AEPi alumni and undergraduate brothers celebrated the fraternity’s 30 years in Canada on May 5 at Toronto’s North York Novotel where they honoured the achievements of its members, leaders and university campus chapters.
MC Andy Borans, who established the first Canadian chapter of the fraternity, Lamda Omega, at the University of Western Ontario in 1985, affirmed that Greek life on campuses across Canada is flourishing. Lamda Omega was awarded chapter of the year for 2016.
Borans, the fraternity’s executive director, touched on the state of affairs on York University’s campus and was admittedly concerned for the Jewish student body and the Eta Pi brothers, who have been struggling against aggressive boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) demonstrations and violent anti-Semitic and anti-Israel attacks.
One brother, Noam Gorelik, said there is a degree of fear among the Jewish students and among his fellow pledges who are becoming hesitant to outwardly identify themselves as Jews.
While Borans had some choice words for the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and those promoting BDS wreaking havoc on campuses in Canada and in the United States, he maintains, “brothers in Canada epitomize Judaism, fraternity and loyalty,” and he couldn’t be prouder of the strength and resolve of AEPi Canada, to defend Israel and Jewish campus communal life.
Of the 74 most notable organizations operating in North America and around the world, AEPi is the eighth largest fraternity. Canada is the second largest country it has a presence in and just earlier this month opened a chapter in Sydney, Australia.
AEPi supports 10 philanthropic programs. Borans highlighted the good works of the Eta Pi chapter on behalf of the Gift of Life Network, Ontario’s organ and tissue donation agency. Seven Eta Pi members from York have saved 49 lives. AEPi maintains chapters on 17 campuses from coast to coast with a complement 570 active undergrads.
AEPi began at New York University in 1913 steadily expanded to 65 chapters on North American campuses. Today, the fraternity boasts 190 chapters in nine countries and 12,000 undergraduate members.