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Man dies at Sigma Alpha Epsilon party

University officials suspend the chapter pending an investigation

By Britney Beaty and Noah McKay
On December 10, 2018

Tech officials suspended the university’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon after a 23-year-old alumnus died at a party at the Fifth street fraternity house. 

Police found Paul Hamilton Ten Eyck of Maryville, Tennessee unconscious at 12:30 a.m. Saturday at 68 W. Fifth St. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital, Cookeville Police Department Capt. Bobby Anderson said. 

Ten Eyck, also known as “Catfish,” graduated from Maryville High School in 2013, according to his Facebook page. He graduated from Tech this summer with a degree in business management, according to university records.

Officers and medical personnel attempted to revive Ten Ecyk at the scene. There are no obvious signs of foul play and the investigators are awaiting autopsy results to determine the cause of death, Anderson said.

University officials issued a cease of chapter operations to SAE after the accident, communications director Buddy Pearson said.

“The chapter is not allowed to hold activities other than meetings with advisers present,” Pearson said. 

University officials are investigating whether the fraternity violated policies regulating Greek life. According to policy, Greek organizations must register any parties involving alcohol through the Greek life office and are required to have security officers present. Organizations must submit their event’s registration five business days prior to the event.

Officials in the Greek life office and the Dean of Students, Kate Williams, declined to comment on the situation. A representative of The Oracle filed an open records request for any registration form filed by the fraternity in connection with the party.

Ten Eyck was a member of the fraternity, according to his Twitter profile.

“Catfish was honestly an all-around wonderful guy, and this was completely unexpected,” Shelby Savage, former SAE sweetheart, said. “He was genuine, kind, compassionate and had so much love to give. He was already an angel and I just can’t believe he’s gone.”



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