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Suspended Carroll University Fraternity Petitions for Probation

Beta Pi Epsilon wants to spend fall 2012 semester addressing its academics to show university officials it can change its reputation.

Beta Pi Epsilon wants the chance to show administration that the fraternity can make permanent changes.

The fraternity’s requesting that instead of being suspended by the university, it be placed on probation for the fall 2012 semester. Beta Pi Epsilon was suspended indefinitely after it was unable to find an adviser.

“We have complied with everything they have asked us to do,” said Beta Pi Epsilon president Alex Sutherland. “We are trying to show that we have complied with all of those changes.”

The fraternity plans to take a petition for probation with more than 500 signatures on it to the campus’ Student Senate as it seeks another opportunity to keep a 106-year-old campus fraternity alive.

Carroll University after the fraternity was unable to secure a faculty adviser. Other reasons listed in a letter sent to fraternity alumni included their academic record and “disruptive” behavior.

The fraternity lost its adviser in February. Sutherland said members twice located someone who was willing to be an adviser. Both times the potential adviser backed down after speaking with school administration, he said.

“I don’t know how those conversations went,” said Sutherland, who was unable to attend because he was in class.

Moving forward

While the fraternity’s future is uncertain, the group of young men plan to continue their philanthropic activities such as picking up litter in the community and assisting area service organizations.

They will not be allowed to organize the events as a fraternity, though. They were told by school administration “you can act as a bunch of individuals coming together, but you can not act as Beta Pi Epsilon,” Sutherland said.

The fraternity also wants to clean up its reputation. Allegations, suspicions and rumors of parties at the Beta Pi Epsilon house have been present, Sutherland admitted.

“Because they heard from students that we were having a party, we got deemed that we were having a party,” Sutherland said.

One time the Waukesha Police Department was called for a noise complaint for a party. The fraternity was having an '80s movie night, Sutherland said, and invited officers into the house. Meanwhile, the neighboring house was throwing a party with individuals urinating on the fraternity house, according to Sutherland.

Police records show that officers were called to a loud party in February but that noise was not unreasonable when they responded. Other calls include a fraternity member who used a ladder to gain entry to the house via a window after being locked out and petty thefts.

“It is really unfortunate that our past has followed so closely with our … current members," Sutherland said. "… We are a whole new group of guys.”

The fraternity found itself in trouble in 2006 after a prank resulted in police being called after a neighbor thought there was a fight and possible abduction, according to a Journal Sentinel article. The Beta house on campus was closed by school administration in 2003 after reportedly experiencing undetermined issues with the fraternity. The university does not own the house where the Beta Pi Epsilon fraternity members live.

The fraternity members dedicated this semester to improving their academic record. They are ultimately there for an education, Sutherland said.

“In college you make some mistakes,” Sutherland said. “We have made those mistakes. It is time for the fraternity to move in the right direction.”

Alderman: Use caution in reinstatement

Alderman Vance Skinner, whose district includes the Beta Pi Epsilon house in the historic Mccall Street district, urged Carroll University officials this week to seriously consider its management and plan for fraternities before reinstating Beta Pi Epsilon. While saying the fraternity has not provided many problems in the area this past year, Skinner said the management of Greek life and adherence to a specific code of conduct needs to be addressed.

“Recently the Betas have been pretty good. … Knock on wood, it has been pretty quiet,” Skinner said.

But there have been historic problems with complaints from neighbors about college students who are walking from house to house and from party to party in the area. The foot traffic and disrespectful actions, such as smashing bottles, are chief complaints from the neighbors, according to Skinner.

The university students and the neighbors need to learn to co-exist, Skinner said.

“If they wouldn’t do those things, we wouldn’t have these problems … you have to realize this is a neighborhood,” Skinner said.

War Machine April 29, 2012 at 06:38 AM
Wow, that's not really a ringing endorsement for the college in their evidence-free termination of the fraternity. If things are good, and have been relatively quiet, the neighborhood might want to ask themselves if they want to find out what's behind door number two. That place is essentially designed to be college housing or set up as a half-way house. Take your pick. It's pretty interesting that the college could be opening the neighborhood up for tenants that are far worse in the big picture. Lay your cards on the table, Carroll. If the best you got is a prank here, a prank there, and stuff spread out since the late nineties or early 2000's, then you've probably got a group that has caused less problems than members of the football or basketball teams. Are you going to be looking at them anytime soon and dismissing them?
Waukesha4life April 30, 2012 at 06:41 PM
I live several houses away and would have to say that they are not a quiet fraternity. They have been better as of late but to me that does not mean much since the previous 4 years, they were not as well behaved. I think that if Carroll is seriously considering lifting the suspension, they should talk to all the neighbors and get a better picture of what we really see and hear.

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