Sigma Alpha Epsilon - Kansas State University

Fall 3023 Newsletter

Kansas Beta Chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity at Kansas State University

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2 T wo years ago, Kansas Beta Chapter Adviser John Hatfield '77 was trying to think of a positive experience that would help new members bond as a pledge class. "There's this misconception that hazing is a bonding experience," Hatfield said, noting that hazing has rightfully been banned for years. "The challenge was to come up with idea that doesn't involve hazing." Thus began the annual pledge class pilgrimage to Colorado to climb a 14,000-foot mountain as the culmination of new members' first week living in the chapter house. During the week prior, Hatfield took the pledges through a "Leadership Development Week" that included sessions on courage, organization skills, vulnerability, expectations, and how to lead themselves daily. "Men like a rite of passage," Hatfield said in explaining why the climb is one of the most popular things for new members. Unlike back in the day, when pledges spent a semester as lower-class citizens, new members don't remain pledges long. ΣAE National requires they be initiated as actives within 96 hours of university classes beginning. On Friday, August 18, the class of 30 new members (plus three who pledged last spring and two who couldn't join last year's trip) piled into three vans driven by some of their fathers. They drove seven hours to near Mt. Evans, with an elevation of 14,265 feet, for the second annual new member mountain climb. Early Saturday, they drove up Mount Sky Scenic Byway, the highest paved road in North America, to the beginning of the hike. Before starting, the group talked about courage, perseverance, and grit, then they hiked five miles, scrambling over rocky terrain, ascending about 1,800 feet, and passing mountain goats. It was challenging, according to three of the new members: Luke Shideler '27 (Shawnee, Kansas), Alex Simonsen '27 (Olathe, Kansas), and Luke Brickei '27 (Manhattan). "I'd never hiked a mountain before," Simonsen said. "That was actually my first time going to Colorado." Shideler and Brickei had hiked before—but never a mountain like that. The group had to stop several times to catch their breath because of the thin air. Chapter Vice President Mitch Warren '26, who had gone last year, went along and used an Apple Watch to track their progress. A few brought small oxygen cans to help breathing and prevent altitude sickness. After three or so hours, they all reached the summit, where they posed for pictures with ΣAE and K-State banners. "The views of the mountains in the distance were awesome," Brickei said. The vans picked them up at the summit and took them to Idaho Springs, where they gorged on Beau Jo's pizza, a Colorado favorite. The group reaches the summit! Grant Braddock '26 (left) and JP Harris '27 encounter mountain goats as they hike Mt. Evans. CLIMBING A MOUNTAIN FOR BROTHERHOOD While the ride, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder for hours, wasn't comfortable, the members said it forced them to get to know their new brothers better. Everyone thought the mountain climb was cool and would do it again. "It was definitely a good bonding moment for us—we did something hard together and got it done," Shideler said. Eminent Archon Adam Wheeler '25 (913) 909-6278 Eminent Deputy Archon Mitch Warren '26 Recruitment Chairmen Ben Rohrbaugh '25 (571) 645-2344 Mac Hemmer '25 (785) 643-9832 Treasurer Noah Mitchell '25 Risk Manager Landon Trout '25 New Member Educator Parker Smitko '25 Grade Warden Caden Oliver '26 House Managers Jack Pearson '26 Carson Gillmore '26 Social Chairmen Kayson Graham '26 Reece Grafel '26 Philanthropy Chairmen Luke Olsen '26 Ashton Boomer '26 Recorder Logan Losey '26 CHAPTER OFFICERS

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