May 012006
Authors: Emily Lance Rocky Mountain Collegian

After an accident with the “condemned” fireplace, the downstairs room was left in ruin.

Chris Smith, member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, said the fire department came and broke through the walls and floor.

“We have got a cool house and we let it go. It fell into disrepair, the windows are broken,” said Smith, a junior computer science major. “These guys came to the rescue.”

Students from the group called ZOE began a makeover contest in an effort to serve and promote unity within the Greek community, giving CSU Greek chapters a chance to have a community room reconstructed.

In Greek, ZOE means “spiritual life.” The group is made up of students from Campus Crusade for Christ and Navigators. Many participants are also members of Beta Beta Phi, Phi Beta Phi, Kappa Deltas or construction management students.

The Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) chapter was the recipient of this year’s room makeover.

The chapters apply by video, documenting the room they wish to have redone. The area must be a room that promotes community, excluding a bathroom, kitchen or personal room.

Blake Teipel, a senior mechanical engineering major, organized nearly 20 people to help with the reconstruction.

“There is a real volunteer spirit,” Teipel said.

Christian Rainbolt , a staff member for Campus Crusade for Christ, was glad to meet the relevant needs of the Greek community and give the fraternity a sense of pride in their house.

“We want to show that Christians don’t just talk about showing love,” Rainbolt said. “We wanted to put feat to our words.”

The students patched the floor and ceiling, fixed lighting, painted and constructed walls with the help of Jennifer Varner, interior designer with Advanced Interiors in Fort Collins. Acting as project manager, Varner handled all material donations and design.

Smith could not ask for more.

“(The program) will reinforce the positives of the Greek system,” Smith said.

As a result of the newly remodeled room, the SAE chapter is planning to host a barbecue next year and invite ZOE and other CSU chapters. The members are repairing the deck and building a sand volleyball court in the backyard to continue the restoration of the house.

“The room will give (the fraternity) a common ground and place to commune outside of bars,” Varner said.

As a stipulation of the program, the SAE chapter will help with the house renovations of next year’s chapter.

The Phi Kappa Alpha sorority received a renovation for last year’s ZOE outreach. The chapter was unable to help with this year’s room because of CSU’s withdrawal of recognition of the chapter.

Emily Lance can be reached at

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