Binghamton University’s chapter of Alpha Xi Delta (AZD), Zeta Phi, lost its charter Monday, making it the second BU sorority chapter to lose its charter within the year.
AZD’s National Council decided to investigate the Zeta Phi chapter after receiving complaints from a BU student who had pledged the sorority, but then dropped out.
The student declined to comment for this article.
“The decision to close our chapter at Binghamton University was not made lightly, as every chapter truly is a link in our sisterhood,” stated Sandi Edwards, Alpha Xi Delta’s national president, in a press release issued Wednesday. “Unfortunately, Zeta Phi Chapter members have continued to violate Alpha Xi Delta’s policies on risk management and observance of Fraternity rituals despite efforts to lead the chapter to a culture consistent with Alpha Xi Delta’s policies and values, leading National Council to close the chapter.”
Lauren Lomnicki, a senior majoring in biology and president of the Zeta Phi chapter, said that the National Council prohibited any of the sorority’s members from contacting the student who lodged complaints.
“We were told in our cease and desist letter that we were no longer allowed to have any communication with her,” Lomnicki said.
Lomnicki said she is not angered at the student who called AZD’s National Council.
“So many people are blaming her and I don’t think it was entirely her fault,” Lomnicki said. “I don’t think she knew what would be the outcome of everything she said.”
BU’s Zeta Phi chapter plans to appeal to the National Council of AZD to reinstate its chapter.
“They told us that we didn’t uphold the values and traditions,” Lomnicki said. “We were willing to learn and be re-educated, but they didn’t give us a second chance.”
According to AZD’s National Council, the Zeta Phi chapter of the sorority was founded in 1987 and has initiated more than 600 students.
Sunni Solomon, the assistant director of Greek Life at BU, confirmed that AZD’s charter is no longer recognized by the University.
“As far as campus is concerned, neither of those chapters exist,” Solomon said, referring to AZD and Alpha Phi, a sorority that lost its charter last semester.
He refused to comment further on the details of the incidents that prompted the chapters to lose their charters.
Lomnicki said Solomon had been supportive since they were notified of the AZD National Council’s actions.
“Sunni was amazing throughout the entire process,” Lomnicki said.
Emily Rellis, a senior majoring in philosophy, politics and law and a member of Delta Phi Epsilon, said the removal of AZD’s charter will negatively impact Greek Life because many students are already skeptical of the system.
“People always have their assumptions about Greek Life and nobody really knows the truth,” she said. “People seeing you in such a negative light when you’re trying to do something good is always disheartening.”
Rellis said that the charter’s removal will affect not only Greek Life but the rest of campus. She cited events and fundraisers conducted by Greek Life organizations.
“By taking away the charter, it takes Greek Life away from campus and their involvement on campus,” Rellis said.