If you don't already know “The Measure of Friendship” that Casey Wreynolds holds toward the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity, break out the ruler. Casey began going to UAA in 1996 because it was the most practical and economical option for him at the time. He joined SAE in the fall of 1999 after being approached by Michael Olson, also known as “a one man recruit crew.” Once recruited, Casey had to go through a pledging process that entails taking a class once a week, for eight weeks, as a prerequisite for brotherhood in SAE.
“Each pledge is assigned a big brother and he kind of shepherds him through the pledging process,” Casey said.
Currently a political science major with emphasis on public administration, Casey sits on the SAE board of 22 elected officers as an executive of the fraternity and makes sure bylaws are being adhered to at the meetings. He is also the treasurer of the Greek Council responsible for managing the chapters' finances.
“It is a great opportunity, for (SAE) is the social element UAA is lacking, and I wanted to help facilitate… That is all valuable work experience that will help as I enter the job market,” Casey said.
When asked what he wanted to do after school, Casey replied in a nonchalant manner, “Rule the world!”
Sigma Alpha Epsilon is the largest Greek organization in the nation, even breaking international ground in Canada.
“I didn't realize how vast the fraternity was. It is the biggest in the nation with 257,000 members,” Casey said.
There are 25 fraternity members and SAE is hoping to expand, as well as bring other Greek systems to UAA. Casey welcomes new members to join and encourages the positive social aspects that go along with being in a fraternity.
“It makes your college experience richer and more rewarding…opens social events to bridge the boredom gap at UAA,” Casey said.
At some universities, fraternities have received some negative hype for engaging in behaviors that have been a menace to society and the community. Casey explained that people, in general, have a lack of information about fraternities and that there are many misconceptions about what really goes on.
“Once they get to know who we are, they realize those stereotypes are inaccurate,” Casey said.
Last week, Casey socialized with other fraternity members who were playing the electronic game “snake” on their cell phones at a SAE information booth in the Campus Center. They had a sign-up sheet, photos from past activities, and were trying to recruit students into SAE.
“There is a camaraderie of the brothers. I thought it was like any other UAA organization – do it and go home – but they are real friends… [SAE] is a positive social experience and I have made friends that will last as long as I do. These are the guys that are going to be at my wedding and at my funeral.”
Alcohol and Sigma Alpha Epsilon:
- At the University of Florida, Sigma Alpha Epsilon faced charges with Judicial Affairs after a fire alarm and 911 calls in the early morning of March 2, 2000 that led university police to find at least 30 members with a large quantity of alcohol. Hazing in the area brought the police, who were met with a “total lack of cooperation and obstruction” by fraternity members, the dean of students, Julie Sina wrote in a letter, according to Alligator Online, an independant Florida newspaper
- Sigma Alpha Epsilon violated Dry 2000, a campaign to stop alcohol abuse on campuses when it was suspended for hazing right after another fraternity, the Kappa Alpha Order, was put on social probation for hazing at Missouri University, according to the university's newspaper, TheManeater.com
- According to the Los Angeles Times, Oct. 31, 1998, a student committee at Cal State Northridge recommended that the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity be placed on a year's “social suspension” because a hazed pledge was made to drink so much, he stopped breathing and had to be resussatated at the hospital.
Numerous states had similar complaints about SAE. So far this semester, UAA University Police have reported no complaints about the fraternity.