New city regulations crash ASU parties

University fraternity and sorority parties will abide by new regulations set by the Tempe City Council beginning in May.

The city of Tempe is partnering with ASU to enforce the new regulations to relieve ongoing off-campus issues and improve the quality of student housing and Tempe residency.

These regulations include citing individuals on the first offense who are attending parties or drinking underage, higher fines and requiring a permit for apartment complexes where more than 50 percent of residents affiliate themselves with a sorority or fraternity, according to the city of Tempe.

Tempe Police Legal Advisor Bill Amato said the previous ordinance prevented police from issuing citations when they were called to a residency because of a large or loud party and no one answered the door.

“We had to actually hand them the notice of the violation in order to cite them,” Amato said.

He said police will now have the authority to issue a citation, even if no one answers the door by leaving the citation on the building. Residents will be notified either through the mail or by the landlord.

Not only will the person answering the door receive a citation, but the group the individual is affiliated with will also receive a citation, Councilman Kolby Granville said.

The new ordinance will hold the entire fraternity, sorority or club the individual belongs to responsible so the University can have records to observe ongoing complaints about specific groups of students.

Before, a house call would result in a warning for the first offense. However, the city is now requiring police to issue a citation for all offenses.

Amato said under the old ordinance, fines were based on the number of police officers and time committed when responding to a complaint call. Fines usually ranged from $400 to $1,200 after the first offense.

Under the new ordinance, fines have increased to $250 for the first offense, $1,000 for the second and $1,500 for the third. Other factors such as illegal use of drugs, alcohol consumption by a minor or illegal possession of a weapon will increase these fines.

Granville and Councilman Joel Navarro spoke with residents at various neighborhood meetings regarding recurring disruption caused by ASU students.

“This was coming to head in about September,” Granville said. “There were some particularly spectacular parties occurring.”

Granville said many neighbors have complained about the ongoing parties and have actually taken photographs of parties as they are taking place to bring to the city and Tempe police.

Although many ASU students who belong to fraternities or sororities choose to live on campus, many others choose to live off campus. Tempe residents have said that noise issues from those individuals have become a recurring issue in Tempe neighborhoods and demanded a change.

Granville said ASU is working with the city to alleviate the noise and other disruptions caused by fraternity and sorority members by encouraging these students to live on campus.

“There’s freedom to be in a fraternity in a way that’s appropriate,” Granville said. “(ASU is) trying to find a home for fraternities (and sororities) on campus in some sort of mixed facility.”

Amato said the Tempe Police Department is working to provide ASU with records of students who owe money to the city after being fined.

“This is to improve their ability to get a copy of all the people that get cited … so their disciplinary process will be involved as well,” he said.

Amato said ASU may begin a disciplinary process so students who are fined and owe the city can be restricted from registering from classes and more. This may also include issuing appropriate consequences for groups with which the student is affiliated.

Mechanical engineering junior Ben Sandoval, a member of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, said his fraternity tries its best to abide by Tempe laws and act safely.

He said the possibility of ASU implementing disciplinary action against an ASU related group an individual is associated with should only occur if the entire group is present.

“If a group of fraternity brothers gather together and they were all participating, it would be fair,” Sandoval said. “On one hand, (a fraternity brother) is representing our fraternity at any given time, but on the other hand … he should be personally responsible.”

Amato said though the new regulations have been partially motivated by the increase of complaints about ASU student parties, the rules apply not only to students.

“Regulations apply to everyone, not just ASU students,” he said.

The upcoming regulations were scheduled to be presented at Thursday’s council meeting.

 

Reach the reporter at wpogden@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @whitneyparis10