SAE suspended in abeyance due to policy violations including alcohol and hazing


Noelani Sapla

SAE fraternity house located at College Place. The fraternity will be suspended in abeyance until Dec. 31. The fraternity will then be under probation for the following semester.

by Catlan Nguyen, Editor in Chief

Last month, San Diego State released a report where they found the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) Fraternity violated seven student organization codes of conduct during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Assistant Dean for Student Life Caryl Montero-Adams said in the report that she found SAE in violation of Aiding and Abetting, Alcohol, Failure to Comply, Hazing or Conspiracy to Haze, Health and Safety and more, according to the report released by the university.

SAE being in violation of hazing comes nearly a year after the SDSU Police Department (in collaboration with San Diego County District Attorney’s office) released their findings on the investigation of the death of freshman Dylan Hernandez, who rushed Phi Gamma Delta in 2019. 

They found Hernandez’s death was not connected to hazing by PGD or any of its members and the cause of his death was blunt force trauma to the head after he fell off of a bunk bed. Hernandez’s family publicly disagreed with these findings, filing a lawsuit against President Adela de la Torre, SDSU, Aztec Shops and more in Nov. 2020.

The in-person 14-day trial for the lawsuit is set to begin Aug. 5, 2022.

However, SDSU Interfraternity Council President RJ Hullum said he along with other fraternity leaders are trying to implement more anti-hazing practices this year.

“As far as what we are doing actively to prevent hazing and make conversation about it, there are actually anti-hazing prevention task force meetings that are held bi-weekly,” Hullum said. “I’ve been a part of that task force. I started as a university chair where I was able to shadow the past president just to understand the conversation more.”

SAE was already on probation through Oct. 2, 2020 for prior violations. According to the university report, if they violated more codes, they would then be placed on suspension in abeyance.

The established fraternity also made headlines in May earlier this year when famous TikToker Bryce Hall said he was harassed by some of its members, prompting Hall to claim he’ll press charges against SAE via Twitter.

As a result of the seven additional violations of the Student Organization Code of Conduct, SAE has been given a suspension in abeyance through Dec. 31 of this year, followed by probation through May 31, 2022.

A suspension in abeyance means the fraternity has been assigned a suspension that has not been activated, according to the Office of the Dean of Students.

Under this, the fraternity was still allowed to table on campus last week and are currently recruiting members to rush or getting to know prospective members.

Second year SAE member Caeden King said he was unsure of how the inactivated probation affected regular SAE events and operations.

“We’re allowed to do this (tabling on campus) so I don’t think it’s affected us in that regard,” King said. 

SAE members tabling in the Campanile Walkway on Sept. 9. Signups for new members were light this day, according to some of the members.
SAE members tabling in the Campanile Walkway on Sept. 9. Signups for new members were light this day, according to some of the members. (Catlan Nguyen)

According to the university report, the fraternity is also allowed to hold educational and social events given the members get approval either three weeks in advance for educational, community service events or regular meetings. For social events, they must get approval eight weeks in advance.

“Last year was all virtual, so that wasn’t as fun,” King said. “Everything was over Zoom, so it wasn’t as fun as getting to meet kids face to face and we got a whole set of rush events next week including the dodgeball tournament.”

Social gatherings for SAE and all Greek life organizations are also required to be “dry” events or events where alcohol consumption is prohibited.

Hullum explained IFC’s role in dealing with fraternity suspensions.

“That’s more of the university’s job [to deal with suspensions] but also there is an IFC judicial board and what not,” Hullum said. “So when a chapter does run into issues or we see far too many reports regarding an event or gatherings there we kind of go through our own investigation because we have the active bystander submission form.”

SAE must also meet regularly with the Center for Fraternity & Sorority Life advisory team throughout the term of the temporary suspension and probation period, according to the university report.

Read the full report here.

An earlier version of this article stated that SAE was on a temporary suspension and not a suspension in abeyance. The Daily Aztec deeply regrets this mistake and apologizes for any confusion.