Former AEPi brothers adjust to new status as local fraternity Pi Delta

9/26/2015 – Medford/Somerville, MA – Pi Delta on Saturday, Sep. 26, 2015. (Jeremy Caldwell / The Tufts Daily)

The newly established local Tufts fraternity Pi Delta is adjusting to its place on campus after disaffiliating from the national fraternity organization Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) last winter.

Former AEPi members voted unanimously to disaffiliate and finalized their decision through the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life in late January, according to a Jan. 30 Daily articleThe Tufts AEPi chapter was founded in 1940. 

In a Jan. 30 letter in the Daily signed by former AEPi brothers, members said they found themselves at odds with the aims of the national AEPi organization.

“Recently we have come to realize our long-term goals do not align with those of our national organization,” the letter said.

While the letter stated a commitment to diversity, it did not explicitly specify the conflicting goals between the Tufts AEPi chapter and the national organization.

“We strongly believe in diversity of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, background and beliefs,” the letter read. “This diversity provides individuals with the tools necessary to succeed as leaders in the modern world.”

By disaffiliating, the fraternity has been able to create a more inclusive and diverse environment, Pi Delta member Noah Schifrin, a sophomore, said.

Pi Delta was founded on a few core principles, one of which was inclusivity,” sophomore Michael Lefkowitz, another Pi Delta member, said. “We pride ourselves in our diversity.”

According to Pi Delta President Adam Kochman, the fraternity is still fully functional and is hosting and participating in small social and philanthropy events. The fraternity hopes to have a larger event by the end of the semester, Kochman, a senior, said.

According to Kochman, the fraternity also chose not to have fall rush recruitment in order to give the organization more time to get on their feet. Pi Delta will begin recruitment for new members in the spring.

Kochman said the recruitment process is one way that the fraternity demonstrates its inclusivity. Without a target number of people for each pledge class, Pi Delta can focus on giving bids to as many or as few people as they deem necessary, he said.

Pi Delta currently has 52 brothers, and in the past few years, their pledge classes have been around 14 people, Lefkowitz said.

Pi Delta has also tried to be more inclusive by providing more financial aid for fraternity membership fees, according to Kochman.

“We don’t want financial aspects hindering someone from joining, so we try to provide as much financial aid as we can,” he said. “We [will be] reevaluating after one year of doing so.”

Lefkowitz said the fraternity does not have any plans to affiliate Pi Delta with a national fraternity at this time.

The brothers are enjoying their status as a local, Tufts-only fraternity for now and won’t look to affiliate the fraternity nationally for at least three years, he added.

“We have a really good thing going for us right now, and it is not likely that we will affiliate nationally while any of the current crop of brothers are at Tufts,” Lefkowitz said. “And if that does happen some time down the line, it would be a decision made by that current class of brothers.”

The national future of Pi Delta remains largely unknown because, for now, the brothers are choosing to focus on the present, Kochman said.

Lefkowitz said the fraternity’s short-term goal is recognition from members of the Tufts community.

“I think our plans are to get our name back out there and [reacquaint Tufts] with our brotherhood,” he said. “There’s a group of people on campus that know us really well, but I think it would be great to have all of Tufts get to know who we are and what we’re about.”


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