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ANNUAL MEETING OF BETA PI AND ALPHA PHI DELTA HOUSING CORP.Prior to Founders Day dinner, the annual meeting of the Beta Pi Alumni Association (Beta Pi AA) and the Alpha Phi Delta Housing Corp. convened at the University City Sheraton Hotel on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. Ross Weiner ’80 served as chairperson for the event. Alumni in attendance were Todd Wieseneck ’72, Morty Cohen ’65, Joel Catania ’71, Rich Sussman ’69, Harvey Mackler ’72, Parker Weil ’85, Bruce Wolfson ’71, Mitch Goldsmith ’72, Larry Gordon ’72, and Rich Myers ’69. Undergraduates in attendance were SMC Protik Nandy ‘20, Kaden Stenger ’19, and Lucas Loschiavo ’21.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this was the first in-person Beta Pi AA and Alpha Phi Delta Housing Corp. meeting in three years. After each person in the room introduced himself, the business at hand began.

Brother Nandy gave a “state of the chapter” update. He explained that Beta Pi was on social suspension by Penn, for the month of September 2021, due to a misunderstanding of the social rules and regulations put in place by the Penn administration. Apparently, many of the fraternities did not understand the rules as they were similarly suspended, nearly all of them for a longer period than one month. The Beta Pi Advisory Board, led by John Strong, a PiKA from Lehigh University, was able to negotiate a lesser penalty for Beta Pi.

The chapter was able to cope this year financially under the Penn rules, beginning in September 2021, that do not allow sophomores to reside in fraternity houses. Despite the fact that sophomores have traditionally been the majority of chapter house residents, Penn did not change the requirement that the Chapter House must be full. Already, three fraternities have gone inactive due to the inability to pay Penn the rents for the empty rooms in their chapter houses. In an effort to counter these strict requirements, Beta Pi instituted a fall rush and recruited six new upperclassmen that should help with next year’s Chapter House residency. Plans are in place for a fall rush for the coming 2022-23 academic year. Also, the chapter began an “Annual Pledge for the Graduating Class”. Each new graduate is being asked to donate to Beta Pi an amount corresponding to their year of graduation, e.g. a 2022 graduate will donate $20.22 annually.

The newly instituted Penn Housing policy has created other non-financial problems. Sophomores now living in Penn Housing are also required to have a Penn dining contract. Living in the dorms and eating in Penn dining rooms, leaves little time for them to spend at the Chapter House. Being separated from their fraternity brothers has “disconnected” them from the primary reason to join a fraternity: making life-long friends.

In an effort to keep Beta Pi relevant, a chef has been hired. Greg Ferrey ’20 was the leader in bringing this to fruition. There are also plans to schedule assorted evening and weekend activities to “give reason” for members who live outside the Chapter House to return and interact with their fraternity brothers.

As a closing remark, brother Nandy offered hope that the new incoming President at Penn will look more favorably on fraternities as she is coming from the University of Virginia that has a strong fraternity system. Hopefully, she might be conducive to easing the regulations placed on fraternities by the former administration.

Joel Catania, Treasurer of the Beta Pi AA, expressed disappointment that the sheer number of alumni contributing to the Beta Pi AA has gone down. He is encouraged by the generosity of the current donors. The Beta Pi AA is on firm financial footing and can continue to send out eletters ten times annually and mail print editions of Slices of Beta Pi twice annually.

Bruce Wolfson, Vice President of Beta Pi AA, explained that the CEF (Chapter Endowment Fund) that Beta Pi has at PiKa Inter/National is the 2nd largest of all PiKa chapters. These funds can only be used for scholarship purposes. Discussions are ongoing at Memphis headquarters seeking ways to put these funds to better use and still keep its tax-deductible status.

Following the Alpha Phi Delta/Beta Pi meeting, all in attendance were eager to join with other alumni and the undergraduate members in celebration of Founders Day and Beta Pi’s Centennial.