~~~What is Alpha Epsilon Pi?
Our organization is a men's Fraternity, with a strong social presence on campus and and a cultural foundation centered around Jewish values. We are a Brotherhood of diverse individuals, branching off of a thriving national foundation, that strives to enhance the interpersonal relationships and academic successes of one's college experience.
~~~How does one join?
A student can join the Fraternity through a recruitment process that takes two steps. The first is called the "Rush Period, and the second being the "Pledge Period."
The Rush Period takes place during (roughly) the first three weeks of each semester, and is mainly for the point of exposure; so possible newcomers can see what we're all about and vice-versa. The events that comprise this time are typically a combination of smaller-scale programs such as meet-and-greets, hookah nights and video games tournaments, and some more grandiose ones such as concerts, carnivals, and open houses. Shabbat dinners are also incorporated into the mix.
The Pledge Period is exactly six weeks, immediately following Rush. This is where we host the new member education, an opportunity to truly allow those in the process to know if our Fraternity is the right fit for them. The main goal of Pledging is to become familiar with our history, both on a local and international scale. Examples of some of our events during this time are campus tours, study sessions, and group retreats. Virtually all of the Pledge Period has a very strict no-alcohol policy, save for minimal exceptions related to religious practice.
~~~What about hazing? Isn't that a part of the Pledge Program?
Absolutely not. All activities those going through the Pledge process undertake are solely designed to familiarize the Potential New Members (PNMs) with each other, the Brothers, and our history, and to do so in a productive and comfortable manner. Pledging is designed to build positive bonds, something we strongly believe that hazing does not contribute towards. If anyone is ever feeling like they are not being treated fairly, they can call our national headquarters at 1-800-ACE-AEPi and speak to one of the staff members.
~~~Does it cost money though?
Yes, being in any Fraternity does cost money. A fair amount of the dues we collect from everyone goes towards our national headquarters for insurance purposes. The rest, however, stays with our local Chapter so that we can afford to host the multitude of events that create each semester.
Rest assured that all money we collect is very specifically budgeted, reviewed, and voted upon at the beginning of each term, and everyone is notified when any money is spent. On top of this, our Chapter leadership also consistently applies for grants and scholarships that can add to our funding so that our members get charged less and less.
~~~So why should my son join?
The answer to this question really does depend on the individual, but in general, being in a Greek organization lends as much benefit to its members after graduation as it does before.
SOCIAL INTERACTION: Our type of programming allows for the opportunity to meet hundreds of people, on and off campus, of varying studies, ages, and backgrounds that one would otherwise probably not have met. We have events in co-sponsorship with partnering organizations (other Fraternities/Sororities, sports clubs, political groups, etc.), as well as host open events for the whole campus to attend.
JEWISH UNDERSTANDING: Our group offers its members avenues to learn more about the Jewish culture and spirituality of Judaism, covering topics from thousands of years ago to the contemporary conversation. Want to discuss the Maccabean revolt? Sure thing! Want to talk about Matisyahu's impact on the world? Sounds good to us! Whether you identity as Reform, Secular, Conservative, Orthodox, or not Jewish at all, we have the resources to get you informed on what you might want to know, and in a fun way!
GRADES: Our organization has the highest GPA of any Fraternity on campus. We save locations in the library for our group study sessions and provide workshops to help our members with time management.
PHILANTHROPY: We dedicate ourselves to creating events that will either assist in raising money towards a charity or involve us doing something with our own hands that will assist a cause that needs it.
NETWORKING: We have quite a vast Alumni network that can be quite beneficial towards our members future career paths. Those who have established themselves in their respective professional fields still have a lot to offer to our Brothers still going through their college days, and often times lend a helping hand in reworking resumes, providing mock interviews, and even extending job offers.
~~~I've heard a ton of of bad things about Fraternities. I'm still not sure it it's the right choice for my son.
There are so, so many stereotypes about how Greek life operates. Alcohol, drug use, and hazing are glorified as the "norm" in the media, especially movies and TV shows. This is just not how it works at Alpha Epsilon Pi. I encourage anyone with concerns to contact us email@example.com, and I can guarantee that your query will be responded to. We can introduce you to our Brothers if an in-person arrangement is what you would prefer, or we could just go over the details of our Fraternity over the phone, whatever you prefer! Either way, a quick conversation with any of us and we will be sure to dispel the fairy tales of the media from reality.
And, on a personal note, I could always just give you a chance to talk with my mom or dad about my own decision to join this group of men. She will only have the happiest of things to say.
Master (President) Daniel Graybow