News | Student Life

New fraternity coming to Columbia

A new fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, will be coming to campus this fall.

The Interfraternity Council gave its official approval Wednesday night for Sigma Alpha Epsilon to form a colony at Columbia, according to Anirban Poddar, CC ’14, one of two students who spearheaded the initiative to bring the fraternity to campus.

Poddar, who worked with Kofi Agyapong, CC ’15, on the initiative, hopes that the organization will become a fully-fledged chapter in fall 2013. That would require approval from Columbia and from Sigma Alpha Epsilon's national organization.

“A bunch of my friends and I were talking about bringing a new fraternity to campus last fall. We were looking to add something fresh to the Greek dynamic at Columbia and attract a diverse group of students,” Poddar said.

IFC approval was the last step in a long process to bring the fraternity to campus. The fraternity previously held a chapter at Columbia until 1961, when it was disbanded.

“SAE was trying to come to Columbia as well, because there is a chapter at every other Ivy,” Poddar added.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon is one of the country’s largest fraternities. Poddar said that the it has a lot of alumni support, with “over 10,000 alums in Manhattan alone.”

The fraternity will not apply for a brownstone next year, Poddar said.

“During the colony process, we are spreading groundwork,” he said. “We won’t be allowed to apply for a brownstone.”

Poddar said that hazing was “one of the things we discussed very seriously during the deliberation process.” Several Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapters have made headlines in the past for accusations of hazing, most recently at Dartmouth College.

“The culture of fraternities in general is different at places like Dartmouth and Cornell. Columbia has a different culture,” Poddar said, noting that he believed SAE’s national stance against hazing to be very strong. “Hazing is an overall issue at Dartmouth—SAE just happens to be the largest fraternity."

yasmin.gagne@columbiaspectator.com

Comments

Plain text

  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Your username will not be displayed if checked
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Anonymous posted on

does anyone know who is applying for brownstones this fall? fiji, axo?

+1
-4
-1
Anonymous posted on

fiji, axo, pike, aepi, and a couple of multicultural greek organizations 

+1
+2
-1
Anonymous posted on

Wasn't this frat just kicked out of Cornell for hazing? I think Cornell kicked has them out.

+1
+3
-1
Anonymous posted on

This is a huge hazing frat at Cornell and Dartmouth.

+1
0
-1
Anonymous posted on

This frat's reputation is abysmal. SAE deaths in the past few years...
Cornell (pledges hazed brother, alcohol poisoning) - http://www.cornellsun.com/sect... (pledge falls off balcony during hazing) - http://www.statesman.com/blogs... Poly (pledge dies of alcohol overdose during hazing) - http://mustangdaily.net/update...
Kansas (overdrinking, brothers didn't get help) - http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2... (drug overdose as part of fraternity activities) - http://www.smudailycampus.com/...

+1
-1
-1
Anonymous posted on

It's just about time these frats with such backgrounds be banned altogether. How could they be admitted at Columbia???

+1
0
-1
Anonymous posted on

Can someone please explain how Columbia housing/Greek system works? What is the purpose/mission statement of fraternities and sororities? How are they contributing to the community at Columbia besides giving their members a social network and an artificial sense of friendship? Why does't Columbia devote more space and money to special interest communities like the IRC or QHouse that actually host events for the Columbia community and contribute to (read: start) important conversations on campus, instead of giving them dinky Ruggles suites. I don't know how the housing relationship between the school and the Greek council works, so if anyone knows, please elaborate. 

+1
+1
-1
Anonymous posted on

Columbia fraternities and sororities raised over $240,000 for charity last year and 23,996 community service hours. Fraternities and sororities also raised 58% of Relay for Life funds. THAT is what the Greek system contributes to the Columbia community besides "giving their members a social network and an artificial sense of friendship." Don't make blanket statements about a community you clearly know nothing about. 

