As the Inter-fraternity Council president tore up pieces of scrap paper and shuffled them to members of the Greek panel, Taylor Barnett gulped a swig of bottled water, his leg nervously shaking.
“This is killing me,” he said softly on Monday afternoon in the Senate chamber of the Lory Student Center.
Barnett is vice president of the ousted Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, and the pieces of scrap paper were going to decide the fate of the embattled group through an IFC vote.
They needed 3/4 of the vote to become a “colony” and be on the road to eventual full re-instatement as a CSU fraternity.
They didn’t get it.
By how much is unknown; the ballot was secret and will remain such, said Jarred Quintana, IFC president.
David Sparling, president of SAE, said the next step now is evaluating the concerns other fraternities had.
“We just want to take a moment and step back and find out what some of their reservations were in not reinstating us,” he said, “and we want to address those reservations.”
SAE lost university recognition in October after a booze-fueled party in which a 17-year-old freshman girl nearly died of alcohol poisoning, according to a university report.
The members of the fraternity were forced to move out of their golden-lions adorned house on 306 W. Laurel St.
The house is now boarded up, and the lions have been torn off – one stolen and one under the safe watch of an alumnus after being ripped out and left on the porch.
The fraternity has still been working with national headquarters, which placed SAE’s decision-making authority in the hands of an alumni advisory board.
The alumni board evaluated individual members and decided to keep only eight out of 34 members before the alcohol incident, Sparling said.
“It was unfortunate but very necessary,” he said of the weeding out process.
Chris Smith, the president of the fraternity at the time of the alcohol incident, is no longer a member of the group. It’s unclear why, as internal decisions about members isn’t public knowledge.
Colonies are officially recognized by the IFC and the university, can participate in many of the same activities as fraternities and sororities, and are on the path to eventually becoming full-fledged fraternities or sororities.
“The goal in the long run is to reestablish the partnership with the university,” said Brandon Weghorst, a spokesman for SAE national headquarters.
Managing Editor Vimal Patel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.