Secret frat uncovered

At its Nov. 15 meeting, Inter Greek Council (IGC) announced it was looking for any information IGC members had relating to an underground fraternity.

According to Pamela Mirabelli, fraternity and sorority coordinator for IGC, the underground fraternity is named Chi Beta Pi.

The fraternity is not an official member of IGC but is using Greek letters as part of its name and pledging first semester freshmen at the College. Pledging is the process by which new members join a fraternity or sorority.

Michael Levy, Student Government Association (SGA) vice president of Administration and Finance and president of Phi Alpha Delta, said the issue of the underground fraternity is one “I feel very strongly about.”

Levy said the underground fraternity was brought to IGC’s attention by students and the office of Student Life. According to Levy, Chi Beta Pi has been “targeting freshmen with promises of recognition from the school at some point down the road.”

Levy cautioned that much of what IGC knows is based on rumors and speculation.

“We have identified some of the students that are involved with (Chi Beta Pi) and someone will be contacting them soon,” Levy said.

Bryan Vale, president of IGC, said that Chi Beta Pi is not recognized by IGC.

Vale said he first heard about the underground fraternity after members of IGC came to him and told him about rumors they had heard. As of the Nov. 15 meeting, Vale said claims that the fraternity exists were “completely unsubstantiated” until he and IGC learned more.

Since the meeting, Vale has not responded to e-mail requests for further information.

Mirabelli said IGC is still “looking for any information” from its members about the underground fraternity.

According to Mirabelli, one of the problems with Chi Beta Pi is that it’s pledging first semester freshmen, a practice that is not allowed by IGC.

Freshmen, Mirabelli said, can join a fraternity or sorority only after they have been at the College for at least one full semester. This “gives them time to get used to College life,” Mirabelli said.

Levy said the public might not understand the ill effects a group like Chi Beta Phi could have for IGC and the Greek community.

“Underground organizations like this reflect badly on all of Greek life,” Levy said.

Mirabelli could not disclose who IGC is working with to track down the group.

However, according to James Norfleet, vice president of Student Life, an e-mail was sent to Residence Life staff “asking for anyone with information about this group to contact Campus Activities.”

Matthew Golden, director of Communications and Media Relations, said “the College is aware of a possible underground fraternity,” and that the College is working with SGA to develop a policy for dealing with unrecognized student organizations like Chi Beta Pi.

Christine Cullen, SGA executive president, said SGA has talked to IGC about unrecognized groups on campus. One such group, Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity, participates in many of the same activities IGC-recognized organizations and is not a member of IGC, but is recognized by SGA.