NEWS

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April 16, 2004

Vandalism of fraternity concerns Greek community

Four cars parked in the Phi Delta Theta (Phi Delt) fraternity house parking lot were vandalized early Saturday morning, with one possible suspect identified by police as a member of the Alpha Delta Phi (Alpha Delt) fraternity. Hoping to downplay possible fallout from the incident, leaders from both fraternities cast the vandalism as minimally related to their groups and the actions of individuals as unrelated to the Greek community.

At about 1:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, a car alarm went off, drawing members of Phi Delt outside. They saw that four cars had just been vandalized—three of which had their rear windows smashed and three of which were spray-painted—and that a neighbor's garage was spray-painted. They also saw the backs of people running south in the alley, according to president Nathan Glusenkamp. The UCPD, contacted immediately, stopped four people running away.

Since neither the police nor the Phi Delts saw the cars actually being vandalized, the four were not arrested. Instead, police took their identification and left disciplinary response to the University's administration.

One of those stopped was identified to be a member of Alpha Delt, according to

Glusenkamp. He added that the three others are not members of the fraternity, and that some of them are not students in the University.

Later in the evening, at least eight members of the Phi Delt fraternity visited the Alpha Delt house, according to their president, Andrew Moesel.

Moesel, who retired as news editor for the Maroon at the end of winter quarter, said that the Phi Delts came over to threaten Alpha Delts "with basically no proof that we had done anything."

Glusenkamp, busy dealing with police, said he was unaware that members of his fraternity visited Alpha Delt. "This isn't a war between fraternities," he said. "We don't believe this was the action of another group."

Moesel, emphasizing that the possible actions of one member do not represent an entire group, said that some of his brothers have had incidents with Phi Delt over the last year. He did not mention any specific events.

"That's part of the reason they're so quick to blame us," Moesel said.

Alpha Delt has never had the intention of vandalizing Phi Delt or any other fraternity, according to Moesel. The Greek system is competitive by nature, Moesel said, adding that from time to time confrontations arise.

The vandalism came two nights after a fight broke out at Alpha Delt's Wednesday night party, starting in the house and spilling into the street.

Moesel said that the vandalism and fighting do not represent an intensification of competition between different fraternities. Instead, he asserted, they are purely coincidental.

"There hasn't been anger that's boiling over," he said. "It's a rash of unrelated incidents."

All of the vandalism was done to property belonging to specific members of the fraternity, and not to anything owned collectively. "We have no quarrel with any specific fraternity," Glusenkamp said.

On Saturday night, Alpha Delt delivered a slop-filled bucket—some say it was filled with pasta, others say vomit—to the vandalized fraternity. Moesel said it was a joke meant to poke fun at the previous night's confrontation.

"We certainly apologize," Moesel said. "But it was a prank in response to their threats of violence."

Dean of Students in the College Susan Art, overseeing the response to the incident, said the University has an expectation that students are good citizens and that damaging property is not acceptable.

"If there seems to be substance to the complaint and it is serious enough, I can convene the College Discipline Committee to hear the accusation and make a determination about whether a student should be sanctioned," she wrote in an e-mail interview. "The Discipline Committee has the authority to suspend students from the University."