Isla Vista Beat Reporter
When the University of California, Santa Barbara chapter of Nu Alpha Kappa lost its campus recognition in March, it marked the third shutdown of a local fraternity since December. The trend began with the closure of Beta Theta Pi’s UCSB chapter after two pledges were hospitalized for excessive drinking, allegedly a result of hazing practices.
The official cause for the February closure of Phi Sigma Kappa is less clear, as no specific reason has been publicized. The chapter president did not respond to requests for comment last week.
Nu Alpha Kappa, a Latino-based fraternity with 26 chapters throughout California, Colorado, and Nevada, had its activities suspended last fall after an alleged rape was reported at a chapter house at 860 Fortuna Lane. Additional violations committed during that suspension led to the chapter’s closure on March 9. Chapter president Jorge Valiente has stated that he cannot comment on the matter at this time, and the national president did not respond to requests for comment last week.
Reports on such violations by Greek organizations have increased since November, when collaboration with the university led Isla Vista Foot Patrol to reinstate the position of Greek liaison within its force. Since that time, 28 reports of violations have been filed with UCSB Greek Affairs, and Deputy Kim Fryslie, who currently holds the position, says he has three or four more on the way.
To make these reports, Fryslie compiles instances of violation seen by all IVFP officers in the field and relays those pertaining to Greek organizations to Greek Affairs. From there, the violations are investigated by the UCSB Registered Campus Organizations Conduct Board based on reports from relevant sources including “staff, faculty, students, parents, and community agencies,” according to a statement from UCSB Public Affairs.
“When we see things that Greek Affairs may be interested in, I send it over, and then I let them deal with it as they will,” Fryslie said. “My purpose is just make sure that it comes to light and that they have the view that we’re seeing, so that things don’t fall by the wayside without them knowing about it.”
Sanctions on fraternities are ultimately awarded by the university or by national parent organizations, according to Public Affairs. However, Fryslie has been responsible for citing several of the more problematic chapters in Isla Vista, including the three that have now been closed. Of those three, he said Phi Sigma Kappa saw the highest instance of “nuisance violations,” a pattern that has persisted for about three and a half years.
“They would frequently hold parties with alcohol,” Fryslie said. “They would try to limit the necessity for security at their events by blocking doors, which was a fire code violation, and they had a complete disregard for the neighbors with their frequent noise violations.”
Phi Sigma Kappa’s violations line up with the most common that Fryslie sees in Greek organizations. The one he sees most often is violation of the county music ordinance, which states that no music can be heard from within 100 feet of an Isla Vista residence after 10 PM on weeknights and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. The next most frequent, he says, is serving alcohol at Greek-sanctioned events, which constitutes a “risk management” violation of Greek Affairs policy.
The common denominator underlying these and most other conduct issues, Fryslie says, is excessive intoxication. Most organizations with a pattern of violation tend to have what he calls a “culture of alcohol intoxication.”
“The people that go to UCSB are very intelligent, very smart people,” he said, “but they don’t do very well—nobody does very well—when they’re intoxicated.”
Public Affairs declined to comment on the nature of the investigations conducted so far this year, but provides assurances that “UC Santa Barbara takes all allegations of behavior and policy violations very seriously, especially those that threaten student health and safety.”