Last March, Cornell revoked its recognition of Sigma Alpha Epsilon after the alcohol-related hospitalization and death of SAE brother George Desdunes ’13. Of the 22 pledge brothers in that year’s pledge class — whose reverse-hazing contributed to Desdunes’ death — six left Cornell for good. All of the remaining 16, meanwhile, flocked to Tau Kappa Epsilon. But did TKE take them in — or did SAE take them over?
It’s getting clearer: TKE now faces losing university recognition, after another alcohol-related hospitalization of another pledge a freshman (who thankfully survived). This follows TKE’s hosting planning to host, last September, the White Party, a bash traditionally thrown by SAE, and other signs that the killed-off frat had reanimated in TKE’s body.
Now, thanks to a tipster, we have a better idea of how this all came about.
First, background: Publicly, SAE/TKE brothers have basically stuck to the position that their union was immaculately conceived. One pledge told the Cornell Daily Sun last April that “It’s hard to say where the idea [of TKE taking SAE’s pledges] first came about, but a bunch of guys in SAE and TKE know each other, so it just seemed logical.” And Ryan Yeh ’13, incumbent president of TKE, gave the Sun the same impression: “Like all great ideas, it’s hard to say who came up with it first . . . The two fraternities had quite a few brothers that were mutual friends outside of the house.”
Not quite. A well-placed tipster tells IvyGate that SAE made the rounds with a sales pitch of sorts (bolding ours): Read the rest of this entry »
As generations of uptown yuppies, downtown hipsters, Austrian supermodels, and Ivy society types have discovered, cocaine is one versatile and fashionable narcotic. Stylish as it is already, snorting it through rolled-up Ben Franklins makes it even classier. Or off of a mirror: super 80s chic. You can slice it and dice it every which way: really, it’s an outlet for creativity.
So, how to amp up the cool-quotient of your high, while adding that special Ivy League flavor? Well, turns out the DartCoke bros and an unknown number of their SAE cohorts have found a way: snorting the drug off of the grinning visages of their fellow brothers, immortalized on alumni photo composites. Combine that with Jim Beam shots, unrequited lust, post-Tabard fun, and the venerable SAE “Pool Room” (all chronicled in Sarah Koo’s arrest affidavit, great bedtime reading) and you’ve got real Hunter S. Thompson fodder. And apparently, past partakers in the common-room antics that got the “SAE 3” — Andrew Lohse ’12, Brian Shea ’10 (for snorting) and Clark Warthen ’10 (for witness tampering) — pinned with felony charges and kicked out of SAE have left traces all over their frat, confounding the cops.
The basic story: eyewitnesses told police that they had seen some of the foolhardy fratboys snorting off of composites– picture frames with head-shots of every brother in a certain year, usually festooning frat walls and trophy closets. The dutiful police went in to test the pictures for cocaine residue, CSI-HPo style.
But here’s the rub: According to an insider source, the crusading popo picked up the wrong composite for testing, one that Shea and Lohse had never used. The guys thought they were in the clear, and probably headed off to go dance to house music and clench their jaws. One problem though: the other composite also had cocaine residue on it, allowing the cops to bust the unlucky trio. Catch 22, we guess. They can’t really say, “no, test the other one!”, can they?
Witness-tamperer Warthen, former Vice President of SAE, showed off some impressive, Solomon-like leadership by issuing an open fratwa against Phil. (For reference, here he is in The Dartmouth defending the display of the Confederate flag and chastising an offended black woman for her ignorance.) He had this to say about Benedict Aubart, in an angry email to his pals, planning vengeance:
can you seriuously [sic] smash-bros the shit out of phil’s table? it would really mean a lot to Brian, and would be a great signal to Phil that it’s not just a small contingent of people in the house that despise him, it’s truly a widespread sentiment that he’s the most abhorrent thing ever happen to this house and this campus.
And Smash Bros they did (Falcon Punch; none of that lame-ass Kirby nonsense). The table was shattered and immolated, post haste. Andrew Lohse just spit on Phil, while others poured beer on his door and put their bladders to work on his clothes. “They stand together“: fraternity and camaraderie, obviously bonds everlasting. At the very least, the sad, gonzo story of shattered brotherly love and squandered opportunities has left us with this tidbit, probably the best thing ever written in a Hanover Police arrest warrant:
I asked Mr. Shea about his relationship with Bernadette Reyes [accused snitch]. He stated that she is a girl that wants to “hook up” with him. He denied that he has any interest in her and attributed the attraction to being primarily one way. I told him that I had some further work to do with Bernadette Reyes and that I did not want him to communicate with her until it was completed. He agreed not to be in contact with Miss Reyes.
And of course, making the rounds from an anonymous source:
I asked an SAE what happened. He said, “I’d love to Phil you in, but can’t Shea anything other than doing drugs is not Warth it because you could Lohse everything you’ve worked for. I told him that’s Koo but it will be Hart not to Reyes the question later.”
IvyGate has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, New York Observer, Newsweek, New Yorker, and other publications, as well as NBC, MSNBC, Fox News, Drudge Report, Gawker, The Huffington Post, Wonkette, Jezebel, The Awl, and many more. Most are horrified.