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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


“It’s not all booze, babes and brawls”

Contrary to popular belief, the most recurring crime at greek houses on campus is not alcohol violations.

In fact, larceny is the most commonly reported crime at fraternity and sorority houses, with 73 reported incidents since Jan. 1, 2008.

Liquor law violations are second with 56 reported, followed closely by vandalism at 48.

Larceny, which is defined as personal theft, is often committed by members within the same residence without forced entry or exiting of the building, unlike burglary, said Sgt. Juan Alvarez, a University of Arizona Police Department spokesman.

Many of the houses on campus have unique ways of handling the problem.

Pi Kappa Alpha has locks on every door in the house and on all the outside entries, said fraternity president Josh Schafer.

“”There are locks on every door in the entire house, kitchens, everything,”” Schafer said. “”Members who live in the house are given a key specific for their room, and only the house manager and myself have the master keys.””

The keys given to live-in members all say, “”Do not duplicate,”” but if a problem arises there is one extra key in the house.

“”There is a lock box in the utility closet, so there’s an extra key just in case,”” Schafer said. “”But only myself and the house manager know the code to the lock box.””

If someone at the house was to commit larceny, the fraternity has their own way of handling the incident.

The member would report the missing item, then take the problem to the Member at Large, a fraternity officer designated as a liaison between other members, Schafer said.

“”(The Member at Large) would determine if it was stolen by another fraternity member, then it would go to the judicial board where there would be sanctions,”” Schafer said.

The process would remain within the house, and within fraternity members.

“”One of the biggest things about fraternities and sororities is you hold your members accountable,”” Schafer said. “”Have personal accountability, that’s what the judicial board is for.””

Pi Kappa Alpha has only been residing in their house since the beginning of the fall semester. Since moving in, there have been no incidents of larceny.

“”Inside the house we’ve had no problems at all,”” Schafer said.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon has had different situations with theft, with a slew of burglaries last year.

“”We have a camera inside the house because our courtyard is well lit up,”” said Tomas Rodriguez, the fraternity’s president. “”Every member has a key to their common room and a key into their private room. Our back gate, you have to know a code to get into it. Our front door has a lock but it’s open during the day.””

Sigma Alpha Epsilon has reported four cases of larceny to the UAPD in the past 20 months.

In a previous case, one of the fraternity’s pledges stole a computer from another. The fraternity began an internal investigation, Rodriguez said.

“”We did have a process. We took the stories of different people because it happened in the kitchen where there isn’t a camera, but he admitted it before we could get to that conclusion,”” Rodriguez said. “”The pledge got his computer back, and the member in question wasn’t allowed to enter the house, and he’s not with the fraternity anymore.””

Larceny is one of the most common crimes on campus, according to Beth Wilson, a crime prevention officer for UAPD.

“”Larceny is big anywhere on campus,”” Wilson said. “”But with liquor violations, those are called in usually as (a) welfare check. Maybe they’ll see someone stumbling along or sleeping on a bench and they aren’t sure if the person is sick, injured or dead so they have us go over there. Those turn into violations.””

Liquor law violations have led to different regulations from the governing bodies of Greek Life. In the past three years, there have been 34 student Code of Conduct violations found by the Dean of Students Office for alcohol use by greek organizations at the UA. In addition, there have been 56 liquor violations reported by the UAPD.

These numbers have led Greek Life officials to implement the Greeks Advocating for the Mature Management of Alcohol committee, popularily known as GAMMA, at the UA. This committee requires fraternities and sororities to register all functions held by the organization with Greek Life.

In order to have a registered function, there are a multitude of steps and forms that must be filled out by the hosting organization, and all events with alcohol — on and off campus — must be registered.

All registered events must take place after 4:00 p.m. on Fridays and before 5 p.m. on Sundays. And no events with alcohol may take place during the final exam period on campus.

Also, according to the requirements, “”The maximum number of alcohol related events, chapters may participate in, is three in one Thursday, Friday, Saturday period, except for special events, as designated by GAMMA.””

Open campus events involving alcohol are strictly prohibited; meaning guests must be on a pre-written guest list.

GAMMA designates the percent of alcohol that can be present in drinks served, the number of drinks per person, that hard alcohol is not permitted on campus and that guests must show proper identification to consume alcohol.

This program has been at the UA since the early 1990s, said Johanne Jensen, the director for Fraternity and Sorority Programs.

Vandalism has prompted even more security measures from houses around campus.

With 48 reported events in the past 20 months, the incidents vary from malicious mischief to criminal damage.

“”We’ve had a couple incidents where people have spray-painted the house, it looked like it said ‘Something Sigma Pi,’ which was the fraternity that lived here before us, but they also spray-painted Pi Kapps house right next to us,”” Schafer said. “”We’ve also had our letters, three-and-a-half-feet tall, estimated at $1200, on the front of our house get stolen.””

Because of the vandalism and theft, Pi Kappa Alpha is currently in the progress of getting a security system with exterior cameras.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon is also no stranger to vandalism.

“”Well the classic thing is, this has been done for years. I mean we have alumni tell us this happens, our lions in front get painted over,”” Rodriguez said. “”That’s kind of a fun thing that doesn’t bother us too much.””

But harmless fun turned to criminal damage earlier this year.

“”At the beginning of this year, someone took a sledgehammer to one of our lion’s faces. The left lion, his face is pretty much gone,”” Rodriguez said. “”We don’t mind people painting them, that’s kinda cool — you got us. But (the broken lion) was unfortunate. We don’t know who did that.””

Sigma Alpha Epsilon has a back parking lot in which their cars get keyed and from which burglars have gained entry to their house.

“”The last two years we’ve had a big problem of people coming to the front of the house and taking the big rocks in our garden and throwing them through our living room windows,”” Rodriguez said. “”It’s all pretty much  external.””

The fraternity has placed floodlights in the back lot and exterior cameras around their house.

“”We’ve got cameras, but we’ll come out in the morning and we’ll see three guys in hooded sweatshirts but we can’t see anything,”” Rodriguez said. “”But we’ll report it the police.””

Almost half of the reported cases of vandalism have occurred at sorority houses, while only around a third of the larceny incidents are reported from sororities.

UAPD began a program to have officers be liaisons for Greek Like in 2005 after finding success in the program with Residence Life, Wilson said.

“”We’re trying to branch out to sorority and fraternity’s houses, and we’ve seen improvement in our relationship with greek organizations,”” Wilson said. “”It’s slow going with that program though. It takes those parties being interested in pursuing that relationship.””

Officers expect students to become more comfortable with asking questions and building a stronger relationship with this program.

“”As more time passes, more people see the benefits with (the program) and we start to get somewhere, and it opens a lot of doors,”” Wilson said. “”It’s a good relationship to have, and it promotes the mentality we’re trying to improve.””


Narcotic drug possession: two reports

Sexual assault/rape: three reports

Physical assault: 12 reports, four originating from a single fraternity house

False alarms: 22, 21 reports are from sorority houses

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