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

Brother Spotlight: Jake England

For this week’s Brother Spotlight, Pat Hodgman sat down with Jake England, a sophomore member of Kappa class who is also a member of Indiana University’s Air Force ROTC program.

Jake England Bro Spotlight

Why did you decide to join Greek Life?

I liked the structure that came with joining a fraternity. I also played sports in high
school and was a big fan of unity. I enjoyed being a part of an exclusive group of
guys who I could always count on and spend time with. Aside from that, I was the
only guy from my high school to attend IU so I did not know many people and this
was a great way to make friends that I could count on.

Why did you decide to join ROTC?

I have always had a passion to serve my country. It had always been a passion of
mine from when I was younger. I had initially planned on skipping college for the
time being and enlisting two weeks before freshman year began. I had spoken with a
friend who convinced me to look into ROTC, and it seemed to be the best choice for
me. Doing this, I would be able to obtain a college degree and become an officer in
the Air Force at the same time.

Brother Jake England is sworn into the United States Air Force.

Brother Jake England is sworn into the United States Air Force.

Why did you choose the Air Force over other branches?

Members of the Air Force typically have a higher standard of living so that helped,
but was not the driving force. My desired specialty is to be a Special Tactics Officer,
and the Air Force will offer me that opportunity.

How do you balance your Social life, Academics, and ROTC responsibilities?

It is extremely difficult. I have set a very rigid schedule for myself that is very
important to me. I get all of my studying done at the same time every day and do
my best to stick with it. With my busy schedule, I do not have much time to “goof
around” and it has kept me grounded.

Jake England (Center, back row) with other members of the Indiana University Air Force ROTC.

Jake England (Center, back row) with other members of the Indiana University Air Force ROTC.

How has being a brother of Sigma Alpha Epsilon helped you to succeed in ROTC?

This fraternity teaches you a lot about responsibility and leadership. There are
certain things that you have to take care of such as philanthropy hours and positions
to help the chapter to succeed. This has helped me with prioritizing as well as time
management. These traits are very important for my ROTC duties because it is very
time consuming and I do not want to have to give something up because they are all
very important to me.

How do you plan to relate your studies to the military in the future?

My major is Swahili. I also plan to join the Special Forces of the United States Air
Force. Most members of Special Forces know a foreign Language and it is very
important. Knowing Swahili will also give me special preferences when my time is
done in the military for Government jobs.

Fun Questions:

Favorite Song? Enchanted by Taylor Swift

Coke or Pepsi? Coke

Favorite Sports Team? Miami Heat

Left Handed or Right? Right

Brother Spotlight: Mitchell Sasseman

Mitch Sasseman, a brother in Iota class, was kind enought to sit down and talk with me this week.

Why did you join SAE?

I didn’t choose to rush in the fall of my freshman year based on preconceived notions about fraternities.  One of my friends got me to come to a rush event in the spring, and I saw potential for change in the house and the opportunity to lead was enticing enough.

What are you main duties at the house manager?

I’m in charge of the basic operations of the house, but more I’m in charge of keeping the house in good shape and coordinating meals, among other things.  I’ve also overseen major improvements under a new house director, including a basketball court and the new fencing project.

You’re in the investment banking program through the Kelley School of Business.  What’s the workload for the program like?

The investment banking program averages roughly 35 hours a week of commitments.  I can expect to do an investment case competition about once a week.  I’ve taken trips up to New York City and Chicago to look at different investing firms and determine which one is right for me.  It’s a lot of work and takes up a lot of my time,  but the employment opportunities and personal development outweigh all the negatives.

What are you expectations for the bike time?

Our goal for the season is to finish among the first pack of riders.  We improved from 18th to 8th last year, so we’re expecting a lot out of the team this year.  We lost three riders to graduation, but the team has enough depth that we can recover and expand on last year’s great finish.

A young Mitchell Sassemen gazing out towards SAE's bright future.

A young Mitchell Sassemen gazing out towards SAE’s bright future.

Some fun questions:

Favorite ice cream: chocolate

Favorite movie: Shawshank redemption

Best concert he’s ever been to: 21 Pilots

Best part about IU: “The foxy ladies”

Brother Spotlight: Cameron Shine

Cameron Shine is sophomore member of SAE, from Kappa class.

Why did you initially join SAE?

I joined SAE to experience a brotherhood similar to that of sports teams that I played on in the past.  Also, I wanted to establish immediate connections with other IU students that share similar interests as myself.

Are you involved in any organizations outside the chapter?

