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Will Sig Ep Be Derecognized?

Not Sig Ep, you say? The goody two shoes frat. The fraternity with the highest GPA — grade inflation notwithstanding, 3.6 doesn’t come easy. The brothers who supposedly don’t haze. Even the Review likes the house:

Sig Ep is the cheese pizza of fraternities. They’re not known for one thing in particular, but they still manage to appeal to everyone. They probably have the easiest new member term of any house, which, along with their large pledge classes, probably explains why their brotherhood isn’t particularly close. The antithesis of pompous, the brothers of Sig Ep want to have a good time without spending the night trying to dance with freshmen girls or engaging in excessive alcohol consumption. The house itself is probably one of the most sanitary on campus and is home to an absurdly large jack-of-all-trades sisterhood.

It’s hard to understand what’s going on at Sig Ep these days, given the curious dynamic between the brotherhood’s national organization and its Dartmouth chapter. And who knows what the Hanlon administration is doing in the background?

The facts are these: the national organization went dry, at least officially, due to soaring insurance costs. When the Dartmouth chapter was put on alcohol probation by the College, the national came down on it like a ton of bricks. All the brothers were suspended, and of the 102 active members, 63 applied for reinstatement (many juniors and seniors did not want to go through the entire process). The brothers were interviewed by a committee composed primarily of non-Dartmouth adults. And in the end, only 19 were invited to continue participating in the organization.

The process seemed entirely opaque, and as a result, a number of alumni brothers have written a document criticizing the whole affair and the current management structure of the house. It’s worth a read, if only to understand that manipulative processes are not the sole province of the Dartmouth administration. Here is the first page:

Sig Ep letter of complaint.jpg

Read the rest of the memo here.

The national does not seems to understand the College’s unique Greek dynamic. For example, they have asked that parties be limited to invited guests — an arrangement that goes against the Dartmouth Greek system’s admirable rule that almost any party is open to anyone. And to have a process that seems skewed against minority students harkens back to the bad old days of restrictive brotherhood covenants.

Where this will all end for Sig Ep is unclear. The administration’s death by a thousand cuts strategy has already claimed two victims (AD and SAE). Will Sig Ep be next?

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