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- 18 Students Expelled for Membership in Underground Group
Newsletter > September 2017 > "18 Students Expelled for Membership in Underground Group"
18 Students Expelled for Membership in Underground Group
Tim Burke, Manley Burke, firstname.lastname@example.org
On August 28th, American University announced the dismissal of 18 students and the discipline of one other as a result of their involvement with an underground rogue local group known as Epsilon Iota (EI).
Until 2001, Alpha Tau Omega’s Epsilon Iota Chapter was on the American University Campus. However, after a series of suspensions and disciplinary actions, the Chapter ultimately surrendered its charter to the national fraternity, apparently at the point the fraternity was ready to revoke it. American University formally withdrew recognition of the group that same year.
In the following decade and a half, members of EI have been the subject of significant concern on the American University campus. They have been involved in numerous instances of disorderly conduct. According to the University statement, in more recent years, “They were engaging in alleged illegal behavior such as assault, sexual assault, rape, undergraduate drinking, and illicit drug use.”
An article in the August 28, 2017 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, “American U. Expels 18 Students for Involvement in Rogue Frat,” reported “Last year the University amended its Student Conduct Code to ban involvement with unorganized groups that violate university rules.”
The University’s statement quotes Fanta Aw, American University’s Interim Vice President of Campus Life, “This group has perpetuated and systematically presented a threat to the safety and well-being of our students. This should send a strong message to anyone involved with groups engaged in activities prohibited by the Conduct Code.”
The American University Student Government Association issued its own “Statement on EI Dismissals” saying in part:
“Student government applauds the University Administration for taking action against a large group of students associated with the underground group Epsilon Iota (EI)…
“Since 2002, this group has operated as an unrecognized and underground organization that is not regulated by AU. Additionally, it lacks oversight by the Fraternity & Sorority Life office and the office of Campus Life. EI has a history of sexual and physical violence, hazing and other violations of both the Student Conduct Code and the law.”
In the Chronicle article, Wynn Smiley, Executive Director of Alpha Tau Omega, made it clear that the fraternity had no connection to EI.
The alleged history of misconduct by members of EI emphasizes the incredible challenges that underground groups pose for universities and frequently for the fraternities with which they were previously associated.