Sigma Alpha Epsilon suspended from Iowa State, another fraternity pending investigation


Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity chapter has been removed from Iowa State University campus. This is leaving a vacant house on Lynn Avenue on Aug. 23 2015. 

Makayla Tendall

Iowa State’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon has had it’s status as a student organization revoked and the chapter has been suspended by the fraternity’s national council for at least four years.

The fraternity had been at Iowa State since 1905. 

Sara Kellogg, assistant dean of students, said an investigation by the Office of Student Conduct found actions that had violated the Student Disciplinary Regulations. She said she could not discuss what those actions were.

Kellogg also said fraternity Beta Theta Pi is also pending investigation but would not say where the fraternity is in the investigation process. 

Peter Englin, director of the Department of Residence, said the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house is now owned by the Department of Residence, and another fraternity that is being housed in Larch Hall is looking at moving into the house at 140 Lynn Ave. 

Blaine Ayers, executive director and eminent supreme recorder for the national chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, said in a letter to members that the Supreme Council voted to suspend the Iowa Gamma chapter after health and safety violations, the university’s revocation of the chapter’s status and actions that did not align with the fraternity’s core values.

“It is regrettable that actions of certain members, violating SAE’s Scope of Association Agreement, have led to this action by both your host institution and the fraternity,” Ayers said in the letter to Iowa Gamma chapter members.

All chapter members have been immediately suspended and no longer have membership rights, and future membership statuses will be determined on a case-by-case basis, according to the letter.

The four-year suspension comes after Iowa State’s chapter was temporarily suspended and under investigation by Iowa State’s Office of Student Conduct and national chapter beginning Jan. 21 after a member was suspended for involvement in a sexual assault case

Three years ago, 20 to 40 members left the fraternity, causing the fraternity to recruit incoming freshmen.

Kellogg said she could not comment on why the fraternity was suspended but said the Office of Student Conduct was involved with the investigation along with the Office of Equal Opportunity, which investigates sexual assault cases. 

“We didn’t know what would come out of that investigation. The investigation helped support the charges, which we then charged the fraternity with,” Kellogg said.

Kellogg said the chapter was not charged with sexual assault, but she said the investigation is not far enough along to say whether an individual was charged with sexual assault.

Iowa Gamma alumni Lawrence Cunningham, former chapter adviser and the current CEO of the Iowa State Daily, and Jeff Taylor, House Corporation Board member, said in a letter to members in good standing that they were disappointed with the suspension, but the decision will put the chapter on the easiest course to return to campus after four years.

“With the help of the national fraternity, we are optimistic that the Iowa Gamma chapter will be re-established with a group of men who exemplify our beliefs and who serve as leaders on campus and in the community,” Cunningham and Taylor said in a letter. 

Alumni members in good standing were asked to consider being involved in plans to re-establish the chapter in Fall 2019 in the letter and were reminded that they are not allowed to affiliate themselves or have underground activities associated with the fraternity and risk hurting the chapter’s chances of re-establishment if they do. 

Former Chapter President Christian Dahl declined to comment, saying he had transferred schools and no longer represented the fraternity.