SAE’s Oakes earns Scholarship on the Gridiron

The college football season is well underway, and the Indiana Hoosiers have jumped out to a surprising 3-0 start. Close wins against Southern Illinois, Florida International, and Western Kentucky saw the Hoosiers come from behind in each outing, and the team boasts its first 3-0 start since the 2010 season. A huge key to the team’s success has been junior kicker Griffin Oakes, a member of the 2015 spring class at Indiana Gamma who won the starting job midway through last season. Oakes has hit 6 of his 7 field goal attempts and 14 of 15 extra points through three games this season, and his efforts are being noticed. His success last season and hard work over the summer earned Oakes a full athletic scholarship from coach Kevin Wilson and the IU athletic department, and Oakes couldn’t be happier about it.

“It’s just a huge honor to be recognized in the eyes of the coaches as someone who deserves something like this”, Oakes said of the scholarship offer. “For someone like me who didn’t have any division one offers coming out of high school, this is a dream come true, not only for me but for my parents as well”. Undoubtedly, this season has already been a great success for Griffin, and with further success on the horizon, his brothers at Indiana Gamma are excited to watch it all unfold. Blake Biesen, Griffin’s pledge brother in the spring class and former teammate on the football field, expressed his optimism for Oakes’ season. “Considering I was on the team with him last year, it’s weird seeing him from the stands as a fan instead of on the field”, he notes, “but it’s been great for all of us to see him playing so well and earning the scholarship, we watch him every single Saturday and we couldn’t be more proud.”

He’ll have to get right to work to earn that scholarship, however, as the Hoosiers’ schedule only gets tougher from here. They face their first road test of the season this Saturday against Wake Forest, before coming home to face the nation’s best team, Ohio State, to open conference play. The Hoosiers are seeking to appear in their first bowl game since the 2007 Insight Bowl, and they have a tough Big Ten schedule in their way, but Coach Wilson should be confident that the kicking game is one thing he won’t have to worry about thanks to his newest scholarship athlete.

Gamma Learns to Dance

With another successful year in the books, Indiana Gamma had many successes to reflect on and be proud of, having made great academic and social progress as well as recruiting two fantastic new member classes that show incredible promise. For one graduating senior, however, one part of his experience in the chapter stuck out like no other.

Kaleb Sullen graduated this year and plans to begin teaching physical education at Park Tudor School in Indianapolis, before eventually moving to teach abroad and join his family in Switzerland. Sullen joined the chapter as a sophomore transferring from Franklin College, and since then he has been heavily involved with the chapter as the serenade choreographer. Talking with Sullen about his time working on the serenades, his enthusiasm was evident, he called it “one of his favorite experiences at IU,” and “a great opportunity to meet each new member class and learn their persona.” According to Sullen, “We offer a less traditional serenade with more emphasis on dancing, and it brings something different to the table that sororities love.” He hopes to see the chapter continue to push the limits of their creativity long after he is gone and for everyone to “keep having fun with it, that’s the most important thing.”

Kaleb’s contributions to the chapter were strongly appreciated and the overwhelming sentiment is that he will be sorely missed. Speaking with freshman Brian LaManna, who played a major role in coordinating with sororities to organize the serenades, his praise for Kaleb echoed the sentiments of the entire chapter. “Kaleb Sullen is a class act” he explained, pointing out that “in a time when many seniors grew distant in their involvement with the house, Kaleb continued to step up and do meaningful work to help us, gaining everyone’s respect in the process.” With his help, both semesters of serenades were massive successes this year and Brian acknowledged that he had Kaleb to thank for helping make his job easy. “Serenades represent a great opportunity to spread our wings socially and meet some fantastic girls,” Brian explained, “but at the same time, just participating in serenades was such an exhilarating feeling. Being able to be goofy and grow closer with my brothers was such an incredible experience”.

Freshman John Graves will be taking over for Sullen as the main coordinator for serenades next fall, and with the recruitment of an excellent Xi class, there is no doubt that serenades will continue to be another aspect of what makes SAE Indiana Gamma unique and noteworthy on campus.

