The University sent letters to former members of the Alpha Pi Epsilon fraternity last month, threatening disciplinary action if any members “reorganize, reconstitute or re-colonize” in any form.
This action follows an unprecedented crackdown on the unrecognized fraternity this winter, after pledges reported hazing to the University. The investigation resulted in the expulsion of several APES leaders.
The letter states that APES members engage in activities that violate the Code of Student Conduct, “including the use of illicit drugs and alcohol, acts of hazing, acts of violence, the manufacturing and distribution of fake IDs and other violations of the code.”
Tara Pereira, director of Student Judicial Services, said they collected the names of “most” of the letter’s recipients from other APES members, as well as rosters SJS obtained in past investigations. The letter was addressed to people identified as being a “leader, officer, member, pledge or identifiable spokesperson” of APES. Pereira said SJS received three phone calls from students or their parents about the letter, saying they were not involved in the group.
“We took their word for it, as they were not names given to us by members this year,” Pereira said.
A former APES member, speaking under the condition of anonymity because he fears retribution from the University, said he knew several students unaffiliated with APES who received the letter. SJS has previously said they use Facebook, among other tools, to identify members of unrecognized fraternities like APES.
“SJS can’t just go around acting like Big Brother,” the former member said. “The leash needs to be pulled.”
He said other APES members have no intention of reorganizing “because it’s not worth being expelled or suspended.”
Pereira said the University expects no further efforts to reorganize APES, but sent the letter as a precaution.
“Based on the significant record of misconduct, the University is taking the unusual step of forbidding the former members of APES from reorganizing,” Pereira wrote in an e-mail.
The letter – which is signed from Senior Assistant Dean of Students Mark Levine – forbids any formal or informal reforming of the group. Levine declined to comment on the letter.
Pereira added that students would only be violating the terms of this letter if they began organizing to discuss long-term goals or recruitment.
A similar letter was sent to APES members in April 2005 demanding that they “prevent or end” activities which violate the Code of Student Conduct.