+1
+3
-1
Anonymous posted on

That's for themselves and the neighborhood. What did they do for Columbia University was the question? (other than embarassing Columbia on the national news for arrests) Also, I don't think your numbers are correct. If there are 500 students in frats at Columbia, that would be 50 hours per student this year. I don't know anyone who did any community service projects.

+1
+1
-1
Anonymous posted on

How much money did fraternity members and sorority members pay in dues last year? I'll bet you it was a hell of a lot more than $250k, or even $500k if you value that community service time at 10 bucks an hour. 

Look, any organization can raise money for charity. Did you ever consider that if these organizations did not exist, the students who otherwise would have joined would still be able to give to charity or participate in community service? 

Furthermore, you say they "raised" money for charity. Was that all from members? No. A lot of it was from random students going to bar nights and the like. Look, give me a pile of money and the right to throw parties for charity and I'll raise a boatload. 

+1
-1
-1
Anonymous posted on

What they pay in dues is to support the national fraternity and, quite frankly, it's none of your business what they do with their money. People who are, like you, judgmental about how much an organization raises and how much community service it does are always the same ones that sit on the couch and do nothing for their school or community. The people who voluntarily join us in the community service work we do are always extremely grateful for our help. I'd love to see you get up at 7 to clean up trash until 3.

The reason individuals in an organization are more likely to help out is because they are helping out with their organization. Honestly, it just makes it more enjoyable. You can make any "selfless" act seem selfish. I could tell you the reason you donated to an AIDS charity is because you loved how good you felt about yourself afterwards. It's a garbage answer.

You don't need a pile of money to throw parties for charity, but obviously you don't know that because you've never attempted to throw anything for charity. Stop bashing fraternities and do something yourself.

And if you're wondering what this does for the school: I see Columbia boasting about how much their students raise all the time. Its huge for them when the fraternities are raising thousands because you better believe that they let everyone know. I found out in high school how big relay for life was here. 

+1
-1
-1
Anonymous posted on

What you do with your dues is precisely our business if you ask for Columbia recognition, and thus funding, as well, just like it is with every other club.

+1
+3
-1
Anonymous posted on

Frats are for drinking colleges where there is nothing else to do like Cornell, Dartmouth, Penn

+1
-4
-1
Anonymous posted on

is that why Greek Life here is growing so rapidly? 

+1
0
-1
Anonymous posted on

Its not. Columbia has less frats and sororities today than it did twenty years ago.

+1
+1
-1
Anonymous posted on

That is patently untrue. Moreover, the number of Greeks as a percentage of the student population is either the highest or one of the highest ever

+1
0
-1
Anonymous posted on

Not even close.You either don't go to Columbia or you were born yesterday.

+1
0
-1
Anonymous posted on

If one of you don't come up with some kind of proof, you're both wrong.

+1
0
-1
Anonymous posted on

In reply to all the above: Really? Are you guys that stupid to think that what happened at Cornell and Dartmouth is bound to happen here because it happens to be the same national fraternity? The members of each chapter of the same fraternity will always be completely different according to school, i.e. SAE brothers at Columbia will be different from SAE brothers at Dartmouth - the fact that they share the same letters doesn't say all that much. Clearly, at Columbia, where Greek Life is INTENSELY regulated and monitored by both students and the admin, the members of this SAE chapter will actually respect risk reduction/non-hazing rules. I'm also sure that the IFC has thought about this and is taking careful steps (like rigorously applying ALPHA standards) to ensure that this chapter doesn't screw up. 

It's always sexy to critique fraternities, and, like in most cases, there's no reason to do so here: there's no causality between what's happened at other SAE chapters and what could happen here. 

If anything, we should be proud to welcome another Greek organization onto campus. Greek Life at Columbia is expanding extremely rapidly. Recruitment, programming, and philanthropy numbers are at historical record highs. If this colony founder has found a group of guys all interested in being brothers but unable to find a place in the current Greek system, then I applaud him for carving out a new niche within the IFC. We clearly need to satisfy CU students' increased demand! The entire community ought to be happy: this adds healthy competition between fraternities and increases student choice without incurring any risk.

