Sep 252006
 
Authors: Vimal Patel, Brandon Lowrey

An underage girl was rushed to the hospital after drinking alcohol that a fraternity member had given her, leading to the suspension of the CSU chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, a spokesman for the national chapter told the Collegian Monday night.

The incident, which he said occurred in the past two weeks, landed within days of the second anniversary of Samantha Spady’s death to alcohol poisoning in another fraternity house.

The national chapter of SAE suspended the CSU chapter until the investigation is complete, said Brandon Weghorst, director of communications for the national chapter located in Chicago, Ill.

Chris Smith, president of the CSU chapter and a senior history major, said he doesn’t know the details of the investigation, but he vaguely acknowledged that inappropriate actions occurred.

“The brothers of Sigma Alpha Epsilon regret the events of that unfortunate night,” he said. “Our national office has been notified of the incident and continues to give us their support. The events are currently under investigation by the university and SAE will cooperate fully with the university.”

The details were unclear Monday night, as the Collegian was unable to obtain official reports of the incident.

But the national chapter’s statement upset Patti Spady, the mother of Samantha Spady, who appears in a new documentary speaking out against binge drinking.

“You know, I think I’ve said everything I can say, and obviously it’s not getting through to everybody,” she said. “It breaks my heart that these things still happen. . Hopefully, no one else has to die to send a message home to others.”

Mark Koepsell, director of Greek Life, said he can’t talk about the alleged violations while the investigation is ongoing.

In addition to the university, the national chapter is conducting its own investigation.

A chapter member allegedly served alcohol to the underage girl.

“She was so sick that she had to be taken to the hospital,” Weghorst said of the incident that he said happened about two weeks ago.

Weghorst said the national chapter is trying to determine whether the girl was drinking before or after her time in the house. Investigators want to know to what degree her state was affected by her stay at the house, Weghorst said.

No official event was going on; it was simply a fraternity member informally providing alcohol to the girl, he said. It’s unclear whether the girl was a CSU student, Weghorst said, adding that he’s also unsure of the girl’s condition.

There are several courses of action that the national chapter can take depending on the outcome of its investigation, including suspending the individual offender, suspending the entire CSU chapter, or placing the chapter under an alumni advisory board, meaning decision-making powers are transferred from the chapter members to alumni.

“We know that the university and Fort Collins have struggled with alcohol,” Weghorst said. “They’re supposed to be following everything to a T.”

On Monday, it seemed everyone was scrambling for details of the investigation – the national and local chapters.

“We’re waiting for the report,” Smith said. “When that comes through, we can comment further.”

Smith said he believes the investigation started on Sept. 15 when the live-in chapter adviser of the frat met with Anne Hudgens, the vice president of student affairs.

Hudgens and Bill Woods, SAE’s adviser, could not be reached for comment Monday evening.

Smith said he hopes the alleged events don’t reflect poorly on the frat as a whole.

“Sometimes, guys make mistakes,” he said. But as a house, we try to be true gentlemen.We’re trying to make it right.”

Staff writers Lyndsey Struthers, Tanner Bennett, Mike Donovan contributed to this report.

Editors Vimal Patel and Brandon Lowrey can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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