As of right now, the way I’m feeling toward Theta Chi fraternity can best be summed up with one finger. With a passenger-side window and a repair bill of $256, it’s fair to say that I’m pretty heated.
Last Saturday, the Theta Chi fraternity threw a luau-themed day party at 161 Archer St. that took six police cars and two motorcycle cops to break up. By midafternoon, an estimated 200 students were in attendance, and most (if not all) of them were intoxicated. Once the party had been broken up, guests were left to drunkenly lurk around the neighborhood.
Meanwhile, residents and families of the area were furious about the noise, vandalism and disrespect Theta Chi’s festivity caused.
One community member reported walking outside with her 10-year-old son only to discover a girl peeing on her driveway. When she told the girl to stop, the girl gave her a dirty look and stumbled off.
Another reported that her children could hear all the drunken debauchery taking place nearly a block away, as well as a violent fight right outside her house, which resulted in four police cars, an ambulance and a fire truck being called to the scene.
Regardless of whether or not those directly involved in these incidents were Theta Chi affiliates, the host of the party must assume responsibility. The fact is that they held the party under inappropriate circumstances, putting families at risk of vandalism and violence.
“These narcissistic kids think that the sun rises when they wake and the sun sets when they sleep,” a resident* of the area said. She was absolutely livid, with a voice that quavered with rage. “They had the gall to tell me that I should have known this type of stuff would happen when I moved into a college town. How dare they!”
As university students, we represent UC Santa Cruz. We are ambassadors to the community. To enable and engage Theta Chi’s behavior not only severely damages the school’s reputation, but the campus’s place within the city as well.
Greek life is a privilege that should not be abused — as an organization, every fraternity and sorority has a responsibility to be courteous and respectful. Throwing a wild bash in the middle of a family neighborhood is not only irresponsible but rude and absolutely neglectful.
UC Santa Cruz prides itself on having Greek life that is different from other universities. We have a small Greek community that centers itself on responsible volunteering and community interaction. For Theta Chi to be so inconsiderate negatively affects the reputation of all fraternities and sororities and furthers the already-present tensions between students and the community.
If these guys took even a minute to consider those outside of their little sphere of comrades, someone might have stood up and said, “This is probably not the best neighborhood to host a party.” Sadly, it seems the members were incapable of even this simple thought.
When attempts were made to reach him for comment, chapter president Eric Yao would not return my phone calls about the incidents. When the head of this chapter fails to acknowledge the negative effects of the organization’s party, the sense of moral and social integrity of the fraternity as a whole is called into question.
If Theta Chi ever wants to be respected by anyone other than their “brothers,” they need to grow up and face the music. The incidents surrounding their luau-themed alcoholfest impacted everyone around them, and unfortunately neighborhood members got caught in the crossfire.
This issue has much wider implications than drunk frat boys littering and tussling, but in the meantime my proposal is that Theta Chi submit public, individual apologies to the community, the university, and all of the fraternities and sororities in Santa Cruz.
And by the way, Theta Chi: you owe me $256 for a broken window.
*Names of residents have been withheld to protect their privacy.