The continued expansion of Greek Life at Columbia is absolutely crucial. CU students, who tend to be overly-individually absorbed, need to learn the value of essential human institutions - this is the value Greeks hold above all others. We can't spend our lives as competitive, individualistic recluses in Butler. The true brotherhood/sisterhood associated with being Greek not only has this broader value, but also enhances students' quality of life. 

+1
+7
-1
Anonymous posted on

Really? This frat is known on a national scale for its hazing initialives, heavy drinking, and even deaths, both in the ivy league and beyond.

+1
+4
-1
Anonymous posted on

ARE YOU INSANE? DO YOU THINK THAT THE NATIONAL FRATERNITY SUPPORTS HAZING?? SAE is a huge fraternity - over 300,000 initiated members. Does the national fraternity condone the actions of the tiny percentage who might have hazed?

+1
0
-1
Anonymous posted on

the fact that they share the same letters doesn't say all that much. 
Then tell me what is the purpose of brothers from different schools being part of the same national fraternity? Isn't joining one also joining a national organization that brings together every chapter? Including those of Dartmouth and Cornell? 

I'm pretty surprised this was approved so soon after Dartmouth's ridiculous hazing scandal.

+1
+2
-1
Anonymous posted on

Seconded. You Greek members don't get to ask for acknowledgement--from your peers, the school, whatever--of the sanctity of your fraternal/sororal(?) bonds intra- and inter-school, and then selectively distance yourself from your very organization when it's convenient. You can't have it both ways.

+1
-3
-1
Anonymous posted on

Tear all the frats and brownstones down on 114th street and build beautiful new high rise housing and dorms for students. This is prime Columbia real estate.

+1
-3
-1
Anonymous posted on

Y u mad bro?

U not get bid?

+1
+2
-1
Anonymous posted on

This is good news for the Columbia community--the Greek system has been under excessive scrutiny over the last year and a half, even while interest has clearly increased. That people not only are against this fraternity coming to campus but in support of REDUCING the Greek system is ludicrous. The fact that those in the comments are latching onto the idea that this fraternity is definitely going to haze its new members based upon isolated cases at other schools shows how little people actually understand about greek life. Chapter to chapter, fraternities vary as much as any other type of club/organization that exists on a college campus or elsewhere. Being against SAE coming here because their Cornell chapter was exposed in a biased Rolling Stone article is like saying a school without, say, a soccer team should not get one because some soccer team at another school was involved in a hazing incident. It simply makes no sense. Greek life is especially important at Columbia because it provides a network and structure for like-minded students to come together in a setting that isn't complaining about how little sleep you got over coffee. And even if Greek life isn't for you, the aggressive resentment toward fraternities makes no sense. No one is asking you to go to the SAE house once they have one on campus, and greek life involvement is never going to reach a high enough percentage of the student body that those against it will be forced to feel its presence--You'll still be able to talk about how academically-focused, hard-working, unique and international your Ivy league school is. Because god forbid we burgeon a social scene that's even a fraction as big as at most other colleges. 

+1
-4
-1
Anonymous posted on

No one has said that this fraternity, as a national organization, WILL or IS LIKELY TO haze its members. HOWEVER, as an organization with a (VERY) recent history of extreme hazing that received a LOT of national media attention, it just doesn't seem sensible for Columbia to align itself with an organization that has been so publicly shamed. There was an extreme lack of oversight on the part of the parent organization and that can't be disregarded. 

