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

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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.

Putting History of Gamma back up

The construction of the new SAE Indiana Gamma chapter house on North Jordan marked a new era in the history of our chapter, and the beginning of our quest to regain SAE’s great presence on campus. After a year of adjusting to life with a chapter house, Indiana Gamma thought it was time to display appreciation for the hard work and effort put in by previous Gamma members.

Brother Ben Womac adjusts a composite.

Brother Ben Womac adjusts a composite.

Sophomores Ben Womac, Jack Binzer with the help of junior Jake Hartmeister got to work in the basement of the house and hung up paddles and composites from past generations of Gamma, a step in setting foundations to create a strong cohesion between current members and Gamma alum. Ben Womac commented “We’re glad we could give Gamma history more of a presence in the house to remind the current members of where this chapter came from.”

 

Brother Jacob Hartmeister fashions a paddle to the wall.

Brother Jacob Hartmeister fashions a paddle to the wall.

As the rendezvous for chapter meetings, the basement is now a place in which current members are surrounded by the history of Indiana Gamma, spurring them to further improve the chapter like the many alum had done before.

Paddles now hang on the walls in the basement

Paddles now hang on the walls in the basement.

 

SAE Indiana Gamma Mid-Year Initiation

As a part of Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s move towards all-year 365 Recruiting initiative, the Indiana Gamma Chapter held its first ever mid-year recruitment and initiation.  This mid-year recruitment process was a beta test for the chapter, but we believe we came home with a strong class.  Although it is on the smaller side with only six new members, we felt it was important to ease our way into a process that is generally not done at Indiana University, and is also new for most chapters in Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

A chapter photo with the new members

A chapter photo with the new members.

Overall, we are excited for these new members, who will be the first six members of Nu class.  The class is comprised of one sophomore, Jack Vissing, and five freshmen: Mike Montgomery, Nicholas Benedict, Brian LaManna, and Dylan Wendel.  We look forward to seeing what the future will hold for our chapter and these new members.

Top (From Left to Right): Sean Marks, Nicholas Benedict, and Mike Montgomery.  Bottom: Brian LaManna and Dylan Wendel.

Top (From Left to Right): Sean Marks, Nicholas Benedict, and Mike Montgomery. Bottom: Brian LaManna and Dylan Wendel.

 

Indiana Gamma Performs Big Brother/Little Brother Ceremony

Little Brother Matt Pappas with his Big Brother, Tommy Nguyen.

Little Brother Matt Pappas with his Big Brother, Tommy Nguyen.

This past week the brothers of Sigma Alpha Epsilon observed yet another Big Brother Little Brother ceremony. Every new member class goes through this ceremony, and this past week was Mu class’s turn. In Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the importance of such an event is immense. As brotherhood is one of the most respected aspects of our fraternity, the Big Brother Little Brother ceremony helps to strengthen these bonds through numerous methods.

Little Brother Andrew Cowie with his Big Brother, Noah Roush

Little Brother Andrew Cowie with his Big Brother, Noah Roush

The ceremony involves the official bond being created between the new Big and Little Brother tandems.  Each new member has the opportunity to pick an elder member who they desire to be their Big Brother, and Big Brothers are also asked who they would choose as their son.  In the end, the Loyalty Educator is tasked with picking sons for older members. Once the ceremony has completed, it is the duty of the big brother to mentor the younger brother further in the ways of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Through further instruction by the Big Brother, the Little Brother becomes more integrated into the chapter, as well as being enlightened in the ways of a true gentleman.

Little Brother Eric Gerbers with his Big Brother, Nick Prewitt

Little Brother Eric Gerbers with his Big Brother, Nick Prewitt

True friendship is something that should never be taken for granted, and through the big and little brother bond, a strong relational foundation can be develope. Being a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon is truly a special experience that many are not fortunate to be a part of. As a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, ritual events such as the Big and Little Brother ceremony remind us of the unfaltering brotherhood that we are fortunate to have.

Big Brother Ryan Schroeck and Little Brother Matt Ellsworth

Big Brother Ryan Schroeck and Little Brother Matt Ellsworth

Big Brother Jacob Wainwright with his Little Brother, Theo Berndt

Big Brother Jacob Wainwright with his Little Brother, Theo Berndt

SAE’s Remember Brother Sajaad Syed at Indiana University Oasis Candlelight Vigil

Sajaad Syed

On August 19th, 2014, the members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon were shocked when we were informed of the death of our beloved brother, Sajaad “Jazz” Syed.
The news was unbelievable, especially in the middle of the summer, when many of us had not seen each other for several months.  Sajaad had just been elected to the Public Relations Chairman position in our fraternity, and it was difficult to fathom that his incredibly likeable personality would no longer be a feature in our house.  No one could light up a room with laughter like Jazz, and we continue to miss him deeply to this day.

On Thursday, October 23rd, the members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Indiana Gamma traveled to the Wittenberger Auditorium to partake in the Oasis Memorial service.  Although no event could fully commemorate Sajaad’s life, the men of SAE wanted to show their respect in any way possible. Vigil 1Speakers and musicians commemorated the lives lost, and the event concluded with an outdoor candlelight vigil. Our chapter can never fully say good-bye to our fallen brother, but acts such as these allow us to pay him the respect he deserves.

Although a young man like Sajaad can never be completely forgotten, his departure has only served to strengthen the bonds within our chapter.  Sigma Alpha Epsilon will continue to foster an unbreakable brotherhood, and we hope that nothing like this will ever happen again.DSC_1217

 

Dad’s Weekend Recap

Another great Dad’s weekend came to a close Sunday morning, as proud SAE father’s departed for their homes after a fun weekend with their sons.  This Dad’s weekend featured an exciting poker night, a fun tailgate , and a blow-out victory for the Hoosier football team.

On Friday night, dads arrived and got to play poker with their sons at the house.  Brothers and their fathers played black jack, poker, and various other casino games putting their own money on the line.  The night was meant for more than just a little competitive fun; however, as 10% of the winnings went to the Children’s Miracle Network.  SAE Indiana Gamma raised $670 through the event.

Jake with DadOn Saturday, the boys and their dads woke up bright and early to go tailgating before the Indiana Football game.  Brothers and dads had a great time with the ladies of Alpha Omega Pi and their fathers.  The tailgate featured lots of good food and cigars supplied by brother Grant Pendry.  The football game was a blowout, with IU winning 49-24.  The team was led by Tevin Coleman’s 150 yards rushing and 2 TDs and Shane Wynn’s 127 receiving yards and 2 scores, coming on catches of 76 and 45 yards.

Nate and Dad

Dad’s weekend was a big success for SAE.  The brotherhood saw a home football win with their dads and raised almost $700 for our national charity as well.  We can’t thank our dads enough for making this weekend one of the best of the year thus far!