In the court of Greek public opinion, the embattled Sigma Alpha Epsilon doesn’t appear to have much support.
The punishment faced by the fraternity doesn’t evoke much sympathy in the Greek community.
“SAE has always had a track record of drinking,” said Warren Prosser, chapter president of Alpha Gamma Rho and a third-generation CSU Greek. “My chapter would love to leave the Greek system because of some of this bad imagery.”
Prosser and other CSU Greek members who didn’t want to be named on the record, say SAE is painting a wicked picture of binge drinking and rule breaking that continues to smear the already tarnished Greek image at CSU.
“You are always going to see the people who are trying to be gentlemen or classy women, and then there are the few individuals who ruin it for a chapter, like in the SAE case, ” said Melanie Huntrods, president of the Panhellenic Council, the governing body that oversees the university’s sororities.
Huntrods backs “dry house” rules, where alcohol is completely banned from Greek homes. CSU banned alcohol in sororities and fraternities in 2004 after the alcohol-poisoning death of sophomore Samantha Spady.
The Greek Board of Standards and Values Alignment voted 6-1 to recommend booting SAE on Oct. 6 and Huntrods says she is in full support of the decision.
“(SAE) have been on the front page of the Collegian for so long, so I definitely think the SAE men have some kind of remorse,” said Huntsrod, a junior technical journalism major. “I think they should be on the front page, although I feel bad for them at the same time.”
Prosser is taking a more direct approach in his distaste for the SAE fraternity.
“Right now, it is really disturbing,” said Prosser, a junior agricultural business major. “I’m a third-generation Greek and a third-generation Greek president, and this is embarrassing.”
Prosser says his father and grandfather have always seen certain fraternities, including SAE and Pi Kappa Alpha, abuse their privilege as a brotherhood by promoting drinking and rule breaking.
“The fact I have to be associated with them bothers me. It ruins our image,” Prosser said. “I feel sorry for the Greek system right now.”
Matt Cook, president of the Interfraternity Council, says the negative publicity in the past years – the death of Spady, ousted Greek chapters and so-called “rise-and-ralph” parties – has overshadowed the good deeds of the Greek system.
“The CSU Greeks are some of the best leaders at CSU, not just leaders in their own chapters, but leaders in other organizations on campus,” Cook said. “We hate the bad publicity and when something like this happens it certainly hurts the Greek system.”
Staff writer James Baetke can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.