The Brown University chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi, a historically Jewish fraternity, has announced its separation from the national organization and its intent to operate as an independent fraternity.
The president of the new fraternity, now called Beta Rho Pi, said they made the decision because the national organization was biased towards their non-Jewish brothers. They also had a problem with how nationals educated their chapter about sexual assault, saying that the focus was on risk management rather than prevention and education.
Fraternity President Ben Owens detailed the decision in an Op-Ed for the Brown Daily Herald. In the piece, he says that the nationals behavior towards their non-Jewish brothers was “demeaning.”
From The Jerusalem Post:
“A national representative told one of our presidents that a non-Jewish person could never be his brother,” Owens wrote. “In addition to the attitude such a comment seems to underpin, we took issue with their singular focus on the number of Jewish brothers in our chapter. In one particular instance, our National sent us an email with stereotypically Jewish last names to search for during the rush process.”
Owens said the fraternity intends to retain its Jewish identity.
“This is a house that will be shaped by Jewish values and traditions, but will never discriminate on the basis of religion,” he said.
Props to them for putting their brothers above the letters. After all, the title is arbitrary compared to the bond you form with the people in your chapter. If national reps are going to disrespect that bond because of their backwards beliefs, then fuck ’em. All they do is suck funds out of a chapter every semester anyway. Supporters of nationals will say, “Oh, they need those funds so they can buy lawyers and work damage control if you fuck up and get in trouble.” But they’ll just as easily throw you to the wolves when shit hits the fan. They’ve got a business to run after all.
Speaking of business, Brown AEPi’s disaffiliation means nationals has one less pocket to stick their hands in. Nationals doesn’t want the chapter to separate, and are hitting them with the book. An AEPi spokesman said each brother must disaffiliate individually.
AEPi spokesman Jonathan Pierce told the student newspaper that the international organization would work with existing members or interested students to reinstate the chapter. He said there is no official process to disaffiliate as a fraternity and that each individual member must make the request.
Shouldn’t be too hard for the chapter to become independent, but I wouldn’t be surprised if nationals slams them with a hidden bylaw further preventing a smooth disaffiliation. Hopefully, the chapter won’t have too much difficulty navigating through the red tape to find their independence..
[via The Jerusalem Post]
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