American University expels 18 suspected of involvement in banned group

(WTOP/Michelle Basch)

WASHINGTON — Eighteen American University students have been expelled for their involvement in an underground student group that has vexed the school for the past 15 years.

The university says the students violated the school’s code of student conduct. They are accused of being involved with Epsilon Iota, a banned group accused of violence, hazing and underage drinking.

“This group has perpetuated and systematically presented a threat to the safety and well-being of our students,” said Fanta Aw, AU interim vice president of campus life, in a statement issued by the school.

The school says the group traces its roots to 2002, when it was established by former members of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, which AU ousted in 2001.

The school says it has received reports that the group’s members, in recent years, engaged in assault, sexual assault and illicit drug use.

Since 2002, the school has warned students to steer clear of Epsilon Iota.

In addition to the 18 expelled, one other student has been placed on disciplinary probation.

These are not the first expulsions from AU because of ties to Epsilon Iota. The school says since 2010, 67 students have been accused of being involved with the underground group, many were disciplined and some were dismissed from the university.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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