Update on Sigma Alpha Epsilon sanctions

Tennessee Tech's Sigma Alpha Epsilon was in violation of a previous sanction when one of its members died following a night in the fraternity house, according to documents obtained by Tennessee Tech student newspaper staff.

Previous sanctions against the fraternity forbade any alcohol on chapter property.

The sanctions stem from an incident in 2014, when its previous fraternity house burned down. Cookeville Police Capt. Bobby Anderson told The Oracle staff there wasn't enough evidence to charge anyone with a crime.

Tennessee Tech Greek Life Policy states that if a fraternity is to have alcohol on its premises, it must file a registration form with the Greek Life office and have security officers present.

SAE member Paul Hamilton Ten Eyck, 23, was reportedly taking part of a planned senior transition night for four graduating members in December 2018.

Ten Eyck was pronounced dead the following day, and the fraternity was issued a cease and desist order.

Following an internal investigation, the university announced that the chapter will be completely shut down for four to five years, or until all current members have graduated or left the university.

The Oracle obtained a letter signed by Dean of Students Katherine Williams to the SAE chapter president, Steven Mills, outlining the timeline of the evening.

The letter stated that the senior ceremony began at about 6:30 p.m. with roughly 30 members in attendance. 

Following the ceremony, four or five senior members and recent alumni reportedly remained to consume alcohol before going out to local bars, according to Williams' letter. 

"According to witness statements, Mr. Ten Eyck brought a handle-sized bottle of vodka to the house and began to consume the vodka drinking straight from the bottle at approximately 7 p.m.," the letter said.

According to the document, Ten Eyck fell asleep between 8:30 and 8:45 p.m., and the remaining members positioned Eyck on his side in case he vomited in his sleep.

"Witnesses state the remaining members check on Mr. Ten Eyck approximately every 10 to 15 minutes though no one stayed in the room with him," the letter said.

At approximately 12:28 a.m., fraternity member Ben Nelson notified chapter president Mills that Eyck was in need of medical attention, according to the letter. Mills reportedly began chest compressions until first responders arrived.

Ten Eyck was pronounced dead at Cookeville Regional Medical Center, and toxicology results are not yet available.

"Tennessee Tech Greek Life will increase mandatory health, safety, and risk management training efforts and initiatives to further educate and empower students to make positive choices," said Dewayne Wright, senior director of public relations.

Further details on the exact date of the mandatory training efforts were not available according to Tech officials.