SAE Fraternity Suspended From Salisbury University

SAE crest

Here’s the story courtesy of the Baltimore Sun:

Members of a fraternity chapter at Salisbury University beat a recruit with a paddle, forced pledges to drink until one vomited blood, and made students stand in trashcans full of icewater, according to an investigation this week by Bloomberg.

The news outlet’s story (read it here) focuses on Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which according to Bloomberg has had nine deaths from drinking, drugs and hazing nationally since 2006. The founder of Salisbury’s chapter withdrew a $2 million donation after the group was suspended by the university amid the hazing investigation, according to Bloomberg.

Among the findings of the university’s investigation, according to Bloomberg: members played “Du Hast” by the German metal band Rammstein on repeat before locking the pledges in a dark basement for nine hours without food or water.

From the Bloomberg story:

“Back at the house, [pledge Justin] Stuart recalled being asked to bend over. He heard clapping, thumping, and chanting; a member took a running start and hit him in the buttocks three times with a paddle as hard as he could, Stuart said.

‘It sounded like a punch, like skin was cracking,’ he said.

Stuart held back a scream, while his back seized up for 20 seconds, leaving him briefly unable to walk, he said. The paddling left bruises that made it hurt to sit down the next day, he said.”

In an email to The Baltimore Sun, Salisbury spokesman Richard Culver said the university does not tolerate hazing. The SAE chapter was suspended until 2014 and will be on probation for another full year after that, he said.

“Other fraternities and sororities were made aware of SAE’s status and anti-hazing educational programs were reinforced,” he said. “The university supports a healthy and productive Greek life, for example, Greek organizations are required to engage in community service.  Hazing and other illegal activities are not tolerated.”

According to Bloomberg, the national SAE chapter declined to discuss the Salisbury case.

The hazing allegations and the SAE chapter’s suspension had not yet been made public before Bloomberg’s story.

MY TAKE/RANDOM RAMBLINGS: I personally have many friends who were/are apart of this chapter and it’s very unfortunate that this situation had to take place. I hope other fraternities learn from SAE’s mistakes.

It would be fair to say that SAE has a reputation for being a rough fraternity on campus. Many students at the university refer to them as the “sexual assault fraternity” although I would disagree with that assessment based on numerous interactions I’ve had with members both on and off campus.

I know as you read the Bloomberg article, it makes the members seem like despicable human beings. While their actions were extremely vile and unacceptable, the members that I know are really good guys. I just wish they used better judgement in the actions they took. Hazing is not worth the risk of losing a major part of your college career.

Their suspension makes me ponder 1 key question though. The fraternity was suspended through 2014 which means that they’ll most likely be back in the spring of 2015. If a Divine 9 fraternity were found guilty of the same hazing allegations, would they have had such a short suspension?


25 thoughts on “SAE Fraternity Suspended From Salisbury University”

  1. The reason that they had such a short suspension was because one Mr. Scarborough donates a lot of money to the school on a regular basis. If any other fraternity had been caught doing this they would have been expelled permanently, regardless of being divine 9 or IFC. Also its worth mentioning that they didn’t get suspended for all of the hazing mentioned in the article but just for pledge names. The rest of the allegations were “unfounded.”

    1. I’m not trying to incite any type of racial debate but as an observer of the Divine 9’s progression at Salisbury’s campus, I’m aware that all of those organizations are on thin ice and that the administration is waiting for them to make just one mistake before banning the orgs from campus for another 20 years.

      In my humble opinion, there’s no question that favoritism is not on the side of the Divine 9.

      Although as Joe P also pointed out, the other members of the IFC would’ve probably faced a deep, severe penalty as well.

      1. You’re definitely making it a race issue. If the Divine 9 is on such thin ice, how can they go around branding their pledges and stay on campus while IFC fraternities can’t even let their pledges wear a shirt and tie once a week without it being considered hazing?

      2. As far as I know, there’s only one fraternity who does that. The school doesn’t have control over how someone treats their body so it wouldn’t make any sense banning branding when they can’t regulate it. Also as far as I know, this tradition doesn’t happen out in the open. Branding is also not a requirement to join any Divine 9 fraternity as far as I know.

        If wearing a shirt and tie is against Salisbury’s rules, I think that’s unfair and I don’t think that makes sense because most pledges for the Divine 9 wear shirt and tie whenever they’re attending meetings pre-pledging.

        Back to the conversation at hand though, there’s a perceived notion about the Divine 9 which kept it away from Salisbury until recently. If the Divine 9 made a mistake which wasn’t as extreme as what happened in this situation, there’s no question they would be suspended for much longer than the punishment which SAE received which is unfair. The only thing I am pointing out is that there is a double standard.

  2. The reason making pledges wear any type of required outfit is “against” salisbury rules is because making pledges do things that older members do not do, regardless of how simple it may be, is still in the terms of hazing. Do I agree wth that? No but don’t make it a racial issue because all of Greek Life would have faced harsh punishments. Being a part of Greek life at salisbury I know first hand that this kind of stuff DOES NOT happen in all chapters and it SHOULD be punished to the fullest when it is.

