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SAE Finds Temporary House in Allston

By Beckett W. Sterner

EDITOR IN CHIEF

Sigma Alpha Epsilon, now two steps away from full membership in the Interfraternity Council, has found a temporary house in Allston and is shopping for a larger one in Cambridge.

SAE President Joseph P. Carlucci ’05 said that they had found a temporary house in Allston where five out of the current eight brothers live, along with three other college students from Boston University and the Berklee College of Music.

He said the brothers were actively searching for a more permanent house in Cambridge, or were interested in the possibility of MIT building special housing for fraternities or sororities near campus.

SAE recognized by IFC

SAE was voted in as an associate member of the IFC at the end of last term, Carlucci said, and has obtained status as a full colony from its national organization.

Although the IFC initially tabled the vote on SAE’s status, it later convened a special meeting and voted to approve the membership 17 to 1.

“We realized that we already had a system built into our constitution” to allow for an evaluatory period before full membership, said IFC President Daniel H. Daneshvar ’05, so he “presented it as we will give them a shot as associate and probationary members.”

Associate members of the IFC must wait at least one full year before becoming probationary members with greater rights in the IFC. After that, probationary members must wait at least one more academic term before becoming full members, with each step along the way requiring a review and vote by the IFC Presidents’ Council.

The vote was initially tabled because “several chapters had concerns about SAE as an expansion colony,” Daneshvar said, based on unsubstantiated rumors about SAE from a year ago regarding alcohol risk management.

He said one motivation to grant membership was to “have some enforcement over them, some governance over them” via the IFC and the Judicial Committee.

He said SAE had had only one violation so far since the vote, involving them parking an RV they had rented for Rush near the Greek Griller and taking up spaces reserved for other fraternities.

SAE ready to buy new house

The original house was sold for about $4 million, Carlucci said, and was placed into a trust to provide money for purchasing a new house when the chapter was ready.

SAE had about 700 living alumni when it was forced to close following alcohol infractions in the late nineties, Carlucci said, many of whom were “really upset” that the fraternity, founded in 1892, might disappear.

If they are successful in finding a new house able to house 20 or 30 people, he said, then the alumni will help finance any empty space until the fraternity could grow to a sustainable size. We “have commitments from alumni” for necessary financial support, he said.

SAE member Adam P. Leeb ’07 said that whether or not the fraternity could buy a house depended primarily on availability.

Five pledge to fraternity

SAE received five pledges during Rush this year, giving out six bids with one freshman declining the offer.

“We’re really happy” with the guys we got, Carlucci said. The fraternity needed pledges “to step up to the plate” and work hard to develop the fraternity, he said.

He said he thought the fraternity’s newness would help it in taking a more creative approach to Rush and recruiting, for example the RV the brothers drove around during Rush.

He said he thought the fraternity would develop a new niche on campus rather than compete directly with other groups.

Leeb said that the new pledges this year fit very well with the character of the fraternity.

“I think as a community we will survive” the period of establishing a presence at MIT, Carlucci said.

We “have the flexibility to go where we want.”