The serenade maestro himself, Kaleb Sullen

The serenade maestro, Kaleb Sullen

Gamma’s Fence Project

The most recent product of SAE’s ambition of consistent improvement is the completion of a fence in the back courtyard of our Indiana Gamma chapter. Constructed entirely by members of the chapter, this fence adds both visual appeal and functionality to what was previously just a parking lot.The construction took just over a month, and required a significant amount of hard-work and dedication, but eventually produced an admirable addition to the chapter.

SAE Indiana Gamma Fence

The first step in the creation of the fence was to dig the holes that would eventually hold the fence posts in place. After the holes were completed, and the posts securely fixed in them, the next step was attaching the fence panels, which are 8 feet wide and 6 feet tall. To assure that the panels were securely fixed to the posts, we used bolts on the top and bottom thirds of the panels. These bolts were drilled through both the panels and the posts. At this point, all of the panels were in place, and the only task that remained was to create 3 gates and add lattice onto the top of the panels to add a professional look to the fence. The lattice was fairly straightforward; it was attached to the excess height on the posts that rose above the top of the fence panels. After that, we attached 2x4s across the top to create a frame for the lattice. To create the gates, we took the same panels used for the body of the fence (to retain uniformity) and cut these in half. We added hinges to the outsides, and carefully measured the lengths to prevent the gates from closing improperly. After that, we added the locks to the interior of the gate and the construction was complete aside from minor additions to refine the style of the fence.IMG_1880

Since the completion of this project, there have been several examples of instances that reinforced our theory of the fence’s positive impact on the chapter. First of all, the fence creates a separation between the courtyard and the parking lot, creating a location where everyone would rather spend their time. Not only that, but it created the perfect atmosphere for our philanthropy event “Bonnamu” that we hosted with Phi Mu, which was extremely successful and raised a significant amount of money for the Children’s Miracle Network organization. Our ability to close certain gates and provide only one entrance exponentially increased the organization of the event because it allowed us to concentrate the flow of guests to one location. Overall, the decision to add a fence to Gamma has already proved worthwhile.

Spring Father/Son ceremony conducted

With spring around the corner and the weather finally showing some life,  Indiana Gamma held it’s father/son ceremony for it’s newest initiates, the Nu class.  The ceremony took place at the house, held by Eminent Herald Jacob Wainwright and officiated by Member Educator Scott Kincannon and Eminent Archon Nick Martell.  The process went smoothly, and Wainwright had the following to say: “I was very pleased with the ceremony and I look forward to watching the relationship between mentor and mentee grow with time”.

Without further ado, here’s the list of fathers and their corresponding sons.

Kyle  Schultz Dylan Wendel
Stephen Bonica Drew Miller
Noah Roush Ryan Tuffnell
JamesMantz Ryan Beck
Arjun Sridhar Joe Krahulik
Thomas Newlin Blake Biesen
Andrew Johnson Andy Foster
Colby Stewart Derek Shireman
Nicholas Loughlin Evan Baker
Dan Wilkerson Mike Montgomery
John Padgett Taylor Bezotte
Will Torres Jack Rohrer
Ian Baques Griffin Oakes
Dom Bale George Duffy
Ryan Schroeck Geoff Ferguson
Jack Binzer Michael Rastovic
Joe Gralak Evan Morris
Rob Payne Jackson Tomchek
Nick Prewitt Brian LaManna
Brennan Haug Anthony Nasti
Matt Delaney Pat Hennessy
Matthew Marconcini Sean Marks

And some pictures of the new families.

SAE hosts IU Unity March

On March 31st, Indiana Gamma and the Alpha Phi Alpha chapter of IU hosted a campus-wide “Unity March” to end racism and hatred within the IU community.  The march was crafted as an event solely for SAE and APhiA, but turned into much more as the community at large grew interested in the movement.  The overall focus of the unity march was to promote positive relations among race and to stop the tides of racism, bigotry, and hatred across the Indiana University campus.

