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Sig Ep Reorganized by National, Majority of Brothers Kicked Out

By Frank Dabek
News Editor

As a result of the recent reorganization of the MITchapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon, 30 members of the fraternity have been expelled or suspended. Only 11 members currently live in the SigEp house at 518 Beacon St. The chapter itself will remain under the advisement of an alumni board for at least one year.

The reorganization, which began in late November and finally concluded this month, was prompted by a "failure to meet expectations and a general level of operations," according to Sigma Phi Epsilon Alumni Board President Shaun L. Meredith G.

An incident in which pledges from the MIT chapter brought alcohol to another SigEp chapter immediately preceded the reorganization, but Meredith said that this incident only "characterized that behavior" which led up to the reorganization and included other alcohol violations.

While the house is not fully occupied, the fraternity is renting space to graduate students.

Decisions follow interviews

All SigEp members were suspended when the reorganization began. Following a questionnaire, interview and optional appeal for each member, an alumni advisory council decided which members of the house would be reinstated.

According to Meredith, the board chose to reinstate members "who are interested in the founding principles of the fraternity" and who "understood that times are changing." The house "can't have an Animal House' atmosphere" any longer, he said.

Expulsion was chosen for those members who did not express concern for the national fraternity and who "made it evident themselves that they didn't want anything to do with" the process, Meredith said.

Dominic J. D'Aleo '00, who was expelled from the fraternity, said that the interviewers never revealed their reasons for his expulsion. His only insight into the process came through a guide used by the alumni board which advised the interviewers to "watch out for rebels."

D'Aleo was critical of the interview process and said that he "knew how you were supposed to answer" the questions. He characterized the appeal process as asking members if they were "ready to say what [the board] wanted to hear."

He also felt that members were not given adequate time to find housing after being expelled from the fraternity. D'Aleo said that he was informed of the decision on December 9th and required to move out by the 17th. There was a "scramble to find a place to live," he said.

Meredith, however, said that members were informed that they were suspended on November 24th. The 17th was chosen as the move-out date because it was the day on which the students' leases expired. In addition, expelled members were allowed to stay past the 17th. We "didn't kick anyone out on the street" Meredith said.

D'Aleo said that his dissatisfaction with the process was not unique to himself. "The only people who aren't really disgusted by the whole thing" are the five freshmen in the house who D'Aleo described as "pretty psyched."

Character of house to change

Following the reorganization of the chapter both Meredith and D'Aleo predicted that the character of SigEp would change.

Meredith promised a "chapter that is much more proactive" with members who are leaders on campus.

D'Aleo was less generous: "The house has committed suicide" he said. "The freshmen are absolutely nothing like" the previous members of SigEp, he said. "SigEp isn't SigEp anymore."

D'Aleo said that the reorganization was initiated by the alumni board whose "aim is to make SigEp an academic house." He said that the alumni had tried to reorganize the house in the past but residents had resisted the effort.

Meredith said that the national did consult the alumni prior to beginning the reorganization. At that point he decided that the board would "much rather try to salvage the good people that we had there" than risk losing the chapter.

Future of SigEp to be determined

After one year the progress of the local chapter of SigEp will be re-evaluated by the national fraternity. Meredith said that he has one "year to get the chapter back to self-sufficiency and proper operation."

At the end of the year the chapter will either have its full status returned or it will fold. Hopefully "we're not going to be one of those [chapters] that folds," Meredith said.