Cornell Rescinds Frat Recognition Following Death of Brother

Speaking of administration/greek life tensions coming to an ugly head, this week’s developments at Cornell are enough to make our recent Beta shitstorm seem positively minor. The school’s administration has fully withdrawn recognition of Sigma Alpha Epsilon—effective for at least five years—following the tragic death last month of a brother, George Desdunes ’13. Circumstances surrounding Desdunes’ death remain vague (IvyGate has been attempting to compile what details have surfaced), but the basic premise is both terribly tragic and all too typical: Desdunes was reportedly provided alcohol, and became unresponsive, “while in the care of certain members and associate members” who failed to seek medical attention.

The University announced a “temporary suspension” of SAE earlier this month. This week’s announcement arrives—conveniently enough—right at the start of the school’s spring break. All SAE brothers are required to vacate the frat house by March 31.

More from the Cornell Daily Sun:

“The loss of University recognition is the loss of any and all privileges and benefits bestowed upon a recognized fraternity or sorority,” Murphy said.

Such privileges include the ability to “use the University’s name in any fashion,” participate in “educational, social, philanthropic/service and athletic programs,” or use any University facilities for fraternity functions, she said.

According to Murphy, the University will offer SAE members who were living in the fraternity house access to campus housing.


On March 1, the University temporarily suspended SAE after an investigation revealed that alcohol involved in Desdunes’ death likely constituted a violation of Cornell’s recognition policy for fraternities.

[Cornell Daily Sun]

You can also read the entire university statement here.

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3 thoughts on “Cornell Rescinds Frat Recognition Following Death of Brother

  1. Guest

    Why does Cornell just seem to always have people dropping dead? They’re known nationally for their suicides, and they seem to have just as many “accidents” and whatnot. It’s pretty freaky. I would not want to go there.

    1. xx

      I’m inclined to agree with you, but there could very well just be as many deaths at other lesser-known schools that aren’t really reported as heavily …

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