In an effort to keep institutional memory alive, Bwog wants to teach you about major issues and topics at Columbia. If there is something you would like to know more about, look it up on wikicu or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Today, we attempt to explain why you’re not at a
frat fraternity party like all your high school friends. Take it easy in the comments, upperclassmen, we don’t want to scare the first-years off. Deep breath now, this one’s a doozy…
The first major development was Operation Ivy League (OIL), in December 2010 (read here for a full explanation), when five Columbia students were arrested for dealing drugs. Three of the five were brothers of Pike (Pi Kappa Alpha), Psi U, and AEPi. These three fraternities lost their brownstones in 2011. There was a lot of shouting about the horror of collective discipline. PsiU had a deceptively large owl above their doorway, which is heartily missed. Curiously, although one of the people busted in OIL was in the Intercultural House on 114th, they faced no punishment. Throughout the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years, the brownstones were used as regular housing, which was kinda sweet.
But last year, with much commotion, the three brownstones were offered up to campus organizations. Brownstones are historically hard-fought, see: 2008’s awarding to DeltaSig. Both Beta and ADP own their brownstones, but the rest are owned by the university. That doesn’t mean they can run completely by their own accord, though–police have been known to shut down loud Beta parties and every so often ADP has to go dry due to incidents in the house.
A Brownstone Review Committee was organized and thirteen groups applied for the space, including seven Greek organizations. Finalists were chosen and included Pike and AEPi, both of which had been working very hard to improve their image and community impact. Eventually the houses were awarded to AXO (a formerly-homeless sorority), Lambda Phi Epsilon, and Q House (a special interest group for LGBTQ). AEPi’s exclusion prompted the Chairman of the Greek Judicial Board to resign.
AEPi and Pike (who, by many accounts, were living between Mel’s and an off-campus apartment) got a consolation prize of sorts: their very own EC townhouses. We’re interested to see how they use them. Earlier this spring, Pike ran into some more trouble when we found a raunchy scavenger hunt list, prompting review from the Greek Judicial Board.
In 2002, Fiji (Phi Gamma Delta), sold their brownstone back to the university, after some, ah, interesting history. Since then, they’ve been housed in an EC townhouse, where they still managed to throw some sweaty parties. Last year, they tried to get one of the three open brownstones, but didn’t make it to the finals.
Earlier this month, we got word that ZBT, a baseball frat, had lost their housing. There was some allegedly revolting hazing event in the house last fall, rumored to be carried out by the women’s field hockey team, and not the brothers. The Inter-Greek Council revoked their charter, but they appealed and former Dean of Student Affairs Kevin Shollenberger shockingly let them keep their charter, but left them on social probation. Then in May, after winning the Ivy League Championships, the baseball team held an unregistered party in the house, leading ZBT to lose the space.