One of the nation’s most historic brotherhoods may be losing it’s national prestige. Numerous chapters of Sigma Alpha Epsilon have been kicked off of their university campuses in the past year, while a few are in hot water. Most notably, the University of Michigan recently got the axe due a parent emailing the university in response to her son’s complaints. Check out the handful of news reports after the jump…
We’ve rounded up a few articles to breeze over. The University of Michigan, University of Indiana, Cornell University and several others have let go of their SAE chapter due to some form of hazing allegations:
University of Michigan
The Daily has more:
The fraternity’s suspension came after an e-mail was sent to the University’s Office of Greek Life from a parent who disclosed various hazing activities — like forcing fraternity pledges to perform physical tests on while members shouted and threw tennis balls at them — her son was forced to endure as an SAE pledge.On March 7, the national organization made public its choice to maintain the University chapter — though it will be kept under “colony status” starting in the fall, according to the press release.
According to e-mails obtained by the Detroit Free Press, pledges were subject to a number of alleged abuses:
The e-mail said, “Brothers shot Airsoft guns, threw eggs, poked and tripped them with broomsticks, poured buckets of flour on them.”The e-mail said the next night was entertainment: “Brothers taking hockey slap-shots at the pledge class using tennis balls as hockey pucks” and “brothers violently kicking pledges in the groin to ensure that they were wearing athletic support cups.
Further allegations detail how pledges were were forced to drink “drink regurgitated water with goldfish in it,” the Free Press reports.
The fraternity may redevelop next year, although current members may be subject to further discipline from the university.
After a Feb. 3 party was busted by the IU Police Department leading to a suspension from its national organization less than a week later, the IU chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon had the opportunity to rejoin the greek community next fall. Those plans were scrapped Wednesday as the fraternity’s nationals closed the chapter until further notice.
SAE joins Theta Chi and Pi Kappa Alpha on the list of IU fraternity’s that have been kicked off campus since the beginning of the 2001-2002 school year.
In a press release, the national organization stated the chapter is to be restructured “to better meet the mission of the Fraternity and the expectations of the University and chapter alumni.”
The SAE nationals also said any activity at IU under the name of SAE is unauthorized and could hurt the chapter’s chances of returning to the Bloomington campus.
“All parties involved recognized that the ideals of our creed and ritual were not being met, and many of the young men had a different vision of what Sigma Alpha Epsilon was to be,” SAE Executive Director, Tom Goodale said in the release.
Dean of Students, Dick McKaig, said the decision came solely from the national organization, but the University was involved in the discussions concerning the sanctions and offers its full support of the decision.
McKaig said, from his assessment, the actions taken by the chapter since its suspension were not in the direction the nationals and the University had hoped. McKaig also said the University would have looked into the actions of the chapter if the national organization would not have taken this action.
“People’s jaws dropped, guys were crying, everyone was upset; it was pretty traumatic,” Guiser said.
As far as the timeliness of the decision, Guiser said it could have been handled better because it is finals week and current members are scrambling to find whatever housing is left for the next school year.
“(Nationals) left us hanging out in the open, picking up crumbs of whatever is left of housing,” he said. “They didn’t handle it as well as they should have. They didn’t give us proper notification. It’s not up to me to decide if it’s fair or justified. It’s up to nationals and the University, and they felt it was the best for them.”
“Guys are disappointed we can’t live with each other on a day to day basis, but nothing’s changed. We all feel we are the closest group of brothers on this campus. They can shut down SAE but they can’t shut down gamma.”
For now, the SAE chapter that was founded in 1907 does not have a specified date as to its return. The press release issued by nationals said stakeholders will meet to determine when the chapter will be readmitted to campus, but the earliest possible date for the reorganizing of the chapter will be fall 2003.
“(SAE will) try to get back as quick as they can, but they cannot guarantee it will be that soon,” Redmond said.
Cornell University Friday withdrew recognition of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity for the next five years, following the February death of student George Desdunes. SAE failed to call for medical help after the 19-year-old was provided alcohol “while in the care of certain members and associate members,” a university representative announced.
All SAE members must vacate the house by March 31. The fraternity chapter will not be allowed to use the university’s name, participate in any educational, social or athletic program or use university facilities for fraternity purposes.
“Even though the members and associate members recognized the condition Desdunes was in, they failed to call for medical care. He subsequently died,” Vice President of Student and Academic Services Susan Murphy said.
The university had temporarily suspended the SAE chapter during an internal probe of the chapter’s involvement in Desdunes’ Feb. death.
The loss of University recognition is the loss of any and all privileges and benefits bestowed upon a recognized fraternity or sorority, including but not limited to those listed below. Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity must:
1. Vacate the house located at 122 McGraw Place.
2. Stop identifying the chapter with Cornell, and stop the use of the university’s name in any fashion;
3. Withdraw from the university’s organizations related to self-governance of the fraternity and sorority system at Cornell (e.g., the Interfraternity Council);
4. Withdraw from all University membership solicitation programs or separate membership solicitation programs, as articulated and monitored by the self-governance organizations of the fraternity and sorority system within the terms of University policies (i.e., any form of recruitment activities are not permitted);
5. Withdraw from all educational, social, philanthropic/service and athletic programs and activities of the university, which are provided for fraternal organizations; and,
6. The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity is denied access to and use of University facilities for official functions as approved by the university offices under whose jurisdiction utilization of a particular University facility is regulated.
If recognition is requested and approved at any point following the five-year period, the chapter would remain on probationary recognition for an additional period of no less than three calendar years.
Here’s the link to a few others:
It’s not hazing. It’s brotherhood.