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Concordia’s Oldest Society Makes a Comeback

Alpha Epsilon Sigma, one of Concordia’s oldest fraternities is making a comeback.
After 15 years of being pushed aside, Concordia’s oldest society is being brought back to campus by sophomore Riah Roe.

AES originally had the motto “Adelphoi En Sophia,” meaning “Brothers in Wisdom,” AES was formed in 1917 by Park Region Luther College, a former college that was in Fergus Falls, Minn., but joined with Concordia in the early 1900s. AES folded in 1998 when the Greek society got in trouble for hazing members, abusing alcohol and refusing to adhere to Concordia’s guidelines.

AES, known for their “Animal House” style, was always open to a great variety of Cobber men. The society took an active part in music, forensics, religious and athletic activities.

The men of AES were recognizable by their maroon and gray society jackets. Popular accessories among all the members were society pins, mugs, sweatshirts and sweaters, AES paddles, and Lamba Delta Sigma plaques. LDS and AES were brother-sister societies and provided entertainment for Concordia’s campus; The Campus Entertainment Commission stemmed from the Inter-Society Council which Alpha Epsilon Sigma and Lambda Delta Sigma both belonged to along with several other societies like them. Through the years, these two societies participated in events such as banquets, homecoming float contests and winter olympics.

Roe believes it is time to reinstate AES and bring the fraternity back as a leadership and service society that stresses the importance of strong social bonds between young men and women within the local Greek community.

As a member of AES, men will be required to take part in leadership opportunities such as LeadNow and bi-monthly prearranged service projects and social bonds in the Greek community, as well as the college campus and Fargo-Moorhead area. The hope is that men will want to participate in these activities if they are with their “brothers.”

Roe said the primary motivation to revive AES is to establish a group of men who can consider themselves not just temporary but lifelong brothers. According to Roe, their diverse skills, talents and networks can prove vital and can be a very rewarding experience. One brotherhood bonding event a semester helps ensure that the society stays connected.

“The biggest part about getting it [the society] to continue into the future is to get strong members so that we know they are dedicated,” Roe said, “It‘s important to get people who are joining for the reasons we have set out. Keep in line with the mission statement. AES has had some issues in the past, but that will not hinder them from having a future.”

Elected as president, Roe will be working alongside David Sparer, junior and vice-president; Max Muehleip, sophomore and parliamentarian; Ben Fink, freshman and pledge captain; Marty Pederson, sophomore and historian. Art Professor David Boggs will serve as advisor.

Muehleip, parliamentarian, was asked to join this fraternity but was interested from the start.

“I found out there was a sorority on campus, and I thought it was cool to hear they were brining back the fraternity. I was involved in Resident Life staff, and I wanted to try different things on here at Concordia,” Muehleip said. “I think it’ll be awesome to start a fraternity.”

Muehleip’s goal for this organization is to entice a wide variety of people to join. He knows there are many male students on this campus who are not very involved; they stay in their dorm, watch television or play video games.

“AES will be really great for them,” Muehleip said.

Pederson, historian, said he is one of these people Muehleip describes.

“I am not heavily involved in everything on campus. I take part in music and theater, but it’s a good thing to be able to say, ‘Hey, these are people I can do things with,” he said.

Sparer, vice-president, will be helping Roe with whatever needs to be done with day- to- day functions and long-term planning of organizations and events. Sparer noted his shock when he found out Concordia has had a sorority for over ninety years, but the fraternity has been lost for 15 years. Sparer is glad to get AES back on track.
“It seems like the thing to do in college,” Sparer said.

Fink, freshmen pledge captain, is in charge of getting interested men to join, and deciding which interested men will join. Fink was approached by Roe to join the fraternity, but he has been interested in fraternities because his father was in one.

“This’ll be a guys club; we will go out and do things for the community. We have guys all across the board that we hope to join,” Fink said.

AES still needs to get approval from Concordia’s administration and the Student Involvement Council before it will be an official college organization, but Roe is confident that if allowed AES will do great things for the college, community and its students.

“I am strongly hopeful,” Fink said. “It’ll take a while to get this started, and we won’t have a full group at the start, but we will have to keep pushing and pushing.”

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