The building that formerly housed DePauw University’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, has been leased to the University for temporary use as the Dorothy Brown House.
The Dorothy Brown House is a cultural resource center for various cultural and minority groups on campus, which is currently located at 314 Hanna Street. According to the Dean of Students, Myrna Hernandez, DePauw is in the planning stages for renovating the structure. The building is currently the center for groups such as United DePauw, Committee for Latino Concerns, Asian American/ Pacific Islander Initiative and more.
SAE headquarters was looking to put a tenant in the house following the chapter’s decolonization last semester. According to Brandon E. Weghorst, the Associate Executive Director of Communications of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, the fraternity’s headquarters reached out to various groups in hopes of finding one to lease the house instead of leaving it empty.
Last year, the DePauw chapter of SAE was disbanded by their headquarters for violations of the fraternity rules, and the members were not permitted to rejoin the fraternity. The former members were allowed to spend the remainder of the academic year in the house, but were forced to move into University housing for this school year.
DePauw reached out to the SAE fraternity nationals when they became interested in the house, “SAE headquarters reached out to us, asking if we wanted to lease the house and we reached out to them over the summer when we knew we were interested,” said Hernandez.
DePauw is known nationally for its vibrant Greek system on campus, so this change in housing came as a shock to many former SAE members. David Prabhu, a junior SAE member thinks this is a good idea for the campus. “I think it’s great because it’s a nice house and it’s good that it’s being used,” Prabhu said.
The lease will not be a permanent solution for the campus. SAE nationals hopes to reintroduce a SAE colony on campus in the fall of 2018. “We look forward to getting a new, vibrant colony back on campus in the near future,” Weghorst said. Following an interest group being on campus, they hope to start a formal rush process for the fraternity in the spring of 2019.
Senior Bulmaro Espericueta, a former SAE member and a staff member at The DePauw, wants SAE headquarters to stay off of campus. “A part of me wants SAE to not come back, because it’s going to be a different type of SAE,” said Espericueta, “But it also gives students here another opportunity of living in that house and further creating some kind of memories on DePauw’s campus.”
Hernandez hopes to get student organizations into the former SAE house quickly so the remodel process can begin and the Dorothy Brown House can open to students in a timely manner.
**Clarification: The article previously stated that the SAE chapter house would be leased as the Dorothy Brown House. It should have stated that the SAE chapter building will only temporarily house the Dorothy Brown House.