AEPi seeks IFC recognition
By Prabhat Mehta
David E. Borison '91, president of the recently reorganized Mu Tau chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi, on Wednesday asked members of the Interfraternity Council President's Council to once-again accept AEPi as a member of the IFC. "We think we have something very good to offer . . . very special," Borison said.
Borison attempted to distance the new chapter from the reorganization of Mu Tau last year by the national organization of AEPi. He cited the new chapter's achievements in building a strong brotherhood, performing public service, and participating in social activities and athletic events.
Last February's reorganization of AEPi, in which only 10 of the 55 brothers of the fraternity were invited to remain, resulted in the derecognition of AEPi by both the IFC and the Institute.
"We weren't involved in what happened last [year]," Borison said. "Let bygones be bygones."
A decision on readmitting AEPi, which is a Jewish fraternity, should be based solely on the merits of the current chapter, Borison argued, and not on the problems incurred by past members. None of the chapter's 13 present members, Borison noted, were associated with AEPi at the time of the reorganization.
If AEPi were readmitted to the IFC, MIT would again recognize the fraternity as Institute-
approved housing, allowing freshmen pledges to reside in AEPi's Back Bay houses, said Associate Dean for Student Affairs James R. Tewhey. Loss of Institute-approved housing status came with MIT's derecognition of AEPi in April of last year.
AEPi, if recognized by the IFC and the Institute, would also be able to participate in traditional independent living group rush activities during Residence/Orientation Week, said Neal H. Dorow, advisor to fraternities and ILGs.
The IFC will vote on whether to grant AEPi initial membership at its next meeting, on April 3, said IFC President Holly L. Simpson '92. Initial members do not have voting privileges and are subject to expulsion by a simple majority vote of the Presidents' Council, Simpson said.
In addition to Borison, other members of the fledgling chapter, alumni from the Mu Tau Corporation, and members of the Delta Pi fraternity also attended the meeting to participate in what became at times became a tense and emotional discussion on AEPi.
DPi was founded last spring by former AEPi brothers. Currently, 28 of its 31 members are former AEPi brothers.
Some of those present at the meeting, including students from DPi, expressed concerns that the national organization might attempt to reorganize the chapter again if it found the chapter to be unsatisfactory.
When asked how the new chapter would prevent that from happening, Borison replied, "We will abide by FIPG policies," in reference to the risk management policy of the Fraternity Insurance Purchasing Group. AEPi's national organization cited three violations of this policy as its reasons for reorganizing the MIT chapter.
Alumni claim AEPi
reporting was skewed
The three alumni representatives of the MIT chapter of AEPi attended the meeting to support the new chapter's efforts. All three have served on the board of the Mu Tau Corporation, which owns and runs the chapter's two houses in Back Bay Boston.
Alfred H. Bloom '50 said inaccurate coverage of the reorganization by The Tech has led to unfair hostility toward AEPi.
"A lot of what was printed in the campus press was not true," Bloom said. "The fact is the national wished to have anyone who wanted to abide by the rules of the fraternity."
Bloom felt the members of the old chapter downplayed the seriousness of their violations of FIPG rules. "They insulted everyone's intelligence," he said.
Another alumnus accused the former brothers of lying and falsely accusing the national organization of religious bias. "I am really sorry to see [the former brothers] pull this Jewish bit," he said. "They lied so much it was pathetic."
In an interview last night, former DPi President Lawrence P. Lubowsky '92 maintained that the national organization's actions were in part discriminatory. "For many of us, there is no doubt that AEPi is a discriminatory organization," he said. "From what they showed to us during the reorganization, we don't think that AEPi should be allowed on campus."
Current DPi President Keith J. MacKay '91 concurred with Lubowsky's assessment: "It seems too soon [to readmit AEPi], especially in light of the fact a very large portion of the students who got thrown out last year are still at MIT."
Dean's Office supports
new chapter of AEPi
Despite the opposition of DPi members, the Office of the Dean for Student Affairs supports of the efforts of the new AEPi chapter, Dorow said. "We are supporting the efforts of the MIT students in having their fraternity recognized," he said.
Tewhey said AEPi should not continue to be denied recognition on campus as a form of punishment for its handling of the reorganization, which MIT has criticized. "If we're punishing anyone at this point, we're probably punishing the students who cannot live in [the AEPi] houses," Tewhey said.
Lubowsky said that while DPi has no objection to the idea of students starting a new fraternity, he objected to students starting a new chapter of AEPi so soon after the reorganization.
"We don't really have anything against the people in AEPi," Lubowsky said. "We are, however, insulted by the fact that they jumped right in after the reorganization. They never stopped to find out exactly what happened."
Dorow defended the new AEPi brothers' decision to revive Mu Tau after the reorganization. He said the advantages of the chapter -- the two houses in the Back Bay and a well-established and extensive alumni network -- made it a prime target for students wanting to form a new Greek organization.
Lubowsky acknowledged that "it's a hard deal to turn down." However, he felt reviving Mu Tau "was not the morally correct decision."
While Simpson would not speculate on how the IFC would vote at its next meeting, Lubowsky said he thought the IFC would not reinstate AEPi. "I have a feeling that it would be a few years before AEPi gets recognition from IFC," he said.