Fraternity removed, transfer students fill Greek house

The lions have been painted-over with USF green and the letters are no longer on the side of the building, but for the transfer students living in the house formerly belonging to the ousted fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE), its hard to ignore theyre living in the middle of Greek Village.

SAE vacated House 2 in Greek Village at the end of the fall semester after they were denied an appeal against charges of violating three university policies outlined in the Standards for Student Organization Conduct, including harassment and hazing.

According to a statement from university spokeswoman Lara Wade-Martinez emailed to The Oracle in November, SAE was charged with the alleged use of excercise-type activities and verbal degradation of potential members.

But after some cleaning and renovation to the building, some new male transfer students and three international students were assigned to live in the building.

My roommates and I talk about it, Javien Jackson, a sophomore majoring in biomedical sciences and a resident of the building, said. Its like everybody just kind of got stuck here.

Jackson, who said hes not sure if he is paying a different rate to live in the house, said he hasnt had too much interaction with the rest of Greek Village.

Its kind of like everyone just keeps to themselves, he said. We stay in our little place, hang out in our little lounge. Thats pretty much it.

But Christopher Mejia, a junior majoring in advertising and a resident of the house, said the experience has so far been positive and many of the other Greek houses have been welcoming to their new neighbors. Some houses wrote the new house welcome notes, he said.

Its an interesting experience to live in Greek Village, because its very different from other residence halls because not only is it unique in style, its also a part of the Greek community which is pretty close, he said. Being in a Greek organization myself, even though my organization doesnt have a house, it kind of allows me to pretend that I live in a Greek house. Its really cool and its a great experience for (the other residents), because a situation like this doesnt happen. When it happens, its because of unfortunate circumstances, but they get a unique experience that they wont ever be able to experience again.

According to a statement from Renee Svec, communications and marketing officer for Student Affairs, sent to The Oracle in November, members of SAE were working with Housing to determine what the next steps would be.

According to a emailed statement from Greg Bowers, assistant director of communications and marketing for Housing and Residential Education, on behalf of Dean of Housing and Residential Education Ana Hernandez, Housing & Residential Education will soon be soliciting and identifying a Greek Organization that would be interested in entering into a master lease with the university to commence either summer or fall 2013.

Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life Director Patrick Romero-Aldaz and Interim Dean for Students Danielle McDonald were unavailable for comment at the time of print.

Additional reporting by Alex Rosenthal