Penn’s chapter of Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Epsilon, plans to officially revoke its charter with the University this week. They will lose all recognition from the University and the AXO national chapter, even though members plan to informally continue their activities off campus as a philanthropic organization.
The decision was finalized Monday night, when more than 85 percent of the sorority’s members voted against signing a formal document with the University, which outlined requirements the chapter would have to follow in order to remain affiliated with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.
Among other demands, the document required the chapter to complete Penn’s First Step program and to abstain from engaging in any social events, including those without alcohol, for the next two years. The expectations were unreasonable to many members of AXO, and they ultimately considered moving off campus a better option.
Though the specific details that led up to the University’s investigation into AXO are not entirely clear, chapter members say they were placed on probation in January following a phone call that a Penn student’s parent made to the University after an AXO drinking event. AXO members did not want to speak on the record until the sorority’s charter is officially revoked.
In March, OFSL told the chapter that they had violated Penn’s Alcohol and Drug Policy. OFSL also found members had violated the administration warnings on the chapter, according to AXO members, because they continued to communicate with their new sorority recruits while on probation.
Representatives from the Vice Provost for University Life met with the chapter on Monday night to discuss the logistics of staying on campus, but the final vote — tallied after the meeting — was still largely against remaining affiliated with OFSL.
Members of VPUL could not immediately respond to requests for comment by press time.
As part of the requirements to stay on campus, members of AXO’s executive board would have had to step down from their positions. A new chapter president and vice president would have been required to sign the University’s agreement to remain on campus. But no two chapter members were willing to take the roles, according to AXO members.
On March 22, after receiving the first version of the requirements from the University, the sorority took an initial vote indicating what they found again this Monday — more than 85 percent of the chapter did not want to sign the document. In the following weeks, AXO worked with members of VPUL to change the terms of the agreement. A revised version was presented to the chapter on April 3, and the voting process took place again this Sunday and Monday.
According to a chapter member, the initial document closely resembled the document sent to Penn’s chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi before they voluntarily chose to close their chapter in the spring of 2012. AEPi, now informally known as APES, was found guilty of violating the University’s hazing policy.
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