Members of the ousted Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity were disappointed for the second time in a year Monday after CSU Greeks rejected their attempt to once again be recognized by the university.
In a “closed ballot,” the Interfraternity Council, the governing body for fraternities, voted against allowing SAE to officially be recognized as a CSU fraternity – a decision that the fraternity and at least one CSU official said was disappointing.
“We feel like we’ve taken all the right steps (to be recognized), ” said David Sparling, SAE president. “We felt like the university embraced us, we felt like the Greek life as a whole embraced us. The only people who haven’t embraces us is the IFC.”
Individual votes and by how many SAE fell short are kept secret, said Jarred Quintana, IFC president.
Needing 3/4 of the council’s vote, the fate of SAE lies in the hands of the IFC – student members of other campus fraternities.
And swaying the IFC is an uphill battle, Sparling said.
“It’s a simple mentality that SAE is a renegade fraternity,” he said. “There are still some reservations we have to address. we want to convince them that we’ve made a lot more progress than some of the other chapters (who have lost their recognition).”
SAE made a similar attempt in April that was also shot down.
This time around, CSU’s Greek Life office urged the council to consider reinstating the fraternity.
“We’re in support of SAE coming back to campus,” said Sonja Jensen, director of Greek Life. “I’m not sure they (the IFC) understand what SAE has been through.”
The IFC stripped the fraternity’s recognition in October after a 17-year-old girl nearly died from alcohol poisoning at the SAE house, according to a university incident report.
The girl -who witnesses said drank 12 shots in a half hour – was transported to her residence hall where friends soon called 911.
Already battling a negative sentiment surrounding CSU’s Greek life and drinking on campus, the university booted the fraternity and coordinated with SAE alumni to punish their current members.
With little notice, members were forced to move out of the SAE house at the intersection of Laurel and Howes streets. The house is currently vacant and boarded up.
SAE has since conducted a “house cleaning” of its members, considerably reduced their number of members and has worked with their alumni and CSU to restore their reputation, Jensen and Sparling said.
And the men of SAE, Jensen said, are ready to be come back.
“I do think we lost something today,” she said. “I think SAE is going to be an asset, but I also appreciate the IFC’s decisions. they have a right to be cautious.”
Despite their support from the university, SAE won’t be recognized until the IFC votes in favor of them returning as a “colony,” which theoretically doesn’t have to happen any time soon.
There is no other appeals process, Jensen said, but SAE is permitted to resubmit their bid every two weeks.
While the IFC and university still don’t officially recognize the fraternity, its members paid homage to their house last week at the annual painting of the “A,” which is historically coordinated by SAE.
“We still have a strong role within the university,” Sparling said. “It was sad for students up there on Thursday painting the ‘A.'”
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