Sep 262006
 
Authors: JAMES BAETKE The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The woman who allegedly received liquor from a Sigma Alpha Epsilon member – sending her to the hospital with suspected alcohol poisoning – is an underage CSU student who lives on campus, according to a CSU official.

Ann Hudgens, executive director of campus life, who is responsible for overseeing the affairs of the Greek system, confirmed Tuesday that the student was transported by ambulance on the evening of Sept. 16 from her residence hall.

“It is my understanding that an ambulance run did occur, but not from the SAE house itself,” Hudgens said.

The woman may have attended a SAE function earlier in the night that may have been linked to a recruitment practice.

Hudgens wouldn’t divulge the female’s exact age. A national SAE chapter spokesman classified the woman as “underage,” but couldn’t elaborate as to whether she is legally not allowed to drink or whether she is minor under 18.

“We started to get information last week and started working in an investigatory process,” Hudgens said. “The overall concern is the potential for alcohol-related recruitment.”

University officials in conjunction with the Greek Standards and Values Alignment Board, which is comprised of university Greek peers, are reviewing possible conduct code violations at the house on Sept. 16 and other possible recent violations, according to CSU spokeswoman Del Rae Moellenberg.

Both CSU and the national SAE organization put the local chapter on interim suspension on Friday pending the outcome of the university investigation.

“If the university finds someone is neglecting their duties, then something more may happen,” said Brandon Weghorst, director of communications for the national SAE chapter based in Chicago.

Weghorst said the national chapter does not require its local divisions to bar alcohol from houses, but houses must follow the policies of the charters and universities in their area.

“On a national level, we think the key is responsibility, not prohibition, when it comes to alcohol,” Weghorst said. “SAE does not condone alcohol abuse.”

In the fall of 2004, the Inter-fraternity Council voted to make all of the then 17 fraternities alcohol-free. In September 2005, the university punished eight fraternities and sororities for participating in so-called “Rise and Ralph” parties, where some Greek members wake up early and drink.

The recent SAE allegations came two years to the week when CSU sophomore Samantha Spady died from a heavy night of binge drinking. Spady was found in the now defunct Sigma Pi fraternity house near campus.

Police records do not show any major alcohol-related calls made to the house on 306 W. Laurel St., occurring within the last two months. One exception deals with an incident occurring in the parking lot of the SAE house that sent one man to detox via an ambulance, but no other details are available.

According to Weghorst, a team of investigators from the national chapter is en route to Fort Collins from Chicago to head their own independent investigation.

Staff writer James Baetke can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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