March 3, 2009

Phi Gamma Delta fight leaves two injured, no charges filed

Updated 3/31 with information based on a UCPD investigation.

Two brothers at Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) fraternity, both 20 years old, were cut at 3:55 a.m. Saturday morning in a fight after a party at their house on 5615 South University Avenue, according to the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) and an unnamed source. The source revealed the name of third-year Chad Joyce, another brother, as being involved in the fight.

The source was told Joyce’s name by third-year and U of C’s FIJI chapter president Evan Dreyer. The source revealed Joyce’s name to a Maroon reporter before the reporter could identify himself, and did not wish to be attributed. The source said Joyce cut the victims, both undergraduates, with a knife, though a subsequent UCPD investigation found that one victim was cut while breaking up the fight and did not determine who was responsible for starting it, according to UCPD spokesman Robert Mason, who did not name any of the students involved.

The two injured brothers were brought to the University of Chicago Medical Center where they were treated and released, according to UCPD. No charges are being filed against Joyce.

The fight took place after FIJI’s “Around the World” party Friday night, though none of the party’s guests were in the house when the fight took place, according to Dreyer. “It was pretty much only brothers,” he said.

He described the fight as a result of an argument between two brothers. When it escalated, Dreyer said, other fraternity members came to help. He did not identify Joyce to the Maroon out of respect for his privacy. “I don’t want speculation to run rampant,” Dreyer said.

According to Dreyer, one of the brothers who tried to separate the two fighters was cut, but along with others succeeded in pulling them apart. Dreyer said the wounds were “nothing life-threatening.” The Chicago Police Department was called soon after the incident.

Dreyer said the situation is under control, and that violence “is not tolerated by the administration or the fraternity.” He added that he is working with the dean of students office to resolve the situation.

“We understand the importance of the issue,” Dreyer said. “We handle our business.” Dreyer called the situation “an internal issue.”

Administrators would not address the specifics of the incident or what the ramifications will be for the offender.

Kim Goff-Crews, vice-president for campus life and dean of students, did say in a statement what the intentions of the University were. “Violence cannot be tolerated,” she said. “We are taking this situation very seriously and are working closely with the dean of students office in the College to implement an appropriate disciplinary process.”

UCPD, who questioned Joyce, listed the incident as an aggravated assault, which under Illinois state law is a Class A misdemeanor. Had charges been filed, the offender could have faced a sentence of up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.

— With additional reporting by Chris Boots and Michael Lipkin