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Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024
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Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity suspended from campus after downtown brawl with ATO


By now, students have probably noticed that [inlinetweet prefix=".  . ." tweeter="@mercercluster" suffix=""]the Greek letters have been removed from the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house, and missing letters tend to start false rumors.[/inlinetweet]

SAE was suspended after getting in a fight with members of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity last semester, not because narcotics were found in the fraternity house, as some students have suggested.

Official reports obtained by The Cluster show no indication that narcotics were found in the house.

A police report filed with Mercer Police last semester indicated that members of SAE and ATO fraternities began fighting verbally and physically downtown one night in April.

The fight continued once the students were back on campus, and one student called Mercer Police.

As a result of the fight, SAE was suspended for the fall 2014 semester, meaning that the chapter cannot participate in any social or philanthropic events or meetings of any kind on or off campus.

SAE’s letters have been removed from the house, and the fraternity may not hold chapter meetings or participate in recruitment, among other restrictions.

ATO was placed on university probation, which means members cannot participate in any social functions on or off campus. ATO could still participate in recruitment this semester, and the fraternity may hold certain events such as chapter meetings or community service activities.

The sanctions against SAE were more serious due to several incidents and infractions over the past few years.

“They’ve been on social conduct and university probation off and on in the last seven years,” said Carrie Ingoldsby, director of campus life and student involvement. “Essentially, based on [prior incidents] and issues and off-and-on probation, my understanding is that the best course of action at this point was suspension.”

While Ingoldsby works with Greek organizations, Judicial Council ultimately decides appropriate sanctions for infractions.

SAE national headquarters is conducting a membership review with Mercer’s chapter to confirm that members are committed to the standards and ideals of the fraternity.

“Our staff and our advisers provide assistance and guidance for chapters throughout the year, and our leadership will not hesitate to take corrective actions, when necessary, for groups or members that fail to meet our expectations,” said Brandon Weghorst, a spokesman for SAE national, in an email. “Sigma Alpha Epsilon does not condone behavior or actions that are inconsistent with our mission, creed and values. We maintain a comprehensive health-and-safety program and year-round education, and we are committed to ensuring the well-being of our members and to helping them develop as scholars, leaders and gentlemen for the communities in which they live.”

The university is also working with the fraternity to ensure that it maintains a culture of leadership and community service.

“One bad thing is very memorable,” said Ingoldsby. “It can definitely throw off all of the positive things that are going on with our greeks.”

Ingoldsby said that, overall, Greeks are important and influential leaders on campus and that she’s proud of the culture of Mercer’s Greek life.

Vice President and Dean of Students Doug Pearson will evaluate the status of SAE and ATO at the end of the semester.

Members of SAE and ATO did not reply to emails requesting comment.

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