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Beta House Loses Fraternity Designation From City

Beta Pi Epsilon was suspended by Carroll University in April and their house no longer meets Waukesha's definition of a fraternity home.

Members of a former Carroll University fraternity that was suspended indefinitely may soon have to seek alternative housing.

The city's Board of Zoning Appeals on Monday unanimously upheld a Waukesha building inspector’s decision that the home at 135 McCall St. no longer qualifies as a fraternity because the Beta Pi Epsilon fraternity is not recognized as an official, chartered organization.

Under the city’s ordinances, no more than three unrelated people can live together in the same residence. Fraternities that are directly affiliated with a college or university are given an exception.

But in April 2012, Beta Pi Epsilon was no longer recognized as a fraternity. The fraternity was suspended for a variety of reasons, including the inability to find an adviser, their conduct record and academic performance. The former Betas have been in conversations with Carroll University, but it is unclear when and if the fraternity will be reinstated.

“We are going to just try to continue as we are now, living in the house, letting our alumni move forward with getting our fraternity to join back,” said Alex Sutherland, the former fraternity’s president.

The Betas have not been told when they need to move out.

“We have not been given any timeline,” Sutherland said. “I am hoping they will let us live there throughout the rest of the semester so that we aren’t inconvenienced for this semester. That is my only wish.”

Emanuele Vitale, a former longtime alderman, said at Monday's meeting that he has seen problems with fraternities in the area since 1992 – “fights,” “people who are on drugs” and “derelicts.”

“There were so many shenanigans going on,” said Vitale about fraternity activities in 1992. “There were three to four fraternities in that area. … The situations that went on there were unbelievable.”

Some of the fraternity members who live in the Beta house now were not even born in 1992.

Patrick January 08, 2013 at 03:55 AM
I'm glad the board supported the city, the college and alderman Skinner on this and denied their request to continue. What's really strange is that vitale, who was the former alderman at that time all those years, points out that the problems were "unbelievable" under his watch, yet have now been resolved under someone else (alderman Skinner). Why is he running again???
Rhyno January 08, 2013 at 06:16 AM
I am interested in knowing what corners in that area of Waukesha haven't had fights, drugs, derelicts or shenanigans since 1992.

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