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ZBT takes Brandeis' name off site

Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Updated: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 23:05

Zeta Beta Tau removed Brandeis' name from its chapter Web site after the fraternity received a letter from the University's legal counsel two weeks ago threatening disciplinary action if it didn't comply.The fraternity met an Oct. 10 deadline to take down the name and won't face any consequences.

Since the Board of Trustees decided in 1988 not to affiliate the University with fraternities or sororities, Greek organizations cannot associate with the Brandeis name for liability reasons, Dean of Student Life Rick Sawyer said.

ZBT President Robert Geiman '08 said lawyers for their fraternity's national organization sent him an e-mail recommending they change their Web site.

He said lawyers suggested they make clear on the site that the fraternity is a chapter of ZBT consisting of students attending Brandeis University, with a disclaimer that Brandeis does not recognize fraternities and sororities.

Geiman met with Sawyer Monday afternoon and characterized the meeting as "very friendly."

Sawyer explained that the University sends these types of advisory letters every few years to Greek organizations reminding them of the policy, Geiman said.

Sawyer told the Justice last week that the counsel continues sending these letters because new generations of students come to the school who don't know the policy.

"The letter serves as a reminder that it is "inappropriate and improper to use [the University's] name," Sawyer said last week.

The Web site was called to the administration's attention after ZBT invited Sawyer to a their re-chartering ceremony two weeks ago. The invitation directed Sawyer to ZBT's Web site.

Delta Phi Epsilon President Emily Rosenfield '08 is disappointed with the University's decision not to affiliate with Greek organizations.

"Considering that the motto of the school is 'Emet'- truth- it surprises me that others, alumni in particular, can make such sweeping accusations about Greek Life at Brandeis without knowing more about it," Rosenfield wrote in an e-mail to the Justice, referring to alumni comments on the Justice's Web site regarding Greek Life.

Sawyer didn't return a call Monday to comment on the meeting between him and Geiman.

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