Tragedy creates timeless treasure



 After their house burned down in February 2010, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity built a new house this past summer. Costing $1.89 million, the funds to build the house were raised through fundraising. The new house is located at 621 20th Ave., which is on the developing Greek Row. 

“The new house improves communication and involvement,” said Chapter President Spencer Schreier. 

The house has three floors, which houses 18 people. The first floor contains a conference room, sitting room, lounge area, a few bedrooms and a back entrance that leads to a patio. The second floor consists mainly of bedrooms and a study room. The basement has a meeting area, entertainment area, kitchen and laundry room. Mostly sophomores, juniors and the executive council live at the house. 

“In the past, the fraternity did have a central location,” Schreier said. 

The house was built on four pillars: brotherhood, scholarship, leadership and social. There are rooms dedicated to each of theses aspects on the house. The sitting room in the entryway represents brotherhood. On the second floor, there is a study room dedicated to scholarship. Leadership is represented in the conference room where executive meetings are held. The social aspect is the basement where meetings are held for the entire fraternity, and includes a television and kitchen. 

“It’s really a 40-year project, this kind of facility has been the dream of many since we became organized at SDSU,” said former SAE member Loren Boone. 

There are pieces from the remains of the old house that were added into the construction of the new house. The brick and boards surrounding the fireplace located in the entryway of the house were salvaged from the house that burned down. 

“We put a great deal of effort of meshing the old with the new,” Boone said. 

Boone was a member of SAE from 1969 to 1972. He then became a chapter advisor from 1973 to 1989. 

“We would not be where we are today, if it were not SDSU and the SDSU Foundation,” Boone said. 

The University and the SDSU Foundation helped with the building of the new SAE house. When the old house burned down, SDSU provided generators so individuals could look through the wreckage for pieces to be salvaged. 

The house will help to grow SAE. There are currently 25 active members and 13 members in the new member class. The fire limited growth and now that the house is built, it will allow more individuals to be a part of SAE. 

“We are looking to expand our chapter size.” Schreier said. “We want to be involved in more on campus.” 

Currently, SAE is active with the Children’s Miracle Network, Habitat for Humanity, Human Society and various road-side clean ups.