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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Jewish fraternity tries again

    After numerous bouts of failed leadership that led to Zeta Beta Tau’s removal from the Interfraternity Council and the arrest of the president and vice president in 2005, the fraternity’s future looked grim.

    Now they’re getting a fresh start in 2008.

    “”We were there for many years and we’ve come in and out but now we’re starting again with a completely new group of guys and none of the old guys will have anything to do with it,”” said Matthew Tobe, national director of Zeta Beta Tau. “”There was poor leadership at the time and now we have a group of freshmen and sophomore men who want to start fresh.””

    Tobe and his colleagues have spent time on campus recruiting students to become founding fathers of the new fraternity. They already have twelve and are hoping for about seven more, Tobe said.

    Zeta Beta Tau is the nation’s first Jewish fraternity and it actively recruits Jewish, male students. The group is set to be a non-pledging fraternity, different from most fraternities on campus that stick to the two-tier system.

    “”The non-pledging part is important for our group because we’re here to enhance leadership skills and networking, not for the hazing and all of that,”” Tobe said.

    The previous fraternity occupied an apartment complex at 1011 N. Tyndall Ave. Tobe says that a house is the last thing on their to-do list, however.

    “”We have no plans for housing at the time, right now we’re just concentrating on building the infrastructure,”” he said.

    On April 25, 2005, the former president of Zeta Beta Tau was arrested for possession of cocaine during a party at the fraternity’s apartment complex.

    The vice president was arrested for selling alcohol without a liquor license and for underage drinking, according to police reports.

    At the time the incident took place, Zeta Beta Tau was already refused recognition by the IFC for violations committed in previous years.

    Although the fraternity has had a rocky past, administrators aren’t too worried about similar problems arising again.

    “”I tend to find that when organizations go through restructuring, they tend to take on the face of a different organization,”” said Anthony Skevakis, program coordinator of judicial affairs. “”I think any organization that comes in has the potential to bring a new face to the campus.””

    Sgt. Eugene Mejia, public information officer for the University of Arizona Police Department, said although the reintroduction of a fraternity after being suspended or revoked is not their decision, he’s confident they won’t be treated any differently than the other fraternities.

    “”I know that if they are reintroduced and allowed to operate under university guidelines that they wouldn’t be dealt with any differently than the others,”” he said. “”The activity of members would still be closely monitored to make sure it complies with university regulations.””

    Zeta Beta Tau is putting its best foot forward in order to forget the past and start with a clean slate, both among themselves and with the university, Tobe said.

    “”We’ve been working very closely with the university and the IFC to make sure they know we’re coming so it’s been a whole process of us trying to work with the community and make sure we’re going to have a good partnership,”” he said.

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