SAE house shut down

Oct 222006
Authors: Vimal Patel

The CSU fraternity house where a 17-year-old girl reportedly drank 12 shots of hard liquor in about a half hour last month will be closed down.

The 16 men who currently live in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house, located on Laurel Street, were informed by the national chapter on Saturday that they must move out and the house will be boarded up on Thursday, said Brandon Weghorst, a spokesman for the national chapter.

Weghorst said the chapter was shut down not necessarily because of the alleged alcohol-poisoning incident, but because of internal rules violations.

“We do not condone any type of behavior that is inconsistent with our code of conduct,” he said. “We feel this is the best way to move forward.”

The national chapter and CSU conducted separate investigations into the fraternity after the 17-year-old girl, a CSU freshman, was rushed to the hospital after drinking at the house, according to an internal report obtained by the Collegian.

She had spent seven hours in an emergency room early Sept.16 and medical personnel said she would have died were it not for medical intervention, the report stated.

The CSU chapter of SAE did not have its charter revoked, Weghorst said, but has simply been suspended.

That means they no longer have university recognition and will not be able to participate in Greek-related activities, but the charter remains intact in the hands of the chapter’s alumni.

The Greek Board of Standards and Values Alignment earlier this month recommended that the university revoke SAE’s recognition for violating Greek Life’s no-alcohol policy.

The chapter appealed that recommendation, and it had been set to be reviewed by Eddie Modec, chief justice of the Associated Students of CSU Supreme Court.

Blanche Hughes, vice president of student affairs at CSU, said it’s her understanding that the national SAE chapter was withdrawing that appeal. Weghorst could not confirm that.

Although Weghorst could not disclose details of the investigation’s findings, he said that the CSU chapter of SAE did not live up to the national chapter’s standards.

The next step, Weghorst said, is to form an alumni commission composed of those who live in the area to conduct a membership review of individuals in the chapter. They will interview each member and determine who will continue on with the chapter.

The fall of the SAE house comes two years after the death of CSU sophomore Samantha Spady, who was found dead in the now-defunct Sigma Pi fraternity house after drinking a large amount of liquor.

The university shut the fraternity down, and President Larry Penley created the Alcohol Task Force. Alcohol was banned in all CSU fraternity and sorority houses.

In 2005, several fraternities and sororities were disciplined – and one, Pi Kappa Alpha, was booted – after a series of alcohol violations.

The SAE house will be closed until at least fall 2008, after which the university can choose to recognize SAE again, Weghorst said. The house will remain vacant until then.

On Sunday afternoon, the mood at the house adorned with the golden lions was somber. Chapter members and parents helped move bikes, mattresses and chapter rosters out of the house.

Several members declined comment, referring all inquiries to the fallen chapter’s president, Chris Smith.

Smith could not be reached by the Collegian on Sunday afternoon.

Weghorst said the chapter’s members will all have a place to stay.

“We worked with them in securing another place to live,” he said. “We didn’t just boot them out of the house.”

Editor in chief Brandon Lowrey and City editor J. David McSwane contributed to this report.

News managing editor Vimal Patel can be reached at

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