Construction begins at Sigma Alpha Epsilon

Jessica Lumpp

Fraternity rebuilding after October fire

“SAE: hottest fraternity on campus, literally,” is now a popular phrase ever since their house caught on fire that is.

The fire, which severely damaged the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house on University Drive, has left it uninhabited since Oct. 28. Now the huge, wooden Greek letters, “alpha” and “epsilon,” dangle askew off the front of the house, and the “sigma” lies in a nearby bush.

But that’s about to change because construction on the house recently began.

Lt. Craig Peeps of the Kent Fire Department said that in general, candles cause the most fires. “You light them and forget to blow them out,” he said. Here are more fire safety tips from Peeps:

• Don’t use extension cords.

• Don’t plug power strips into power strips.

• Make sure the area around space heaters is clear.

• Get the new space heaters that turn off if they are tipped over.

• If you have a fire place, clean it.

• Be extremely careful with candles.

President Paul Bryan said everything from the walls to the carpet has to be replaced, and the entire house will have to be gutted.

Everything will be rebuilt as it was, but the basement, which is where the fire started, will have a new layout.

The house, which is owned by a housing corporation, will cost about $160,000 to repair. The full amount of the repairs will be covered by insurance, Bryan said.

According to the fire report, the property suffered $60,000 in damage and $10,000 in contents.

The six members who lived in the house lost almost all of their personal belongings in the fire and had to find new housing.

Four of the misplaced members have been staying with friends, but two members, Jamie Farrell and Chris Frampton, moved into Manchester Hall for the remainder of the semester.

“Frat life is not conducive with dorm life,” Frampton said.

They said it was a “weird transformation” moving into the dorms because they are not used to security and resident assistants.

Moreover, not every aspect of dorm living has been negative.

“We met a lot of interesting people,” Frampton said.

Farrell agreed it wasn’t the worst situation they could be in.

“Frat stars turned dorm stars,” he said.

Not only has housing been an issue for the members, but the lack of a house has put a damper on several usual Greek activities.

“That was our grand central station,” Bryan said.

Chapter meetings that are usually held at the house are now in the Student Center, and they didn’t have a spring recruitment.

Although the new members from fall recruitment are done pledging, they have not yet been initiated.

“We are waiting for our house to be done to have the ceremony,” Farrell said.

Members are anxiously awaiting the completion of the house, which will take about six to eight weeks, Bryan said.

“That has been my house for four years,” he said. “I’ve walked up and down University a million times.”

Lt. Craig Peeps of the Kent Fire Department said a fire prevention program for Greeks was attempted but is currently at a halt.

“We need to get back together to try to figure it out,” he said.

Contact Greek life reporter Jessica Lumpp at [email protected].