+1
0
-1
Anonymous posted on

agreed completely

+1
+3
-1
Anonymous posted on

By your logic, we shouldn't align ourselves with Pike, AEPi, PsiU, or the IRC based the drug bust, which is as recent and as dramatic as any of the Dartmouth events. It's not like we're importing a random group of people either, although the fact alone that they will be Columbia students doesn't mean they'll be well behaved. That said, a "new" fraternity will be more compliant with the rules because they have to in order to get approved and do anything besides paperwork/philanthropy. The base logic of this process to present the new, strict rules that Columbia has as the norm. This, pending approval, will effectively increase Greek life's numbers and funding while simultaneously molding a large fraternity who will be the poster child of the effectiveness of Columbia's Greek system (partially embodied by ALPHA Standards). Ultimately the Greek community has a lot more to gain than to lose from SAE completing its chartering process. There are so many check points along the way that, if the founding fathers mess up, their efforts will be snuffed internally before anybody hears about it. Remember when Sammy tried to expand onto our campus? Yeah, neither do I. 

A misunderstanding somewhat perpetuated by the article is that some council sat down and said "Yes SAE, you are now a Columbia fraternity!" There was a vote to allow them to officially try to move on to the next stages of full recognition. It's a much longer, drawn out process that the headline makes it seem before they can actually be called a Chapter. 

+1
-1
-1
Anonymous posted on

"Ultimately the Greek community has a lot more to gain than to lose from SAE completing its chartering process."
The key word here is "Greek Community." What does the Columbia community stand to gain in adding a new fraternity? Honestly I couldn't care less about how many formal or informal greek organizations exist on campus, however what I take issue with is the fact that Columbia allocates valuable and beautiful housing (Yes, I know they pay for it, get over it) to student organizations that serve a very limited subset of the student population (and how effectively or meaningfully they "serve" it is also up for debate). 

+1
-1
-1
Anonymous posted on

Every student organization serves a very limited subset of the student population. Should we shut down Swing Dance and prevent them from using Lerner because they don't serve the students who like Zumba? It's a bit presumptuous to think that it's our prerogative to benefit you. Do you want Greek Life to get you puppies and back massages when you're stressed with finals? 

The Greek office published a hard-facts newsletter with all of the philanthropy and community service we've done in the past year:

https://www.studentaffairs.col... 

Ignore all of the positive propaganda and look at the numbers. On the other hand, have you ever went to some of the programming for other groups on campus, like Community Health House, who currently occupies an EC Suite? Who goes? The people in the group plus maybe a couple of friend! You seem to be holding Greek life up to higher metric to justify your argument against us having housing, one that other groups on campus don't event come close to reaching. 

+1
+1
-1
Anonymous posted on

you know who, you are the man. 

+1
-1
-1
Anonymous posted on

"Every student organization serves a very limited subset of the student population." 
Absolutely, but Swing Dance doesn't get a cushy brownstone to live in. I think all Special Interest Housing should meet certain standards and have more oversight. But what are the interests of fraternities and sororities? And why do those interests warrant getting a brownstone over any other group?

+1
+5
-1
Anonymous posted on

I can only speak from my own experience, as a current fraternity president. We pool together the resources, both financial and otherwise, of Brothers in order to accomplish things that we couldn't on our own. These include parties, getting Brothers jobs, bettering organizations that we think are meaningful, and even just volunteer opportunities when the mood suits us. You probably don't believe me on the last point, but some organizations, like mine, did do philanthropy before they were forced to. 

Regardless, the core of Greek life that people don't really understand is how much we care about who we are. I think people, including Columbia administration, get so fixated on the quality of "doing" that they don't ask questions like you just asked- the "why." The more basic answer I can give is that through the autonomy afforded to you through shared resources, we seek to better our own college experiences and, if successful, sustain the organization so that others can have the same experience we did. In some cases, this includes a house. 

The majority of the Brownstones were built by Alumni of fraternities for the sole purpose of providing a place that future generations of men can flourish. It's NOT that you are a group on campus, therefore house. The Beta house, for example, has over century of history on campus and thus has a lot of non-quantifiable value to several generations of Columbia men. The groups that lost their houses are trying to reclaim part of their history that they lost because they screwed up. To me, eventually rewarding the efforts of guys who are trying to make up for their Brothers are more meaningful than handing out Brownstones which, by the way, were shitholes before they were handed over to Columbia, to groups who value them for their utility. 

