WASHINGTON, DC -- Monday, American University announced that 18 students have been expelled and one has been placed on disciplinary probation following their participation in an underground fraternity called Epsilon Iota or EI , which is not recognized as a legitimate organization by the university.
The students are accused of engaging in illicit behavior which has some student concerned.
“There needs to be justice for everyone who’s been harmed by them or abused by them.", sad incoming Freshman, James Skiest.
According to AU, those students showed a pattern of student code violations including physical violence, hazing, and underage drinking-
Samantha Lang, another Freshman said, “I think parts of the things they did, alcohol, drugs, things like that, it’s normal on college campuses, but sexual harassment in that sort of severity is very scary.”
This is a problem that goes all the way back to 2000 when EI, a former chapter of the national fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega, was suspended for violating alcohol and hazing rules.
American University stopped recognizing the fraternity in 2001, but EI continued to operate.
The group has been reported many times over in cases including claims of assault, sexual assault, underage drinking, rape, and illicit drug use.
“I specifically looked for a college that didn’t have a big Greek life because Greek Life does have a bad name, there’s hazing and things like that, so I just figured to avoid it altogether would be the best bet.”, said Lang.
In 2010, 67 students affiliated with EI were charged with student conduct violations and many were dismissed.
On their website, American University says it warned incoming Freshmen about EI as part of its sexual assault awareness program.
For some, the incidents involving EI have students weary of engaging in Greek Life.
“I’m not sure if I’m going to join a fraternity, just because of things like this.”, said Skiest, " but if I do, I’m going to make sure that that stuff doesn’t happen in the one I join.”
American University did sent a memo to all new undergrad students and their parents, warning them about off-campus parties and underground groups.