New fraternity strains IFC, GW ties

GW and the Interfraternity Council entered a power struggle last week when IFC President Jared David found out a group of former Alpha Epsion Pi pledges are working with GW officials to get GW to recognize them as members of another fraternity, David said.

A group of mostly Alpha Epsilon Pi pledges from last fall were initiated by a new fraternity, Zeta Beta Tau, this semester and seek University recognition even though the IFC rejected Zeta Beta Tau’s application last fall, David said.

GW suspended Alpha Epsilon Pi in January for hazing, and members of the fraternity made a failed attempt to keep a renegade chapter alive, according to Student Judicial Services records.

David said the IFC was in the process of reconsidering Zeta Beta Tau, when he found out the former Alpha Epsilon Pi pledges already were initiated as Zeta Beta Tau members. He said he was upset to find out Robert Chernak, vice president of Student Academic and Support Services, and other GW officials were pushing to get the group recognized without respecting the IFC’s role in accepting and rejecting new member fraternities.

“The IFC-University relationship is in jeopardy,” David said.

According to IFC bylaws, the 10-fraternity group decides which groups to accept on campus. But David said GW officials are not respecting the IFC’s power.

“(GW and Zeta Beta Tau) are not necessarily working together, but they’re pushing for the same thing,” David said. “(The University is) not really considering what the IFC wants.”

When asked if GW has the upper hand in deciding which fraternities to recognize, David said, “I don’t think so, but they do.”

The IFC will release a statement Friday to University officials, Zeta Beta Tau and Alpha Epsilon Pi’s national fraternities among others outlining what it will do in light of new developments, David said

David said the IFC’s decision could hinge on whether the former Alpha Epsilon Pi pledges were initiated into the Alpha Epsilon Pi, which would prohibit them from joining another fraternity. He said the IFC could decide to reject Zeta Beta Tau or accept the chapter onto campus with restrictions. If the IFC does decide to include the chapter, David said the IFC could still decide to make it difficult for the chapter to succeed.

GW suspended Zeta Beta Tau in 1994 and left GW with $45,000 in damages on the property it rented from the University, David said. He said the IFC rejected another attempt by the fraternity to regain recognition in 1998. The chapter attempted to survive without recognition, but all five members soon quit, he said.

The IFC Presidents Council will meet Tuesday to decide what to do, David said.

“We have to take some course of action, we just haven’t decided what that is yet,”
he said.
-Russ Rizzo

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