Well it certainly didn’t take long for President Penley to
decide who the scapegoat should be regarding the recent
Never mind that an intelligent, talented and beautiful young
woman has died. Never mind that countless people have lost a friend
and loved one. Never mind that an entire community is reeling from
a terrible tragedy.
Apparently one loss wasn’t enough.
With Penley’s decision to terminate Sigma Pi fraternity as a
sanctioned CSU organization, he has made it very clear who he deems
The Spady family has said they are grateful for the support of
the fraternity. It has not been shown that the gentlemen of Sigma
Pi did anything wrong on the night of Sept. 4. But evidently in the
minds of CSU’s administration there was an obvious group to
It was said that the university’s decision was based on several
rule violations over the past year including unauthorized parties
and serving alcohol at the fraternity house. If that’s the real
reason, then there are plenty of other fraternities that might as
well begin packing their bags, because Sigma Pi was neither the
exception, nor the most frequent violator of CSU rules. Dissolving
one fraternity for violations that many fraternities have committed
is nothing short of hypocritical.
In the past several days, the newspapers just couldn’t take
enough shots at the fraternity. However, if the fraternity was as
bad as you’d believe from these articles, why weren’t they gone a
long time ago?
The answer is, as much as people might think otherwise, there
were a multitude of positive contributions from this very same
The CSU chapter of Sigma Pi recently received a national award
for their alcohol awareness program (named ACE) put on in the
spring of 2004. The fraternity’s Designated Driver program could
serve as a model for the RamRide initiative that has drawn so much
praise (from myself included) in the past year. The fraternity’s
cumulative GPA was the highest amongst fraternities in the previous
semester, above that of the university average.
But it’s so easy to overlook the positives when something goes
Although the Sigma Pi fraternity is officially gone, there is
nothing the administration can do to take away our heart. Instead
of hanging our heads and walking away, there are plans to continue
the alcohol awareness philanthropy event and rename it Ace of
Spades in memory of our lost friend, Samantha.
When the many members of the fraternity return from Samantha’s
funeral in Nebraska, they will not only have to deal with their
continued grief, but also with finding new places to live and the
backlash against an organization that has been smeared on front
pages across the state.
Instead of helping the healing process begin, President Penley
has decided that one loss wasn’t enough.
It was the wrong decision.
Journalism Master’s Candidate (UNC – Chapel Hill)
Colorado State University Alumnus (2004)
Sigma Pi Alumnus
Chemistry Ph.D. Candidate (Northwestern University)
Colorado State University Alumnus (2002)
Sigma Pi Alumnus