SAE gets suspended from DU’s campus

Sigma Alpha Epsilon's on-campus house.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s on-campus house is empty, yet still a beautiful presence on campus.

This past quarter, the Greek life Chapter Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) was suspended from the University of Denver’s Fraternity and Sorority Life, an action that has not been seen since Phi Kappa Sigma’s closure in fall of 2012. This rare occurrence brought speculations, rumors, blame, and ultimately confusion.


Although SAE faced probation and violations in 2011 related to hazing and substance abuse allegations, the action of SAE being removed has never happened before. The issue regarding what led to the suspension and if this action was rightfully done so, is one that many DU students have been talking about.

What brought upon the suspension of SAE?

The suspension was due to the reviewing of SAE’s chapter conduct code over the last five years by the conduct record of current individual members, and the ‘review of membership’ conducted by the national organization and university this past quarter, reported the Examiner.

After speaking with Megan Pendley Pickett, director of student engagement, she reinforced that “much deliberation with national and local Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) leadership went into making this difficult decision.”

What SAE has meant to its members

A twenty-one year old former student and member of SAE’s Colorado Zeta Chapter spoke about his time in the fraternity and what the brotherhood community meant for him.

“The brotherhood was super cool because it meant I had brothers all over campus who were my best friends, and who I could count on for anything. It was great to walk through campus and see brothers and have those interactions all over campus,” he said. “It made me feel like I had a place on campus, and made me more comfortable in social settings.”

In regards to the suspension;

“It is really unfortunate that it had to come to this and that the house can’t be used anymore because it was in a wonderful location. It sucks that all the live-ins now have to find alternative housing.”

But what about the SAE building?

The building now stands, unsure of what it will be used for next.

The building now stands unsure of what it will be used for next.

This is a question that has been of interest for many DU students. According to DU’s Clarion newspaper, the university is in the process of determining how the building will be utilized best, and they can confirm that the building will remain intact. However, no decision has been made at this time for what the use will be.

Members living in the house have been released from their on-campus housing requirement and have all chosen to find housing off of campus instead of applying to live in the residence halls, the Clarion reported as well.

The affect on the Greek life system at DU

There is a decent amount of Greek life presence on DU’s campus with 18 different chapters of Greek organizations. For the most part, fraternity and sorority life on campus has complied with the expectations.

“Many current and prospective members, as well as faculty and staff members, are saddened by the loss of recognition for Sigma Alpha Epsilon.  However, as fraternities and sororities, we all take oaths to uphold the values upon which our organizations are founded, and we need to hold one another accountable to our commitments,” said Picket.

Is there a future for SAE?

DU’s Clarion reports that this is not a permanent ban, and that SAE will be allowed back on DU’s campus in the future.

“Petitions will be granted based on the current climate of the University community, as well as the petition provided by Sigma Alpha Epsilon,” stated Picket. Petition information will include but may not be limited to:

  • Submission of a fully completed colonization packet for approval.
  • Assurance that the chapter has a strong and supportive House Corporation Board and Alumni Advisory Board that is approved by the University.
  • Commitment that the chapter has a faculty/staff advisor who will work to support the undergraduate members of the Chapter.
  • Dedication by the national fraternity to provide an Educational Leadership Consultant for no less than 10 weeks on campus to assist with recruitment efforts and the subsequent new-member period.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon will be eligible to petition for re-colonization at the University of Denver no earlier than Fall quarter 2017, for a start date no sooner than Winter quarter 2018.

4 Responses to SAE gets suspended from DU’s campus

  • Jordan Greenwall
    Jordan Greenwall says:

    Brielle- Thanks for covering this topic. I know it’s been confusing for students around campus to differentiate the truth from all the rumors. I think you did a great job getting to the bottom of it and giving everyone a straight answer. It would have been interesting to hear from so students in other Greek organizations about the allegations againts SAE, or even from some DU staff members. I like how your pictures capture the uncertainty of what will happen to the SAE house. Very cool piece!

  • Adam Glasser
    Adam Glasser says:

    I didn’t realize that they would be keeping the SAE house on campus and repurposing it, although i had heard that the fraternity had been kicked off of campus. Hopefully in the future they will be able to come back to campus and fix the problems that led to the original ban. I also didn’t realize that there were 18 different greek organizations on campus, very interesting!

  • Shannon O'Mara says:

    Just as Jordan stated above I am really happy that you covered this issue that has been happening on DU’s Campus. I really enjoyed being able to read the real facts that are going on as well as being able to disregard all of the rumors and that have been floating around about SAE’s suspension. I think you did a great job of being able to provide other articles that have been covering this issue as well. It helped me as a reader be able to research even deeper after finishing your piece. The photographs are also very appealing and applicable to the story! I am looking forward to hearing more from the interviews that you have setup!

  • Jillian Queri
    Jillian Queri says:

    Hi Brielle! Great article. You did a great job of staying unbiased by clearly stating the facts. Nice job on doing your research! Also, I thought that your interviews added a lot of character to the article, making the issue more personal. As a reader, your article was engaging and easy to follow, which I appreciated. Thank you for covering this topic! I think the entire DU community has been wondering what happened and what will happen to the brothers and the building in the future. Nice work!

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