As the procession began to move down North Jordan, more and more members of the greek and IU community joined in.  The brainchild of brother Kaleb Sullen and Alpha Phi Alpha member Cameron Harris, the movement turned into much more than a statement against racism:  It was a moment of friendship and bonding between sects of the IU community.  Towards the beginning of the walk, Kaleb challenged everyone to “meet five new people”.  This, according to him, was geared towards making the march actually mean something to the brothers.  “The walk itself has meaning, but I felt that we as a chapter could embrace change and branch out into a community we didn’t have many roots in.”  As the march reached 10th and Jordan, a chant of “I-Unity” broke out among the 100-plus marchers, and on-lookers began to take notice and some even joined in the rally cry.  At Showalter Fountain, the event was capped off with a speech from Neal-Marshall Director Dr. Stephanie Power-Carter.  Dr. Power-Carter talked about the power of taking a stance against what’s wrong and commended those involved for taking a stand against such a large problem facing our nation.

When the march ended, those who took place in the march were invited to the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, where Indiana Gamma and Alpha Phi Alpha had a chance to talk and get to know one another.  As the event dwindled, many stayed after to talk about the experience and joke around with their new acquaintances. Kaleb mentioned this was a big component of why the march was conducted: “We want to bring together IFC (Inter-fraternity council) and the NPHC (National Pan-Hellenic Council to organize more events with each other.  If this goal doesn’t come to fruition, then I think the march wasn’t fully successful.”  The Unity March promoted the end of racism, but also fostered a new friendship between Indiana Gamma and Alpha Phi Alpha that hopefully lasts for many years to come.

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Greek Community remembers fallen TPA sister

A week ago,  SAE and the rest of the Greek community attended the vigil of fallen Theta Phi Alpha sister Amanda Ludwig, who was tragically lost in a car accident earlier this month.  The vigil took place at Showalter fountain and began at 9-o-clock.  Amanda’s sorority “bigs” and Amanda’s uncle were among those to speak at this somber event.  TPA president Madi Taylor made one of the best points of the night in saying “Amanda may have been an only child, but she left this Earth with over 100 sisters”.

It’s been a tough year for the IU Greek Community.  With the loss of our brother Sajaad Syed, ZTA sister Kelly Hackendahl, Delta Chi brother Brian MacLafferty and now Amanda, it’s important for us to stay strong and unified.  It’s times like these that the Greek community can rally and really show what it means to be a member of such a large organization.  The spirit of togetherness and the memory of our fallen members can propel the IU community forward or we can do nothing and continue being stagnant as a whole.

As Quals and Little 5 approach, it’s important to remember the roots and foundations of our respective fraternities and sororities.  If each house only thinks for themselves, how can we expect anything to improve as a whole?  Take some time to think of your fellow greeks and hopefully we learn that life is indeed precious.

SAE Initiates the “Nu” class

Last Sunday, February 17, 2015, the Indiana Gamma Chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon initiated 22 new members into our beloved order. With plans of initiation in the Levere Memorial Temple on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois cancelled due to inclement weather in Chicago, the brothers of the Gamma chapter welcomed in the new initiates in beautiful Bloomington, Indiana. With the brotherhood in attendance, the evening began with a wonderful dinner and the excitement in the room was palpable. The 22 new members come from various parts of the country, from New Jersey to California, and all bring a new and fresh mindset into the brotherhood. The future is bright for the chapter and each new group of initiates brings excitement for the years to come.

Nu Class sits and awaits instruction after their initiation

Nu Class sits and awaits instruction after their initiation

Here is a list of all the new initiates, their hometowns, and legacy information.

Name                                    Hometown                                    Legacy?

Evan Baker                        Lincolnshire, IL                                  No

Blake Biesen                    Valparaiso, IN                                    No

Ryan Beck                      Geneva, IL                                          No

George Duffy                  La Grange, IL                                      No

Geoff Ferguson              Cincinnati, OH                                    Yes, Bruce Ferguson (dad)

Andy Foster                    Carmel, IN                                           No

Patrick Hennessy             Western Springs, IL                         No

Joe Krahulik                        Indianapolis, IN                                 Yes, Sam Krahulik (Uncle)

Andrew Krahulik (Brother)

Brian LaManna               Hinsdale, IL                                         No

Sean Marks                   Cos Cob, CT                                        No

Drew Miller                        Bloomington, IN                               No

Michael Montgomery       Cincinnati, OH                                    Yes, Robert Montgomery                                                                                                           (Grandfather)

Evan Morris                   Carmel, IN                                           Yes, Brian Morris (Dad)

Anthony Nasti                 Addison, IL                                          No

Michael Rastovic             Valparaiso, IN                                    No

Jack Rohrer                    Glen Ellyn, IL                                      No

Derek Shireman                Westfield, IN                                     No

Jackson Tomchek           Montclair, NJ                                     No

Dylan Wendel                    Bloomington, IN                               Yes, Charles Spillman (Dad)


An Interview with Recruitment Chair

Today I sat down with recruitment chair Noah Roush and discussed the spring recruitment policies and results.

