Two fraternities endure process of suspensions
Sigma Alpha Mu violated its probation stemming from a suspension last spring and now faces explusion. Alpha Epsilon Pi will appeal its suspension Wednesday.
By: Devin Rose / The Daily Cardinal
Two UW-Madison chapter fraternities will appeal to the Interfraternity Council after an alleged hazing last spring and a violation of probation earlier this semester that led to expulsion from the University.
David Lank, UW-Madisonâ€™s Sigma Alpha Mu chapter president, said the frat was put on probation after several members decided to throw a Halloween party last October at the Orpheum Theatre and advertised it as a frat-sponsored party, although it was not.
Lank said the fraternity neglected to register the event, so the proper social regulations were not in place, and the fraternity was put on suspension for the 2007 spring semester.
Members of the frat violated their probation when they threw a party at the â€œSammyâ€ house during Welcome Week in September, which led to their expulsion Sunday.
â€œFrats and sororities rarely get suspended, and even more rarely get expelled,â€ said Sean Sobel, former chief justice of the Greek Judicial Board,
â€œI personally know that every frat has open parties all the time and nobodyâ€™s [closed down] so I donâ€™t really get it,â€ Lank said, adding that he plans to appeal the decision.
Another UW-Madison chapter fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi, will attempt to appeal their suspension Wednesday at a closed meeting with the Interfraternity Council.
The frat was suspended in May for the 2007-08 academic year after allegations of hazing came from an â€œunnamed sourceâ€ last spring, according to AEPiâ€™s chapter president Jared Steinberg.
AEPiâ€™s 11 new members were questioned last spring by the fraternityâ€™s national office, Steinberg said, and every one of them said nothing went on.
â€œThere was absolutely nothing that led to any of the things we were accused of,â€ Steinberg said, calling the Boardâ€™s accusation â€œpreposterous.â€
Steinberg said the alleged hazing â€œwas not crazy, nasty, alcohol-related or sexually or physicallyâ€ related, but would not elaborate further on specific allegations.
According to Jeff Benson, fraternity and sorority program advisor at UW-Madison, the Board found that the chapter was violating its hazing policy, and decided to issue suspensions over the next two semesters, as well as probation for a third.
â€œTheyâ€™re on strict suspension for this semester, which means that other than weekly chapter meetings, they are not supposed to be operating,â€ Benson said.
He added, however, that any regular fraternity operation AEPi has done this semester, including rushing new members and initiation, is legal because of the appeal process.
The Boardâ€™s bylaws say that, if the IFC votes to overturn the suspension decision, the Board will determine an appropriate disciplinary action.
If the decision is upheld, the fraternityâ€™s suspension will begin Wednesday, Benson said.
Under suspension regulations, AEPi would not be allowed to rush or initiate any new members, hold social or brotherhood events or participate in Greek-sponsored philanthropies if the appeal is denied. A modified suspension would continue into next semester, with limited conditions for rush and initiation and a required hazing workshop for all new members.