Ongoing vandalism and theft charges lead to UTM fraternity suspensions

Ongoing vandalism and theft charges lead to UTM fraternity suspensions
By MARY JEAN HALL
Special to The Press
UT Martin’s IFC fraternities will not be allowed to participate in any homecoming events unless recent cases of vandalism and theft of property at some of the fraternities’ houses are resolved.
According to a phone interview with the Office of Alumni Relations on Friday, all of the fraternities are currently suspended from homecoming activities because of Greek Life and Interfraternity Council policies regarding altercations.
According to the IFC bylaws, an altercation is defined as any physical harm done to a member of the other fraternity or destruction of property.
Since the suspension was not lifted by Monday, the beginning of homecoming week, students can expect to see shortened versions of such events as rope pull, pyramid and lip sync. If the situation remains unresolved by Saturday, Alumni Relations will use the tents currently designated for the fraternities for other activities.
As of 2 p.m. Monday, the administrative suspension had not been lifted. If the suspension has been lifted by Monday at 4:30 p.m., then the rope pull events will be pushed back just one day. If it has not been lifted until this afternoon, rope pull matches will consist of single elimination pulls that will occur on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
UT Martin administrators are working to find the individual or individuals responsible for the four instances.
“SAC and Alumni Re-lations are feeling the brunt of this if the fraternities can’t participate,” said Charley Deal, vice chancellor of Alumni Relations. “For the benefit of the alumni, I hope this situation is resolved before homecoming so everyone can enjoy a week of welcoming the alumni back. We don’t want the alumni to be punished because some knuckleheads don’t know how to behave.”
The Press is awaiting a response from UT Martin Greek Life coordinator Louis Ragsdale on the IFC policies governing the fraternities regarding the incidents.
Since Sept. 21, the Martin Police Department has responded to incidents at four fraternity houses.
610 Lee St.
According to a police report, on Sept. 22 about 11:28 a.m., the Martin Police Department responded to an alleged theft that had taken place at the Sigma Phi Epsilon house. A 52-inch JVC TV, valued around $300, was stolen from the house sometime between 10:30 p.m. Sept. 21 and 8 a.m. Sept. 22.
UTM officers recovered the TV outside Trinity Presbyterian Church on Hannings Lane Sept. 23.
528 Lee St.
According to a police report, on Sept. 22 about 12:42 p.m. a Martin police officer was dispatched to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house in reference to an alleged theft of property. The SAE president told the officer that composites, trophies, plaques and a soundboard were stolen from the house sometime Saturday morning after 2 a.m.
The total value of the stolen items was around $9,470. The following items were reported as stolen: a soundboard valued at $400, 15 composites valued at $500 each, 19 plaques valued at $30 each, and 20 trophies valued at $50 each.
A few days later, a Martin police officer found some of the items while on patrol. Ten trophies, 15 plaques and eight composites were still missing as of 11 a.m. Sept. 26. The total value of the missing items is $4,950.
522 Lee St.
According to a police report, a Martin police officer was dispatched on Sept. 23 about 12:43 p.m. to the Kappa Alpha Order house in reference to alleged vandalism and theft. Apparently, three trophies valued around $600 were destroyed. Two trophies valued at $200, a seven-foot statue of a knight valued at $300 and two award plaques valued at $200 were stolen from the property. The total value of the missing items is $700.
All of the items were originally located in the meeting area of the house. The incident occurred sometime after 1:30 a.m. Sept. 22.
Another officer observed the damaged trophies at 11:40 a.m. on Sept. 22 and spoke to a member of the fraternity, who said that he was waiting for someone to return to make a report.
220 Hannings Lane
According to a police report, a Martin police officer was dispatched on Sept. 25 about 5:13 p.m. to the Pi Kappa Alpha house in reference to alleged vandalism.
The complainant reported that sometime between Sept. 21 and Sept. 25, his red Chevrolet Camaro had been keyed. According to the report, the damage to the car on the passenger rear and front side was consistent with being keyed. Published in The WCP 10.2.12

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