According to undergraduate chapter president Jake Ascher, the Alpha Epsilon Pi chapter at Havard University plans to disaffiliate from the organization to form a gender-neutral social group.
The Harvard Chapter of AEPi, the Eta Psi chapter, is the first of Harvard’s nine Greek Life organizations to become COED following the announcement of Harvard’s penalties on members of unrecognized single-gender organizations.
According to The Crimson, beginning with the class of 2021, the school’s policy will ban undergraduate members of these groups from certain leadership positions, athletic captaincies, and postgraduate fellowships.
Via The Crimson:
In a written statement released to The Crimson Tuesday, current members of the chapter announced they had “voted to become a gender neutral organization” and will hold a gender-neutral rush next fall. In order to do so, the group has been forced to disaffiliate from AEPi’s national organization.
“Beginning next semester our rush process will be open to all Harvard undergraduates, regardless of gender identity,” the statement reads. “Our chapter has long debated the issues of gender inclusion and neutrality, but the announcement of the sanctions certainly spurred our decision,” it continues.
Ascher said Harvard’s Eta Psi members first discussed going gender neutral in May 2016 at a chapter-wide meeting held just after University President Drew G. Faust announced the College’s penalties. He said that meeting, intended to “take the temperature of the group,” largely decided the chapter’s future course.
After the university’s imposed the new sanctions, AEPi held discussions among fraternity members. Conversations amongst the fraternity members continued until the chapter held a formal vote to decide whether or not to have an open rush in the fall 2017 semester.
They eventually voted to have an open rush, forcing them to break its affiliation with Alpha Epsilon Pi because the national leadership would not allow the fraternity to retain its chapter status while also admitting women.