SAE fraternity working to reinstate suspended UNCW chapter

SAE fraternity working to reinstate suspended UNCW chapter

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A state lawmaker says he wants to meet with UNCW's chancellor about how the university has treated Sigma Alpha Epsilon, a suspended fraternity that plans to reopen this year.

"A concern expressed, is the past targeting by the current Dean of Students Office at UNCW," Rep. John Bell wrote in a Feb. 19 e-mail to interim Chancellor William Sederburg. "I feel that by sitting down together, we can come to a reasonable solution to address this concern."

Bell, a Goldsboro Republican, is an alumnus of UNCW's SAE chapter. Suspended in 2012 for violations of underage drinking, the fraternity is free to be begin "recolonization" in May, a university spokeswoman said.

The lawmaker said he was looking forward to "closing the unfortunate chapter" of the past two years and "continuing the long history of SAE at UNCW."

The group includes current members of the Board of Trustees Dennis Burgard and Michael Drummond, along with local businessman Parks Griffin.

In light of the criticism, Bell co-sponsored a bill – now law – that allows students to have legal council in disciplinary proceedings.

In a response to Bell's request for a meeting, Sederburg said he didn't see any reason to include attorneys.

"It should be a friendly, constructive meeting," he wrote.

A UNCW spokeswoman said the university has sent a request to meet in early April and is awaiting a response. Bell did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

The fraternity's supreme council recently voted to allow UNCW's chapter to return, but it gave the charter to approved alumni who will oversee operations, according to Blaine Ayers, SAE's executive director.

The national fraternity has created a "plan for success" for the local chapter that includes requiring all members and advisers to complete an alcohol awareness program, according to Ayers. UNCW's chapter must also create a health and safety plan, including social-event policies and a crisis management plan.

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