How did you approach the spring rush season?

To us it was incredibly important to find quality gentlemen. Our desire is to find candidates better than ourselves, so we start with GPA and then evaluate if we believe a potential new member will fit into the new chapter.

Would you say spring rush is different from the fall?

There are fewer candidates in the spring and its generally a quicker process, but otherwise everything runs the same.

Recruitment saw some changes made to the voting process this semester.  What are they and did it have a large effect on the overall recruitment policy?

This semester we created a recruitment council with the task of being able to assess and bid new members more quickly than the previous method of a whole chapter vote.  This sped up the process exponentially, but otherwise we kept the same goals for the recruitment strategy.

What was the most difficult part of being the recruitment coordinator?

It’s tough to get everything done so quickly, especially when we have to initiate members after only 72 hours.  We have to meet these guys and decide whether or not they’re true gentlemen very quickly.  The evaluation process can be very stressful and tedious for both sides, but its a key part of the recruitment process.

What’s your overall opinion and expectation of the Nu class?

As I stated earlier, we are always looking for men who are better than ourselves.  I completely believe the Nu class will elevate this chapter academically, philanthropically, and socially.  Because of the TGE, it is essential that we only extend bids to those who we believe will meet and exceed our high standards, and because of this, my expectations will be extremely high for this class and each one after it.

How many new members were initiated in Nu class?

Nu class has 26 initiated members, including four members previously initiated in the winter of 2014.  They are from a variety of different cities and backgrounds, giving us a diverse group of new members.

Whats one piece of advice you can give for the next recruitment chair?

The key to recruiting well is making sure there is a heavy sense of involvement in the chapter.  The more people that can meet a potential new member, the better overall feel we can gather about that person.

SAE Coaches at the YMCA

Sophomore brothers Ryan Schroeck and Ian Baques took to the basketball courts of the Monroe county YMCA Saturday in their first game of the regular season with their 5-6 year old squad of champions. The two heard of the opportunity in the fall semester, and viewed it as an exemplary opportunity to get involved with the Bloomington community youth, serving as both coaches and role models for the team. The duo were inspired by coach, referee, and senior brother Kaleb Sullen, who has worked with multiple teams at the YMCA across a variety of sports. With encouragement from Sullen, along with a desire to help community youths develop as people and athletes, Ryan and Ian took on the task of running practices and coaching weekly games.

“There is an inexplicable feeling of satisfaction I get when Ryan and I are the reason for kids smiling, laughing, and making friends,” Ian had to say about coaching It’s so rewarding for me to teach the importance of teamwork and unity to kids, and the YMCA allows us to instill these character traits, along with others, early on in their lives. Kids will absolutely benefit in the long run from having this experience at the age of five or six.” Ryan had the following to say about his team, “It’s unbelievably rewarding to see the kids playing basketball just out of pure enjoyment. Watching their faces light up after a shot is made leaves us coaches with such a great feeling, as we know we have played a role in inspiring those feelings. With that being said we have a long season in front of us and it will be a long road to the championship.” Schroeck’s ambitious hopes of a title run may be overlooking the fact that the 5-6 year old division does not count wins or losses.

The first day of games started this past Saturday with the duo’s team, The Magic, facing off against the Celtics. Kids experienced jubilation upon receiving their jerseys as coaches drew up plays and defenses that they felt would work to their players’ best attributes. When Kaleb threw up the ball for tipoff, the two teams experienced an offensive show with the first 3 shots taken by both teams going in. The crowd of parents and friends cheered loudly as the young athletes gave them an incredible showing of terrific basketball. No score was kept, however, it was made clear by the many infectious smiles seen around the complex that everybody had won.

And here are a few pictures from the event.