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Davis, California

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Students question fraternity party shutdowns

In recent weeks, students have noticed that their weekend nights are being cut short because police are shutting down fraternity parties. Students are left questioning if these parties are getting shut down because they are not under control or because they are associated with Greek Life.

Bree Sinclair, a fourth-year political science and English double major said she thinks that perhaps most fraternity parties are destined to be “rolled.”

“Usually what happens for bigger house parties is that they [the hosts] talk to the neighbors so that they will call them before the police. So maybe if the fraternities had better communication with their neighbors they wouldn’t call the police,” Sinclair said. “But in general UC Davis seems to be antagonistic towards Greek life. So if a fraternity is having a party the cops are going to know immediately and it’s going to be on their agenda to shut it down.”

An anonymous member of a fraternity at UC Davis said that his fraternity takes the proper precautions to ensure their parties are safe and managed.

“We usually give out our numbers to neighbors so they can call us if the noise levels start getting too high to maintain good relations within the community. Our parties are usually well controlled since we always have at least five sober brothers walking around the property to ensure safety to our guests.”

When asked if he thought having a guest list was a good idea, he agreed and added a few other safety precautions his fraternity takes.

“Exits are always visible so in case an emergency were to occur, people can leave the area efficiently. If we see that the party is getting too rowdy we start asking people to kindly leave,” he said.

When asked if he felt the police had a predisposition to shut down fraternity parties he strongly said that he believes they do not.

“Their job is to ensure safety and reply to noise complaints given from people around the area so we respect that. If cops show up, we kindly approach them and treat them with the respect they deserve,” he said.

Kimberly Weglin, a fourth-year managerial economics major, said she believes that even if the people are not overly intoxicated at a party, dangerous situations can still arise.

“In the majority of fraternity parties you can barely move around, everyone’s bumping into each other and spilling drinks which really makes some people mad. It’s really easy to get separated from the people you came with as well,” Weglin said.

Even if there are some sober people at a party, if the mass quantity of people is too high, owners of the house can still lose control of the party. While the fraternity brother believes the Davis Police Department (DPD) has no predisposition to monitor fraternities during the weekends, the question as to whether this is true remains. DPD Lt. Glenn Glasgow, agreed with the fraternity member.

“Anyone can have a large gathering which proves a threat to the general safety of the community. It is not always fraternity parties that we get calls about,” Glasgow said.

Glasgow had many ideas as to how fraternities can remain the party throwers. Many of the practices noted by Glasgow are observed by some fraternities.

“Have a guest list of those that you want to invite. If people are not on that guest list the suggestion would be to turn them away. Make sure the people there are known to the host or hostess. If there is going to be alcohol, plan ahead with designated drivers and have phone numbers readily available,” Glasgow said.

When Glasgow was asked if minors would be cited if a fraternity called the police in an attempt to regain control of their party, he could not give a definite yes or no response, but focused on the issue of safety.

“Our first concern is the safety of the people at the party and the surrounding neighbors. If it looks like it’s going to be a difficult party to manage the focus will be on safety,” Glasgow said. “Not so much if they come across a minor drinking. In the end, if they are able to successfully clean up a party I’m not going to say everyone will get a free pass. We would rather have someone call us rather than let it get out of control for fear of some type of consequence.”

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