I am involved with Club Soccer and am involved with Indiana University Dance Marathon.

What are the commitments for Club Soccer like?

We practice Monday through Thursday and have about 12 games scattered across multiple weekends across other universities in the Midwest.

It’s been noted you’re the “face” of the Fry scholars. How did you earn that distinction?

They offered me to be profiled in their brochure because I had an interesting background and chose Kelley over multiple division 1 soccer scholarships.  They thought that would make a good story for other potential Fry Scholars to hear.

You’re the junior recruitment chair.  How do you feel this new style of fall recruitment went?

It went very well. Despite changes to how the recruitment process works at IU, our committee acclimated well. We recruited a solid group new members (Mu Class) that I can see doing big things. Overall, it was an awesome experience.

Extra Questions:

Favorite Dessert?

Apple Cobbler

Favorite Professional Soccer Team?

Chelsea FC (Of the English Premier League)

Backstreet Boys or N’SYNC?

N’SYNC. I can’t go against Justin Timberlake.

Best part about IU?

The Greek Life and the bonds that come with it.




Brother Spotlight: Femi Hollinger-Janzen

Femi Solo Shot brother spotlightFor the second installment of Brother Spotlight for 2014, we present to you Femi Hollinger-Janzen, a junior from Mu Class.  Femi is the starting forward for the Indiana University Men’s soccer team and won a national championship his freshman year.

Why did you join SAE?

I wanted to be a part of the brotherhood. I have heard very good things about SAE from my previous roommates, and now brothers, John Wahoski and Brandon Wynne. Last year I also had the pleasure of meeting several of the brothers when they came over to our place. They seemed like very genuine, good people. I wanted to get myself involved with these guys and get to know them better.
Femi w lion statue
What outside activities are you involved in at IU?

I am on the Men’s soccer team, so that takes up basically a huge chunk of my time.

Femi Hollinger JanzenWhat position do you play for the IU Soccer Team?

I play outside, withdrawn striker and target forward.

What factors allow for your team to keep competing at such a high level?

The mentality of everyday excellence, nothing else is acceptable. Go out everyday and get better is what drives our team, keep the person next to you accountable at all times.

How did it feel to play in and win a national championship your freshman year?

It was an amazing experience, could not ask for a better day. It will be something that is with me for the rest of my life, it was really a dream come true.

How do you plan on changing the attitude and status of SAE Rec Futsal and Soccer Teams?

I am not sure if I am allowed or will be able to participate in any other team due to my commitment to the Men’s soccer team; however, I do know that my presence within the chapter should really push the other guys to take their games to the next level.  I don’t want to be a part of a chapter that isn’t taking home titles.

Extra Questions:

Bone-in or Boneless Wings?


Favorite Professional Soccer Player?

Didier Drogba

Favorite Bloomington Restaurant?

Buffalo Wild Wings

Best part about IU?

Just getting to meet and get to know new people.

Photo Courtesy of Indiana University

Brother Spotlight: Daniel Gushin

This is the first installment of the Brother Spotlights for the 2014-2015 school year. Today’s feature is Brother Daniel Gushin, a sophomore initiated in the Lambda class.

Why did you join SAE?

I joined because I wanted a group of friends to last a lifetime, and a group of people who could help me better myself.  I think that it truly makes the campus feel smaller and contributed to creating the college experience I had envisioned for myself.

What’s your major and intended career path?

I am a undecided major in the Kelley School of Business with a minor in psychology.  Even thought I am undecided, I think a career in consulting is something I would find interesting.

Are you involved inside and outside of the fraternity?

I am on the housing and scholarship committees within the house, and outside of the fraternity, I am most involved with the IU Bowling Team.

How has bowling for IU affected you?

Joining the bowling team has been a solely positive experience.  It has created a competitive outlet for me, an enjoyable game to play for the rest of my life, and it keeps me in shape for intramural season.

Daniel Gushin Brother Spotlight

What areas have SAE improved on since your initiation?

I think that SAE’s presence on campus has grown through the increase in the Gamma chapter’s size, and the chapter member involvement around campus.

I also asked Daniel some fun, supplemental questions.

Favorite Color: Blue

Favorite flavor of Jello: Orange

Favorite “happy” song: Sitting on the Dock of the Bay — Otis Redding

East Coast or West Coast Rap: East Coast

Preferred outdoor chore: Shoveling snow

Favorite Kardashian: Kendall

Favorite Professional Bowler: Pete Weber

Best part about IU: “It’s just a beautiful place”