Probably not a satisfactory answer overall, but you should try rushing if you're so curious. 

 

+1
0
-1
Anonymous posted on

"To me, eventually rewarding the efforts of guys who are trying to make up for their Brothers are more meaningful than handing out Brownstones which, by the way, were shitholes before they were handed over to Columbia, to groups who value them for their utility."
Giving fantastic housing to groups who can make good use of it is better than giving it to people who had it, squandered it, and are trying to get it back? Not sure if I believe this, but I do understand the nostalgic sentiment of 100 years of history, so I guess that's a fair argument.

+1
+1
-1
Anonymous posted on

I just realized how poor my English was in that last reply (I blame finals). It's been nice debating with you, Curious Columbian. 

+1
+2
-1
Anonymous posted on

"The majority of the Brownstones were built by Alumni of fraternities".

False. There are around seven buildings built specifically for fraternities or purchased by fraternities.

ADP, Psi U (now ZBT, you can see where they took down Psi U's letters), Sigma Chi (they moved down the block but letters are still on the building), DKE (defunct), Delta Phi/St. Elmo's (defunct, now casa hispanica), St. A's and Beta (I'm guessing this is the one you're in?).

The groups that people associate with fraternities: delta sig, sig ep, pike, sig nu, etc. have little actual history on campus compared to the above organizations. And they don't own their houses.

+1
-2
-1
Anonymous posted on

uh yeah, if a bunch of kids from other 'soccer teams' kept repeatedly DYING from mistreatment form other members of the group over the last few years, then yes, we would be fucking concerned. 

SAE isn't just notorious for a little bit of hazing. they have a reputation for routinely putting students' lives at risk in supremely idiotic ways. are there any other student groups on campus that are known nationally for repeatedly getting their students killed?? come on, name one. seriously.

and you know why else greek life is bad for the columbia community? because of shit like this very thread, where members of greeks insist on stereotyping the rest of the columbia population as "complaining about how little sleep you got over coffee" or "overly-individually absorbed" or "competitive, individualistic recluses in Butler". you guys aren't here to build a sense of community on campus. you're here to create little spaces for yourself to behave irresponsibly while denigrating and disrespecting the lives of people who choose to stay independent. it's a selective social scene that keeps people out and creates tension within the larger campus community. 

so don't give me any more of the pro-greek life marketing bullshit, you stupid pricks. we clearly percieve your bullshit. 

+1
-1
-1
Anonymous posted on

Your response once again demonstrates a lack of understanding not just of the way greek chapters are related to their national organizations, but of basic facts and figures. Let's assume that all four of those cases posted above by CC12 are all undeniably the fault of the brothers at those SAE chapters. That would mean 4, out of 242 chapters of SAE had extreme, idiotic hazing practices that resulted in the harm of some of their members. We're talking less than 2% of SAE organizations nationally. Even if, as we can assume, more than just those 4 have hazing practices, these have nothing to do with some national "reputation" you're making up (which SAE does not even have), but the culture of hazing across all greek chapters at the schools they are a part of. If you think otherwise, you're just simply uninformed because that's how it works. Anyone with friends in the same fraternity at two different schools will understand that, even people not in the Greek system. As also has been stated, SAE isn't just getting a free pass onto campus to come and start hazing freshmen. They're undergoing a strictly scrutinized process in order to be able to initiate and maintain their charter. Again, this is not a biased "pro-greek life" perspective, this is just the truth about how greek life works at this school as a result of Alpha Standards.

Your second point speaks to the "stereotyping" of the rest of Columbia by greeks, as if this stereotyping is a not a result of people like YOU stereotyping greek life in the first place. I don't think a single greek cares about people who choose to stay independent. I could be wrong, I obviously don't know all of them. The quotes you are referencing, however, were not directed toward or about the entire non-greek Columbia student body--they were about people like yourself, removed from greek life who clearly do not understand it WHICH IN ITSELF IS FINE--but when you actively attack and seek the prevention of new greek chapters, and even the restriction and removal of existing ones, do not expect people who feel differently than you to speak out.

