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Serving the GW Community since 1904

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By Ella Mitchell, Staff Writer • April 22, 2024

Univ. temporarily suspends Alpha Epsilon Phi over hazing allegation

The University placed the Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority on an interim suspension while it decides whether to discipline the group for an anonymous hazing allegation.

Student Judicial Services Director Tara Woolfson wrote in an e-mail that the allegations involved “requiring candidates to keep a penny in their shoe” and “wear specific clothing under their street clothes, which created a situation where new members were subject to physical and mental discomfort and embarrassment.”

Ten Alpha Epsilon Phi members declined to comment on the allegations. The sorority’s president, Alison Pinter, did not return multiple messages from The Hatchet.

Hazing is defined as “any action taken or situation created, intentionally, with or without consent, whether on- or off-campus, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule,” according to the University Code of Conduct.

Woolfson said SJS has met with the sorority’s chapter and national organization leadership to discuss the allegations. The sorority’s national organization is considering sanctions for the group.

The University will determine whether to “support the proposed sanctions, suggest additional or different sanctions or to take independent judicial action against the chapter,” Woolfson said.

Possible sanctions the University is considering for the sorority include withdrawing recognition, placing the group on social probation and instituting educational programmatic initiatives. Woolfson added that the national organization may include other components to the sanctions.

Alpha Epsilon Phi national officials could not be reached for comment.

Loss of recognition means the sorority would no longer be an official Greek-letter group and would not receive University sponsorship, funding or access to on-campus housing. Unrecognized groups are also not subject to University regulations.

SJS found the Delta Tau Delta fraternity guilty of hazing last February, which led its national foundation to dissolve the chapter. There are currently four fraternities – but no sororities – that operate as unrecognized groups on campus.

Student Activities Center Director Tim Miller said it is a “joint process” between SAC, SJS, the national organization and chapter leadership to determine possible consequences for the sorority.

“Everyone is equal partners in the process,” Miller said.

Miller added that this is not the first time the University has had to take disciplinary action with a sorority.

-Jessica Calefati contributed to this report.

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