The national headquarters of Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) has shut down Emory’s chapter for at least two years for violating the anti-hazing policy, according to a Tuesday University statement to the Wheel.
The fraternity will be removed from its home at 17 Eagle Row, and the 21 residents will be relocated for the remainder of the Spring 2019 semester. Campus Life will assist in relocating the students, according to the statement. Assistant Vice President of Reputation Management Laura Diamond declined to answer questions about the timeline of moving out or whether all brothers would be provided on-campus housing.
AEPi national headquarters wrote in a March 6 statement to the Wheel that Emory members’ behavior has been an issue for years.
“Local advisors, Emory administrators and the international fraternity staff have been working for years with the chapter to overcome a persistent negative culture,” the national headquarters’ statement said. “We felt AEPi needed to make a clean break with this group of young men and restart with a new group of Brothers, committed to our mission of developing the future leaders of the Jewish community.”
Emory said it agreed with the decision to remove the chapter from campus.
“Emory University fully supports the decision from the national headquarters,” the University statement said. “The safety and welfare of our students is a top priority.”
The chapter will be eligible to return to campus in Fall 2021, according to the national headquarters.
In January, former AEPi President Joel Sharpe (20B) was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine. Sharpe received medical amnesty for Emory code of conduct violations because he was seeking medical attention for an intoxicated individual, his attorney previously told the Wheel. Criminal charges against Sharpe are still pending.
Emory said on Feb. 18 that Residence Life staff had responded to an incident involving alcohol and possible hazing at the AEPi house. The Office of Student Conduct then placed the chapter on interim suspension, and the national headquarters placed the chapter on “cease and desist.” Emory and the national headquarters conducted “separate” but “parallel” investigations.
The Wheel attempted to speak with 10 brothers on Tuesday, but all refused to comment or provided bogus information.
Interfraternity Council (IFC) President Alex Dobosh (20B) said IFC agrees with national headquarters’ decision.
“The IFC executive board is fully in support of the decision by AEPi’s national headquarters and Emory University,” Dobosh said. Dobosh declined to answer additional questions from the Wheel.
In an email last month to Emory fraternity members, Dobosh wrote that hazing would not be tolerated.
“I understand the importance of tradition. I understand the importance of building connection around the rituals of our fraternities. However, there is no tradition or bonding activity that should make individuals feel unsafe or degraded,” Dobosh wrote. “It is unfortunate to see chapters suspended as a result of hazing.”
John Stark (21B), who served as the acting chapter president, did not respond to the Wheel’s request for comment by publication time.
Carson Greene, Ayushi Agarwal and Niraj Naik contributed reporting.
Update (3/6/19 at 9:35 a.m.): The article has been updated to include AEPi national headquarters’ statement.