Lastly, perspectives like yours, and heavy regulations maintained by Columbia Administration, have led to a student body that is already WAY less greek-focused than almost any other college. Many people across the nation have found Greek life to be a positive aspect of their college experience without hazing their new members or excluding outsiders of their chapter from their social circles. There is no need to further restrict an already-minor part of extracurricular life on campus.

+1
+3
-1
Anonymous posted on

Most of the anti-Greek comments here demonstrate a great deal of ignorance. Fraternities and Sororities and Columbia do not exist as drinking clubs where students may foment "artificial" friendships. The friendships developed in Greek life last for several decades - ask anyone who was Greek for three or four years. 


Secondly, Greek life is REQUIRED to fulfill certain philanthropy obligations. Each semester, Greek life collectively logs thousands of hours of service to both the Columbia and New York communities. Furthermore, in recent years, Greek organizations have partnered with other student organizations to help promote certain causes and events. Globemed, Orchesis, and Youth For Debate have co-hosted events with Greek organizations.

The addition of SAE to the Columbia community should be welcomed by all. Trying to draw a connection between other SAE chapters' wrongdoing and the new Columbia chapter demonstrates an underdeveloped conception of logic. As mentioned, SAE has initiated over 300,000 brothers. To hold ALL SAEs accountable because of the actions of less than 1% of their brothers is ridiculous. This is classical logical fallacy: if x is a member of group y and does something wrong, then all of group y does that same thing. Furthermore, shouldn't we expect our fellow Columbians to follow a higher standard of conduct? I'm certain that the young men who will form the new chapter of SAE are fine Columbia gentlemen.

The preconceptions of Fraternities and Sororities as drinking clubs and social bordellos are outdated and prejudicial. These days, Greek organizations operate both as philanthropic groups in their own right, as well as facilitators and cross-promoters for other non-greek organizations. Columbia students have a duty to be as inclusive as possible. 

Welcome, SAE!

+1
+2
-1
Anonymous posted on

"The preconceptions of Fraternities and Sororities as drinking clubs and social bordellos are outdated and prejudicial. These days, Greek organizations operate both as philanthropic groups in their own right, as well as facilitators and cross-promoters for other non-greek organizations. Columbia students have a duty to be as inclusive as possible. "

Sorry, but this isn't supported by recent history in Columbia

+1
+3
-1
Anonymous posted on

I hate the word "frat." SAE please do not be a frat, be a fraternity. I hope you will learn through your chartering experience that this is what you are joining. Yes, people will forget this and you have to remind them, just like the guys at Cornell, Dartmouth, etc. may have. Hold yourself and your Greek system accountable.

+1
-1
-1
Clarity16 posted on

Just read the headline of this article and I'm amazed by the idiocy of this decision. Actually no, I'm really not surprised. Let's invite a fraternity to this campus with a horrid reputation for rape, hazing, and forcing its pledges to drink to death. Which one should we choose? Maybe the one recently featured ONLY A MONTH AGO in a 6-Page Rollingstones article titled "Confessions of an Ivy-Leage Frat Boy: Inside Dartmouth's Hazing abuses." Well that makes sense. Let's offer SAE our "official approval." Welcome to Columbia!!!

How fucking oblivious can the interfraternity council be to think it's a good idea to welcome a notorious, nationally stigmatized organization onto our college campus? Did any of you take even a minute to do some background research? Do you think that because it's Columbia and not Dartmouth that no hazing will take place? My gosh it's as if you're all out of touch with reality, it's incredibly scary. But you know what...it doesn't even matter. When you're faced with another Operation Ivy league situation a few years down the road, recall this moment when you, the interfraternity council offered your "official approval" to SAE. If you want to invite potentially severe problems to our school, go ahead but remember you allowed them to happen. Unbelievable.

