eli newman headshot

To the editor,

Fraternity and Sorority Life at NC State, and more specifically the InterFraternity Council (IFC), have been creating rules during the pandemic that have severely and unfairly impaired the smaller fraternities on campus and threatens to completely eradicate the small fraternities in the council.

I am a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi, the Jewish fraternity on campus, and we are one of the 19 organizations in IFC, the main council for fraternity life at NC State. In addition to being a cultural fraternity, we were chartered in 2017, which makes us one of the smallest fraternities at NC State. Being the largest council of fraternities at NC State, IFC has the huge responsibility of dictating the rules and regulations for fraternity life, and in the past, they have come under harsh criticism for their treatment of sexual abuse accusations and drunk driving incidents.

Starting last semester, IFC has been attempting to keep fraternities safe from the spread of COVID-19 while also allowing them to still stay active. One of the rules enacted this semester stated fraternities were not allowed to host events at any private residences. What this rule was meant to do was prevent large fraternities from having unregulated events at brothers’ homes and, therefore, spreading COVID-19 in small indoor areas. For many fraternities, this rule is not that bad because they have a fraternity house to still hold events at. 

But for my fraternity, we’re not big enough to have a house. Therefore, we are stuck and unable to plan any sort of events unless they involve spending exorbitant amounts of money at places like Drive Shack or escape rooms. Due to this rule being enacted, as well as many other rules that unfairly affect a small cultural fraternity like mine, our organization has been severely impaired this semester, and we have lost both old and potentially new members because of these changes.

I am proud to be a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi. We have a reputation of being one of the friendliest and most respectful fraternities at NC State, and we hope to continue that legacy in the future. But changes like the ones IFC have been making show they have no interest in helping the little guy, and helping a fraternity like ours grow and flourish. Spreading the word about these unfair regulations would help convince Fraternity and Sorority Life to switch up their strategies next semester and begin supporting the smaller fraternities many students at NC State respect and are comfortable interacting with.

Eli Newman is a third-year studying computer science.