contact rule. The sorority was put on a semester of social probation, which prevents her sorority from hosting date parties and mixers and participating in other social events, such as Greek Week. Sonenshine said she feels this part of the punishment is too harsh.
It would be one thing if we were the only ones (breaking the silence and contact rule), but we weren’t, Sonenshine said. The punishment doesn’t fit the crime, and it doesn’t solve anything – it only hinders the entire community.
Sonenshine said she would have preferred a punishment that was focused more on rehabilitation rather than one that was strictly punitive.
In addition to social probation the Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority will have to hold a recruitment workshop, led by a representative from its national chapter, that focuses on proper recruitment procedures. The sorority also has been placed on disciplinary probation for the entire year, Geraigery said.
Geraigery said she feels the most important part of the punishment is the workshop, which focuses on improving the sorority, but she said she still believes other disciplinary action was necessary.
This is a serious issue and should not be taken lightly, she said. They could have gotten one year of social probation – they actually got off pretty well.
Sonenshine said she was particularly upset by the punishment because fellow sorority presidents decided it. In addition Alpha Epsilon Phi was first accused of these violations after members of two other sororities reported her sorority, Sonenshine said.
It’s just disappointing – I would have hoped that the other presidents would have been able to see through this, she said. They’re trying to make an example, and they’re trying to set a new precedent, and they saw us as a target.
Geraigery said she believes Sonenshine is a responsible president and knows that she is close with other sorority presidents, but the problem is that sometimes (sorority presidents) don’t have control over all the other girls in their chapter.
Sonenshine said the social probation did not affect the number of girls who decided to rush this year. She said Alpha Epsilon Phi is taking action internally to prevent this type of thing from happening again and hopes to work with the next president to continue preventive measures.
Everyone’s learned their lesson, she said. I hope the whole community has learned their lesson.