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SAE Allegations Linked to Frosh

By Frank Dabek
News Editor

Allegations that Sigma Alpha Epsilon may have violated the terms of its suspension by rushing freshmen this week appear to be unfounded.

SAE denied reports that they had offered freshmen places in their house when the fraternity's suspension is lifted. The Interfraternity Council Judicial Committee is looking into the matter.

Wesley T. Harrington '99, president of SAE, said that the only contact members of the fraternity had with freshmen during rush was "in practice with football players." In those contacts SAE members "informed [freshmen] of the situation and the terms of our suspension" and told them that the fraternity was not rushing.

Philippe G. Vilmorin '02, a freshmen who had contact with SAE over the summer and has expressed interest in pledging SAE, said that he had not been contacted this week by the fraternity.

Vilmorin said that he met approximately five members of SAE when the Lacrosse team visited his hometown of San Diego and when he visited campus last year. Vilmorin had a positive impression of the house from those meetings. I "know that [SAE] is the best place," he said.

The fraternity has not contacted him during rush however. "[SAE brothers] have been ignoring us even though they knew us well from prefrosh and other events," he said.

Vilmorin said that he would "rather wait for SAE to get off suspension. I don't care how long it takes." He said that he is not rushing other fraternities and is "going to take that chance because I didn't like any other house."

Freshmen alleged to rush for SAE

Several fraternity members who wished to remain anonymous said that they had been in contact with freshmen associated with SAE who had attempted to recruit other freshmen on behalf of SAE. It is unclear whether SAE was aware of the actions of these freshmen.

Vilmorin said that he was asked to leave Alpha Tau Omega after an ATO brother who knew of his intentions to join SAE saw him speaking with another freshmen.

"I think it was a misunderstanding at ATO that [these allegations] arose from," Vilmorin said.

"Members of the judicial committee are looking at" the allegations, said Duane H. Dreger '99, president of the IFC. "If it has happened it is definitely a serious" infraction Dreger said.

Dreger stressed the difficulty in determining whether the suspension has been violated. "It's a fine line between saying yes, we're interested in you' and saying we have a spot for you'," he said. The latter would be a much more serious infraction.

Katherine E. Hardacre '99, chairman of the IFC judicial committee, said that "people have expressed concern" about SAE's behavior during rush. However, "no one has conclusive evidence," concerning the allegations, she said, and no one has submitted a formal complaint.

Hardacre said that JudComm will "let it go until after rush." We "don't have time to worry about what is a rumor mill as of now," she said.

Neal H. Dorow, assistant dean and adviser to fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups, said that "we made it clear to the fraternity members what the terms of the suspension" entailed. Dorow was not aware of any violations by SAE.

He said that he had met with several freshmen who had questions about SAE and explained the fraternity's status. He said that it is unclear when communication between freshmen and members of a suspended fraternity becomes a violation."The main point is that they shouldn't be misleading" freshmen Dorow said.

Vilmorin unhappy with rush rules

Vilmorin also expressed dissatisfaction with the rush rules forbidding his contact with SAE. "Obviously I wanted to have contact because those are the only friends that I had when I got here," he said. There is a "house full of friends that I can't even talk to."

According to Vilmorin, two or three freshmen are in his position. "The fact that SAE so impressed some of its prefrosh has [been able] to create a group of guys who are willing to wait for them to get off suspension," he said.

He expressed hope that he will be able to pledge the house when it's suspension is lifted. Vilmorin is "making the sacrifice to wait for SAE to get off suspension," he said.

"I'm looking across the river and seeing the house I want to be at," he said, but "I have no control of whether I get in."