+1
-3
-1
Anonymous posted on

2 things, buddy.

First: At Columbia, there is nothing more resented than stereotyping. The act of profiling or generalizing an individual or group based on the actions of those vaguely affiliated by name, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. is not tolerated here. Columbia's SAE shares one thing in common with any other national SAE chapter - adherence to the national standards, all of which include rigorous anti-hazing policies, philanthropic commitments, and many other requirements to hold a charter. The recent SAE chapters in the news broke these commitments because of the (poor) decisions the individuals in those fraternities at Dartmouth et. al. In no way is Columbia's SAE linked to the actions of these fraternities.

Second: The IFC did its research. SAE has implemented newer, stricter anti-hazing policies, and more stringent regulations of its chapters in the wake of national controversy. SAE will be held accountable to the fullest extent of each and every Columbia Alpha Standard as it progresses along towards becoming a full, recognized chapter on campus. Before gaining approval from the IFC, SAE presented a comprehensive plan to Columbia administrators and a list of over 20 initial members, and, may I remind you, SAE is composed of all Columbia students who are presently unaffiliated with SAE; they are merely trying to start a new campus fraternity and reached to SAE for their support in forming a chapter. 

To link the serious efforts and hard work of a group of Columbia students to unrelated incidents in the news is naive. Be consistent in your logic and in your judgment - this is not a campus that tolerates prejudice. Columbia will not stand for the defamation of a group of students because of arbitrary association.

+1
-5
-1
Anonymous posted on

Innocent until proven guilty. All national fraternities are staunchly against hazing and would be appalled to know what individual chapters are doing, such as the ones at Cornell. This doesn't need to affect new chapters starting up. Give them a chance to prove themselves. If they're indeed as bad as some of you think, then they'll be caught and made to leave. If they're not, you have somewhere else to party. I also think it's interesting that not one commenter has said anything about the people founding it, choosing instead to focus on the reputation of people at Cornell. I don't know this Poddar guy personally but I've seen him around and he's never picked up a reputation for doing anything like what you claim this chapter will be like. I choose to give them a chance. They're either going to be a great frat, a mediocre frat, or a bad frat. That's all. You cannot predict anything until you've chilled with the brothers.

+1
+1
-1
Anonymous posted on

Why do people join frats?

1) Community service: You don't need to be in a frat/sorority to do community service.
2) Friendship/Community/Bonding: There are non-Greek groups on campus that can provide a sense of community if that is what you desire. There are academic groups, special interest groups, and groups dedicated to community service.

So obviously people are joining frats/sororities for something other than "community service" or "community" because there are other venues. What makes Greek life more appealing than the clubs on campus (or just doing community service on your own)? Greek life provides the parties and the drinking. It's a self-fulfilling prophesy where they have a reputation for such and people who are looking for that join. Yes, the Columbia SAE chapter could prove to be totally different, but SAE has a reputation and its likely for that to happen here. 

Innocent until proven guilty? What are you, naive? If they tarnish Columbia's reputation, that's not something easily fixable. A great reputation takes tons of work and hard effort to build up but it is easily torn down. Do you realize that Columbia's reputation WILL affect you when you apply for a job/internship/grad school. Do you realize how much of our lives are riding on Columbia's reputation? Yes, administration will find a way to save the university's reputation (think about the drug bust last year), but public perception will change about the students, even if you weren't involved. I applied ED. When I first found out I got accepted the reaction was, "Oh you got into Columbia, that's great, it's a great school" to graduation, after the drug bust, it was "Oh you're going to Columbia, hey wait, wasn't there a drug bust there?" and then they stare at me, as if waiting for an explanation as to why I'm going to such a school. What they associated Columbia with changed from "great school" to "drug bust". And since we're associated with Columbia, the train of thought goes something like, Columbia student, Columbia University, drug bust... o_o Yes it's illogical and it's stupid that X in the set Y, if X does something stupid, all of Y will bear a certain stigma, but that is how MOST people will think. If my reputation risks even the slightest damage, no, they are NOT innocent until proven guilty, if they, as a frat, can clean up their act at other colleges, THEN I would give them a chance. 

