AEPi returns to Tulane

Katherine Dawson, Staff Writer

After a three year absence, the fraternity AEPi is returning to Tulane’s Greek life scene. Almost 30 members have joined the revived chapter. (Rahima Olatinwo)

After a three-year absence, the Tau Upsilon chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi, the country’s largest Jewish fraternity, returned to Tulane University’s Greek community this spring semester. 

Members said they strive to follow and honor the missions and morals of the AEPi fraternity nationwide. 

After being placed in bad standing twice – first in 1995 under certain “acts of violence” and second in 2016 following two members’ conflicts with hazing – the Tau Upsilon chapter said they hope to rebrand and reestablish themselves on campus. 

We’re the new guys on the block,” sophomore rush chair Zachary Sturza said. “We have a new outlook on what a fraternity should be.” 

The re-founding class is composed of 10 students and Tulane’s chapter has almost 30 members. Sturza said he wants to help young men on campus by welcoming them into the new group. 

In 2023, boys join fraternities for the wrong reasons — parties, girls, status, whatever it may be. Other fraternities often sell their rushees on ‘becoming better men,’” he said. “I believe other fraternities are not doing much to make their men better. In fact, I believe they are making them worse.

Sturza emphasized his concerns about “optimizing wellness” and shared his excitement as one of AEPi’s “re-founding fathers.” 

Mitchell Cohen, sophomore and new member, said he joined the reestablished fraternity to bring its legacy to a new generation of Tulane students. 

“As a collective group, AEPi’s message of brotherhood, philanthropy and self-improvement all while having a fun time made my decision to join so easy,” Cohen said. “I think it’s pretty special to be part of a group of guys that has the privilege to help reignite AEPi’s legacy and help future Tulane students feel welcomed as soon as they come through the AEPi doors.”

AEPi’s official philanthropy program seeks to “reinforce the Jewish ideal of Tikkun Olam – repairing the world,” as stated on the chapter’s national website. Their goal is to give back to the community via the Repair the World Fund. This organization supports the Jaffa Institute, — a group that aids impoverished children in Israel — United Hatzalah — a volunteer emergency medical service in Israel — and the Israel Cancer Research Fund. 

Cohen also said AEPi is important in his family — his father and uncle were once members of the fraternity at different universities. 

“Keeping the legacy alive is something I’m excited to take part in,” he said. 

AEPi is the tenth currently recognized fraternity on Tulane’s campus. 

Sturza said the chapter continues to welcome students looking to join a group of like-minded individuals who balance fun with community and self-improvement. 

We want guys that are disciplined, tough, and, ultimately, willing to change for the better,” Sturza said. “I might give the impression that we’re militant, but we know how to have fun too. We’re a social fraternity at the end of the day.”

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