Monday’s announcement of Alpha Chi Omega’s move off campus recalls other recent shifts in Greek life at Penn.
In spring 2012, Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity chose to move off campus after violating the University’s anti-hazing policy. Like AEPi, AXO plans to voluntarily revoke its charter. The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life issued a list demands to the sorority after a student’s parent called the University following an AXO drinking event, chapter members confirmed.
One chapter member said that the original OFSL document was very similar to that issued to AEPi before its members chose to revoke the chapter’s charter. AEPi’s off-campus reincarnation is now known as APES — although earlier this semester, a group of students attempted to recolonize an official AEPi chapter at Penn.
OFSL Director Scott Reikofski wrote in an email for a February article, “If individuals are attempting to restart the chapter, they are doing so against OFSL procedures, in violation of University policy, and will be considered an underground, unrecognized group.” Penn AEPi Founding President and College sophomore Austin Billig said at the time that the national organization was dealing with the details of recolonization.
But some Greek organizations have disbanded completely rather than move off campus, under more serious circumstances. Phi Kappa Sigma, informally known as Skulls, was kicked off campus in 2012 following the death of a visiting student who fell in the fraternity’s house during an unregistered New Year’s Eve party in December 2010. After settling a wrongful death lawsuit for $3 million, the fraternity was suspended by its nationals and later kicked out of their house by the University.
A corporation of Skulls alumni currently owns the house, and Executive Director of PKS International Fraternity Doug Maden said for an April 2014 article that the “long-term plan” is for the group to recolonize and move back in. Maden said conversations about moving back to campus would begin this coming fall.
The infractions leading to AXO’s departure from campus are much less extreme than that of Skulls, but it still must deal with some similar obstacles, like where members will live. Since OFSL owns the sorority house, AXO members who planned to live there will need to find alternate housing should the charter be officially revoked.
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