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Article Misrepresented AEPi Rush Record

Article Misrepresented AEPi Rush Record

This letter is in response to yesterday's article about Interfraternity Council rush rules ["IFC Rush Rules Aim To Keep Rush Fair," Aug. 26]. We would like to address several critical inaccuracies and misconceptions contained in the article.

As any fraternity, sorority, or independent living group member could attest, rush is invariably a hectic and confusing time. Rush brings about a more competitive spirit as each living group strives to meet and attract the freshmen who will potentially become new members. The competition ensures that houses will try to outdo one another each year in the activities they sponsor during Residence and Orientation Week, giving freshmen a wide variety of ways to enjoy their R/O with FSILGs. The negative side of this competition is that it brings about a reactionary attitude in a number of houses, who in defending their stake in rush are quick to accuse other groups of wrongdoing and rule-breaking, regardless of whether an actual violation occurred.

Last year, Alpha Epsilon Pi held its annual "Night at the Improv" comedy event. Rush rules state that when representatives of other groups visit a house to speak with a freshman who is in the house (as opposed to on a trip), the freshman must be presented to the visitors within 15 minutes. Before the comedy event, AEPi asked each freshman attending the comedy event whether, upon being visited by other groups, he wanted to be pulled out of the event to speak with them, or if he wanted to have a message taken for him (to be given when the event was over). Most of the freshmen indicated that they wanted messages to be taken. During the course of the comedy event, several houses' representatives came over asking to speak with freshmen, and if the freshmen sought had indicated so, were told that the freshmen had asked to have messages taken for them. Several of the representatives wanted to wait for the event to conclude so they could speak with the freshmen. Never did a 15 minute period elapse in which group representatives were not given the option to have a freshman presented to them, and indeed, each representative asking to have a freshman presented received that freshman shortly thereafter. We felt were acting in the best interests of both other groups and of the freshmen.

Three fraternities accused AEPi of rush violations concerned with accusations of improper message-taking and failing to produce freshmen for visiting groups within 15 minutes. Within a week, nearly half of these charges were dropped. After a lengthy appeal process, additional charges were dropped and others mitigated. A conviction by the Interfraternity Council Judicial Committee of the original charges would have indeed carried the mentioned $1,500 fines, but in the end the fines assessed totalled only $1,000. As well, AEPi is by no means prohibited from holding any in-house entertainment events, and in fact last night held the same comedy event that we did last year.

After all appeals, IFC Judcomm and the fraternities involved decided that our intentions were in fact benevolent. The Tech's article construed AEPi as one of MIT's leading rush rule violators, when in fact we pride ourselves on running a fair and honest rush.

While we still feel that the IFCs decision was harsh, and their final interpretation of rush rules pedantically literal, the IFC at least saw that we acted in good spirit, and if this is not of the foremost importance during rush, then following rules to the letter becomes somewhat meaningless.

Benjamin S. Levin '97, AEPi Rush Chair

Evan D. Robinson '97, AEPi