Vanderbilt held its homecoming weekend last week, and as is tradition, the fraternities hosted alumni brothers for a Saturday night party. At Sigma Alpha Epsilon, they are still surveying the damage.
Below is an email sent out to the alumni listserv this week. It is important to keep in mind, for a fuller mental picture, that SAE was shut down for nearly a decade, so the offending alumni are at least in their mid-thirties. (UPDATE: SAE's alumni affairs chair would like to make clear that it was mostly grads from the past few years that were responsible for the damage.)
We appreciate your concern at the state of the house and thank you for coming by this weekend. We agree that the house is currently in the worst state that we have ever seen it and sympathize to a large degree with your concern about a lack of respect for the property. However, we think it is only fair, in the spirit of full disclosure, to let you know a bit more about how the house came to look, and smell, the way that it does.
Our officers and other concerned brothers spent a great deal of time and effort in the two weeks leading up to Homecoming to make sure that the house was presentable and that our alumni would be proud to come back. We had brothers painting, cleaning, repairing dry wall, vacuuming, etc. in order to make sure the house was in good order. We had brothers go to great lengths to get food together for the cooking that they preformed on Saturday - a new addition to homecoming that we hope you all enjoyed. We planned and paid for a cash bar that had been approved through appropriate channels, but the school later reneged and it had to be shut down. All this to say that for a 101 year old house, 2500 Kensington Place was looking as good as I've seen it in my time here. Then our alumni came.
To keep this short we will make a list of a few of the damages done by our alumni over the weekend:
2 4' X 12' sections of dry wall completely destroyed
17 broken windows
2 broken ceiling fans (all blades removed and glass shattered)
Every toilet in the house clogged with various objects including beer cans, toilet paper, etc.
Paint splattered all over the bar room
A slur painted on the basketball goal, which was also broken
Broken porch lights
5 broken door frames and locks
3 broken exit signs
2 discharged fire extinguishers (sprayed into the rooms of officers and onto the cars of active brothers with more slurs and graphic pictures drawn into the chemicals)
All furniture broken with over $2000 worth of damage and his ottoman thrown through his window onto the adjacent roof
Desk chair thrown through two different windows (incidentally both the chair and the shattered glass hit our president in the face as he was cleaning up beer cans in the front yard after the tailgate)
Rush chair's room:
The entire contents of the rush chairs room were found thrown through a window and onto the roof of the chapter room
Also of note, on Saturday night an alumni had to be stopped from defecating in the rush chair's refrigerator with a roomful of his contemporaries
House manager's room:
Relatively little damage with the only issue being that every window was broken out
Social chair's room:
It is currently impossible to walk into the social chair's room without stepping on glass as 8 Champagne bottles and 7 handles of liquor were smashed on his floor
His bed was also vomited in and had a couch placed upside down in the vomit
Total (Minimum): $12,000
- Taken from the minimum cost for replacing or repairing all issues listed above.
- Costs include labor and materials provided by Vanderbilt Plant Operations
As this kind of destruction has become increasingly commonplace over the past few years, we anticipated some level of mayhem. What we got however was much worse than we expected. There is, without doubt, a very serious issue concerning the lack of respect for the property of SAE. The same can be said for the property of the brothers currently residing in the house. It is interesting to note that all of the destruction done this weekend, and in homecoming weekends past, has come from alumni and not the active brothers. There is a wealth of evidence to back up these claims and we take no issue if anyone would like to discuss the issue further.
The house means a lot to those of us who have enjoyed the opportunities that it affords us. For many, it has been an opportunity to meet lifelong friends and have the time of our lives; we would love to see it return to its former state. However, that process of transformation cannot happen solely through the hard work of current brothers. It will require a serious and concerted effort by both alumni and brothers to raise a good deal of funding in order carry out any kind of renovation plan. In so doing we will be able to create a place that commands respect and that will be much less inviting to the kinds of activities witnessed this weekend. We share your in your vision and in your frustration; there is little that would make us happier than to see the house returned to the majesty apparent in pictures we've seen from the 60's. We welcome any suggestions on how we might make the house a better place and hope that we will be able to use this past weekend as a way to bring us together with the common goal of improving the house for future True Gentlemen. We sincerely appreciate all of the contributions that you have made, past and present, that have made the house what it is today. We along with the actives of TN-Nu sincerely hope that the actions of a few will not sour our relationship in the future.
Please feel free to reach out to either of us with any questions or concerns that you might have.
Yours in the bonds,
Alumni Relations Chair