    1. Thank you for commenting on this post. I’m not trying to make it a race issue but if you think it is in your opinion then so be it.

      The only point I’m trying to make is that the Divine 9 doesn’t have the connections with the administration and people in charge at SU that SAE or the other members of the IFC have because they haven’t been on campus as long. And because of that, they would’ve gotten a harsher penalty than what SAE got which I don’t think is fair.

      1. That’s a fair point that SAE got a much more lenient treatment than they should have. But that’s not because they’re not a traditionally black fraternity, it’s because Mr Scarborough threatened to withdraw a 2 million dollar check to the school. It’s not a race issue, it’s a money and connections issue. You can’t generalize SAE to the Divine 9 or IFC fraternities because nobody has their kind of connections, and to my knowledge nobody operates their organization the same way with such an outright acceptance of hazing.

    1. Not of Pulsefeedz. This is my opinion and SOLELY MY OPINION. The work of the other writers on this page has nothing to do with what MY PERSONAL OPINIONS are. If you want to undermine me, that’s cool but please do not undermine the work of the other writers on this page! Appreciate it.

  3. I feel like you can’t really say what would happen to a Divine 9 if they were in the same situation as SAE because it hasn’t happened. It makes no sense to point fingers about a double standard, especially when it comes to race, when the situation at hand is hypothetical. And yes, you did make it a race issue in the last, very random sentence of your piece.

    1. Yes, it’s a hypothetical but it’s a hypothetical I brought based on observations as well as to make the point that if you do something wrong, you should be penalized just like everyone else would be penalized. You shouldn’t get an advantageous penalty because of the connections you have. My ire is directed less towards SAE and more towards the administration.

  4. I’m trying to make a point about unfair penalties/punishments based on connections and not based on race. This is not a race issue but in any hypothetical situation occurring, there’s no doubt race would play a role whether it makes you uncomfortable or not.

  5. This has nothing to do with the Divine 9 i don’t know how we got involved in this but we work very hard with our limited numbers to make a impact on the university and the community. We all as Greeks have our responsibilities and have to adhere to the same rules

    1. I personally brought it up pondering as to whether a Divine 9 organization would’ve gotten the same short penalty as SAE did. The only point I’m trying to make is that all Greeks should be held with the same accountability and that a Divine 9 would probably have been suspended longer than what SAE was penalized with, which in my opinion is not fair.

      My theory obviously can not be proven factually unless a Divine 9 is ever found guilty of hazing, but it seems to me as though a less penalty was given to SAE due to the connections they’ve had with the school financially over the years which I don’t think is fair. That’s all I’m saying.

  6. You’re talking as if the administration is some racist entity. If Salisbury was so racist and unfair then there wouldn’t be a Divine 9. If you want to write an article discussing the hate that the university has shown towards the Divine 9 (or African Americans in general apparently) then please do. A lot of people, including myself, would really want to read that (not being sarcastic here by the way). As a Salisbury student I think it’s pretty unfair to make claims against Salisbury through a hypothetical situation.

    1. No! Please read the other comments I wrote. In my hypothetical, I believe a Divine 9 would’ve gotten a harsher suspension because they don’t have the connections which the other frats have because they haven’t been established on campus as long as the other frats. All I’m saying is that I think its unfair that a frat with connections gets such a short suspension. Nothing to do with race.

  7. When I attended SU, TKE was banned because of academic fraud and speculations of rape/sexual assault. Do your research about that. Also, I know some of the guys who have been branded and they wanted to do it, no one required them to do so. They have fellow brothers who refused to be branded and they aren’t treated any differently. So don’t bring up the Divine 9 without more support behind that lone statement.

  8. How would Divine 9 have not had any leniency? They already get it when Sara Lowery allows for them to get away with hazing (by definition) on campus when they “crossover”. They then hide behind the whole “national tradition” moniker. Yet fraternities like Kappa Sigma can’t have scheduled “dress up” days (Which I believe is also nationally done) for their new members without Sara Lowery having a hissy fit. And don’t tell me D9’s new members “want to do it” because hazing is consensual as well. Very confusing and unfair if you ask me.

    1. Also, SAE deserves a lifetime ban for what happened. But once again, SU cares more about money than the students safety and well being.

  9. As an SU graduate who was very active in Greek life, I am really not surprised with any of this. SAE had this coming. Once the heat was off TKE, it was only a matter of time before the multiple allegations about SAE got out of hand. I remember hearing and witnessing alot of what is in the Bloomberg article many years ago when I was a student and a Greek member.. I also remember Student Affairs turning a blind eye to Sae on many occassions because they had the golden touch (Mike Scarborough). Shame on SU if they reinstate them. I am shocked their nationals hasn’t pulled their charter over these allegations.

    1. It should be noted that Scarborough is a past national president of SAE and would likely rescind his financial contributions to them as well if they pulled the charter.

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