An inside look at the houseless fraternity

Following the campus chaos of Crossover weekend, fraternities and sororities have begun to settle in, welcoming their pledges to feel at home in their respective houses. Some houses have already had three of their weekly Chapter meetings, each starting to buckle down and decide upon what is in their best interest. For no house is this task more daunting than Sigma Alpha Epsilon, a currently houseless fraternity that must construct itself from the ground up and leave behind a foundation that will last.

As a member myself, I can report that many Chapter meetings have ultimately concerned coming up with strategies of how best to fulfill our Charter. However, it hasn’t been all strictly business. Most recently, we had meetings to prepare a routine for the rambunctious Alpha Phi Heartthrob event. Now we’re beginning to formulate ideas for Founders’ Day on March 12 as well as plan social gatherings — a Henna party with Gamma Phi, for example.

In the future, SAE will be inviting Ruby Aliment and Molly Levis, representatives from the women’s organization, VAVA, to come speak at our Chapter meetings. SAE will also be working with Esperanza International as its philanthropy organization and participating in school-wide events such as Love Your Body week and Relay for Life in May.

To get a sense of what SAE planned to do differently from other fraternities, I sat down for coffee with SAE President Kyle Sleeper. When asked what would be different about SAE, he replied, “I want SAE to be defined by the idea of our members being in competition with themselves. We want to fully integrate with the Greek community, but at the same time, we want to focus on holding each member to a higher standard.”

I then asked him how this would ultimately relate to other Greek houses. “The houses relate with one another because at their foundation, each has a similar set of values. The Greek system wouldn’t be doing its job if each house wasn’t upholding its own set of values. However,” he added, “we need to open up more dialogue about problems in the Greek system.”

Drinking has long been one of the more notorious problems of Greek houses at universities across the nation. But with the highest fraternity GPA on campus and a dry Crossover event, it’s clear that SAE’s intentions remain elsewhere.

“Other executive leaders and myself decided well ahead of time that we wanted to keep Crossover a dry event for our pledges. We wanted to use it as an opportunity to start forming our brotherhood from the get-go,” Sleeper said.

I asked Sleeper if he had anything more to add concerning the mission of SAE. “What it comes down to is integrity. We have the opportunity to let our actions speak for us.”

To get a different perspective on SAE, I talked to another executive leader of the house, Peter Cellier. I asked him what was unique about the fraternity, to which he replied, “I can’t really speak for other fraternities, but what’s interesting to me is that our colony is just starting up and every single person has a voice.” He added, “Right now, we’re in the middle of shaping our image without a hierarchy: we don’t intend to make one either.”

SAE is looking to be an ambitious fraternity, unafraid of having to make the steep upward climb to finally procuring a Charter. But with all the effort it has already put in, it’s only a matter of time before SAE takes its place among other fraternities as a fully-fledged Greek house.