- CAN A COLLEGE BE LIABLE FOR SUICIDE?
- ALPHA EPSILON PI FIGHTS FOR FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION
- REAL ESTATE TAXATION ON NONPROFIT CORPORATIONS
- VOLUNTEER PROTECTION ACT SAVES FRATERNITY VOLUNTEERS
- DEFERRED RUSH: A VIOLATION OF EQUAL PROTECTION?
Newsletter > September 2005 > "ALPHA EPSILON PI FIGHTS FOR FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION"
ALPHA EPSILON PI FIGHTS FOR FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION
Robert Manley, Manley Burke
Alpha Epsilon Pi has recently initiated two lawsuits to defend the freedom of association of undergraduates who want to join their Fraternity. One is against City University of New York in connection with its branch campus known as College of Staten Island. The other is against the University of Delaware.
In the Staten Island case, Alpha Epsilon Pi was denied the opportunity to establish a colony because of a college regulation that all student groups must be open to members of both sexes. Alpha Epsilon Pi is trying to convince the U.S. District Court in New York City that the colony should be allowed to proceed with organization in order to fulfill the rights of freedom of association, freedom of religion and freedom of choice that they are guaranteed under the U.S. and New York Constitutions.
At the University of Delaware, a new suit was filed in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware alleging that the students who want to reorganize a chapter on that campus are being blocked by administrative lethargy. Alpha Epsilon Pi had a chapter on the campus. Both the University and Alpha Epsilon Pi withdrew recognition of the Chapter and closed the Chapter in 2000 for disciplinary reasons. Now, all the students who had been members of that Chapter have graduated and Alpha Epsilon Pi wants to return to the Delaware campus.
The University bureaucrats at Delaware have adopted a policy of processing only one application per year. Because there are other groups who want to come onto the campus, Alpha Epsilon Pi has been told that it cannot even be considered until the fall of 2008.
In both cases, Alpha Epsilon Pi alleges that the freedom of association and freedom of religion rights of the members are being impaired by government institutions in violation of the federal Constitution, the state Constitution and the civil rights laws.
Both of these cases have the potential of being landmark cases in the field of freedom of association and freedom of religion.
Alpha Epsilon Pi is committed to being the Jewish fraternity of North America. It actively promotes Jewish traditions among college students.
Exclusion of Alpha Epsilon Pi from these two campuses excludes the leading organization to promote Jewish culture among university students and interferes with the freedom of association of the individual students who want to participate. The students should have the choice as to whether or not they want to operate as a single-sex organization or not.
It is part of their freedom of association right. When universities prevent students from exercising their freedom of association or their freedom of religion, the universities manifest bureaucratic ineptitude that places administrative convenience ahead of fundamental rights. These fundamental rights have been cherished and fought for in universities ever since the foundation of the University of Paris in 1257.