UW-Madison terminates fraternity previously under suspension

UW-Madison terminates fraternity previously under suspension

A fraternity chapter at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been terminated after months of suspension, according to the university.

In a news release Wednesday afternoon, UW-Madison said Alpha Epsilon Pi violated Student Organization Code of Conduct policies and was terminated.

AEP, a Jewish-oriented fraternity, was under suspension for underage drinking violations, officials said. Under the suspension, the fraternity was not allowed to host any recruitment, philanthropy or social activities.

While an organization is suspended, it must operate according to terms set by the Committee on Student Organizations that are intended to strengthen the organization and prepare it for resuming normal activities, according to the release. In March, the committee received a report alleging that during a series of incidents, the fraternity had violated the terms of its suspension.

Following an investigation, the committee found that the chapter had intentionally violated the terms of its suspension by hosting events that were not permitted under the terms, the university said. The committee voted to terminate the fraternity for at least two years after social media pages blatantly advertise some of those events.

“We tried to give this group as many opportunities as we could to work through those, but each time they were trying to make some steps toward there, there would be some steps back. And finally there came a point where we’ve done what we can,” said Eric Knueve, assistant dean/director of the Center for Leadership and Involvement in the Division of Student Life.

Termination means that a student organization loses all rights and privileges that are associated with being a registered student organization, including the ability to hold events on campus.

AEP’s chapter president, Ethan Asher, said the organization was caught in a “problematic situation.”

“The university put a few limitations on us that interfered with our ability to act as a Jewish organization, such as restricting us from participating in Jewish holidays as an organization,” Asher said in an email to News 3. “We were not allowed to build a Sukkah for the holiday of Sukkot, nor could we hold chapter Shabbat dinners without sacrificing our weekly chapter meetings.”

Asher said the chapter also hosted a philanthropic event for the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, but UW’s rules prohibited that under their suspension.

“We value the growth of brotherhood both as individuals and as an organization as a whole, so we felt like this was the best course of action,” Asher said. “Moving forward, we would love to be a part of the school as we are allowed, but the way the situation worked out that is not currently the best option for us as we continue to improve as a Greek organization.”

Executive President of the Interfraternity Council Conner Feldman called Alpha Epsilon Pi’s alleged violations “inexcusable and inappropriate.” He said the termination reinforces the values of the fraternity community.

UW-Madison said federal student privacy laws prevent it from discussing disciplinary action that may be taken against individual students.

AEP does not have a house, so former members will continue to live in their off-campus apartments.

The chapter can appeal the Committee on Student Organizations’ decision, according to the release.

Fraternity spokesman Jonathan Pierce says the fraternity headquarters stands behind the Madison chapter.

This is the second fraternity to be terminated this semester.