Sep 132004

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.


Gabriel Dance

Journalism Master’s Candidate (UNC – Chapel Hill)

Colorado State University Alumnus (2004)

Sigma Pi Alumnus

Zachary Dance

Chemistry Ph.D. Candidate (Northwestern University)

Colorado State University Alumnus (2002)

Sigma Pi Alumnus

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