News | Student Life

Sigma Alpha Epsilon decolonizes after violations, national fraternity spokesperson confirms

  • Greek Life | Fraternity brownstones line West 114th Street. Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which did not have a house, lost its provisional charter last spring after University policy violations.

Updated, 2 p.m., Dec. 14

A national Sigma Alpha Epsilon spokesperson told Spectator that Columbia's colony was closed in the spring of 2013 after violations of University policy.

“We closed the colony at Columbia University for failing to maintain the stringent standards, expectations and principles of Sigma Alpha Epsilon,” Brandon Weghorst, a national SAE spokersperson, told Spectator in an email. 

Columbia’s SAE, which came to Columbia in May 2012, was classified as a colony and was working toward obtaining a charter from the national organization.

“Once we close a colony, the group disbands and is not permitted to use the Sigma Alpha Epsilon brand or insignia,” Weghorst added.

A Student Affairs spokesperson confirmed to Spectator that the fraternity lost its provisional recognition in the spring after “multiple violations.”

The spokesperson declined to comment further on the fraternity’s decolonization.

The news was first reported by The Lion, which quoted a former SAE member who said the charter was suspended after a pledge was taken to the hospital for excessive alcohol consumption following a pregame.

A Bwog article Friday quoted anonymous former fraternity members who said brothers called in to speak with Scott Helfrich, associate director of residential programs, and testify before the Office of Judicial Affairs—instead of the Greek Judicial Board.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapters at other Ivy League schools have been embroiled in controversy in recent years. A 2012 Rolling Stone article detailed egregious hazing violations at the fraternity’s Dartmouth chapter. The same year, another SAE brother at Cornell died during a hazing ritual, the New York Times reported.

The loss comes on the heels of Zeta Beta Tau’s decision this fall to suspend its national charter until 2015 after a hazing incident last fall.

Check back for updates.

Christian Zhang contributed reporting.

samantha.cooney@columbiaspectator.com  |  @sammcooney

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Outraged man posted on

THIS IS SCANDALOUS.

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Anonymous posted on

No. It's just a normal day at criminal Columbia.

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Anonymous posted on

Decolonizing a fantastic group just because an idiot got drunk? This could have happened anywhere. Thanks Columbia for doing everything to make sure that the students feel like they are living in a prison. I will not donate a single penny to this school.

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Anonymous posted on

The fraternity colony was shut down by the National fraternity, not by Columbia. But that is the kind of thing Columbia would do.

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Anonymous posted on

Actually, as someone on the inside - it was the other way round. Columbia shut down SAE and nationals had to comply.

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Anonymous posted on

Good. Fuck off then.

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Anonymous posted on

SAE doesn't even have a house--why is the photo in the article showing the fraternities with brownstones on 114th? (i.e. Beta, KDR, Lambda) The picture is highly misleading and suggests that one of these fraternities was also involved in the hazing scandal, which itself is libelous. Change the picture, please.

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Relax. posted on

Nobody cares. When people think frats, they think frat row. Thus the photo.

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Anonymous posted on

It's good to show that Columbia's frat row looks pathetic. Partly it explains the pathetic people on the row.

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Anonymous posted on

RUSH BETA

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spelling posted on

what does "gregirous" mean?

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up your game spec posted on

nice job getting on this days after the lion and months after the decolonization!

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