Columbia, you made a mistake on this one.

+1
+3
-1
Anonymous posted on

And it's people like you - those who care more about what Columbia can offer themselves in terms of its reputation than what they can offer Columbia in terms of its community - who are the heart of the problem at this institution. You say there's community elsewhere on campus, outside of Greek life? Sure, that's fair. But is it a community filled with individuals like you who care only about the reputation of this university, about the valuation of a single line under the education section on their resumes?

Fraternities provide an opportunity for brotherhood, for close friendship, and for an experience unique to college. The tight-knit community formed by a group of individuals who all perpetually honor and respect each other's friendship is something that, unfortunately, is not found elsewhere on Columbia's campus. 

If you're here because of your resume, your grades, and a relentless competitive quest to stomp on the necks of your fellow students, we don't need you. You would be the last person to understand fraternities and what it means to be a part of a community. Welcome, SAE. Proving yourself in meeting the challenge to become a thriving community amidst a tough national reputation won't be easy, but you have every right to try. Columbia is better off with more involvement in Greek life.

+1
0
-1
Anonymous posted on

Oh, please stop with the "community service." Who are you kidding. Join a club, volunteer in a hospital. Yeah, and I go to strip clubs for the food.

+1
-3
-1
Anonymous posted on

Agreed. If you're looking for community service, actively pursue any and all opportunities to do so. Fraternities are NOT service organizations, they are a large groups of friends who've chosen for the purpose of forming an organized community of friendship (brotherhood, if you like). 

As it turns out, a strong group of individuals can, together, do a lot of great things. And, quite frequently, philanthropy is a core interest of fraternities. 

But, fraternities are not service groups, and those interested in community service should not rely on a fraternity as the only outlet to volunteer. The added benefit, though, of doing good things in the community as a result of having a close group of individuals is a positive aspect of fraternities. Why you would choose to mock it is beyond me, but I'll assume you're just taking a study break from finals to troll on the the spec comments section... 

+1
+3
-1
Anonymous posted on

I agree. Columbia needs More of what frats and sororities can bring. More college spirit! Less negativity and more fun.

+1
-4
-1
Anonymous posted on

So it's funny that you point to the drug bust as Columbia's most recent PR crisis. That's pretty ignorant. How about the Barnard-Columbia flamethrowing that occurred after Obama's announcement that he would be Barnard's commencement speaker? That made us look like idiots even more so than the drug bust because the inter-school roasting involved deeper feelings connected to Columbia and far more members of the CU community. 

And so, here we are 2015, again, a member of our own community is roasting an element within CU, and again, we are just asking for divisiveness. It's this sort of bitterness that'll ruin the rapport you care so much about

+1
+1
-1
Anonymous posted on

"If my reputation risks even the slightest damage, no, they are NOT innocent until proven guilty"
Dear Columbia Administration, stop letting self-serving pricks like this into our school. Thank you.

+1
-1
-1
Anonymous posted on

SAE on campus?! Can i join?

+1
0
-1
Anonymous posted on

I would like to point out how ignorant most of the anti-frat comments are. That is all.

+1
-1
-1
Anonymous posted on

 I would like to point out how ignorant most of the frat members are.  That is all.

+1
+2
-1
Anonymous posted on

b-b-b-but... they do, like, community service!

+1
+3
-1
Anonymous posted on

I know these guys personally. None of them will be the sort to haze severely. 

+1
0
-1
Anonymous posted on

Yes, and I bet they don't drink either.

+1
0
-1
Anonymous posted on

 Yes, and I bet you don't drink either.

+1
+1
-1
ColumbiaSpectator posted on

This comment has been deleted in line with our comment policy.

+1
-1
-1