ODSA Allows AEPi to House FreshmenBy Joey Marquez
____Despite the InterFraternity Council's rejection of the reorganized Mu Tau chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi, the Office of the Dean for Student Affairs granted the chapter approved freshmen housing status in May. The decision angered many people, including members of the newly formed Delta Pi fraternity.>
Current AEPi President Jonathan A. Oleinick '94 said that the ODSA's decision "will help the chapter a lot to grow and expand" and "will help the MIT community as a whole."
Oleinick said that after the IFC's vote, he met with Associate Dean for Student Affairs James R. Tewhey, and asked him to consider granting the fraternity approved housing status.
After meeting with IFC President Holly L. Simpson '92, Tewhey told Oleinick he did not feel the IFC's reasons for refusing to recognize AEPi were "sufficient enough" for the fraternity to be denied freshmen approved housing, Oleinick said.
"There's some rationale for not recognizing AEPi as a fraternity at MIT, but I don't think it outweighs the qualifications that AEPi has met to be approved housing for freshman," said Neal H. Dorow, advisor to fraternities and independent living groups.
AEPi rush plans questioned
The granting of approved housing status to an ILG that is not a member of the IFC raised questions about AEPi's conduct during rush. The IFC has traditionally established and enforced rush rules dealing with issues ranging from alcohol use in fraternities to when members may first give out "bids," or invitations to join an ILG. AEPi was not bound by any of these rules during rush, however.
Before rush, AEPi pledged that it "will not slander other ILG's, will not wear letters in public before the freshmen picnic, and will not serve alcohol at any rush activities," Oleinick said.
Oleinick said he hoped that "when the other fraternities realize that we will not use any of the benefits to go against the IFC," they will "let us in" to the IFC.
Despite these assurances, members of several other fraternities expressed concern that AEPi would not rush fairly. A special locker was set up on Athena to provide a forum for this discussion.
"I don't think it is at all unlikely that one or many of the IFC members will end up in a cross-rush situation against AEPi," wrote Phi Kappa Sigma Rush Chair Robert M. Polansky '92.
Vote was 23-4
A year after 45 members of the Mu Tau chapter were asked to leave and formed DPi, the IFC voted to deny recognition to the reorganized AEPi. The vote was 23-4, with five abstentions.
Discussion held before the vote brought forth differing opinions from members of both the reorganized AEPi and DPi.
Keith MacKay '91, president of DPi, commented that AEPi is a fraternity that is "uncomfortable with people who don't follow Jewish ideals all the time." He also said that a statement given by AEPi to all living groups indicated that AEPi, although not directly stating that they would like an all-Jewish fraternity, indicated that the chapter was biased toward Jewish members.
Another IFC representative said that the former members of AEPi, who are now members of DPi, were treated unfairly and suggested that the IFC and the Institute should wait to re-recognize AEPi until all DPi brothers have left MIT.
Dorow insisted that the administration was not involved in the reorganization of AEPi, and that they were dismayed when they heard that the national was reorganizing the MIT chapter.
Dorow also said that AEPi does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race or religion, as some former members of AEPi had charged.
A decision to recognize AEPi would have made the MIT chapter a non-voting member in the IFC for one year. Such a trial membership is subject to suspension by a simple majority vote. Trial members must pay half of the normal dues and give the IFC a list of all activities, officers and financial statements.
Decision weakened IFC
Some IFC members feel the ODSA's decision effectively rendered the IFC powerless. "What is the point of any of our decisions where we say that we should police ourselves?" Polansky wrote in the Athena locker. "If [the ODSA does not] agree with them, they will just overrule them."
"I'm worried about the fact that the MIT administration is taking away every last right to govern ourselves that we have," wrote Michael S. Tovino '92, rush chair of Theta Delta Chi. "Right now, the IFC is a puppet organization that exists solely because a university with fraternities needs an IFC."