Tuesday, November 07, 2006

University of Alabama Police Reports

UAPD: Most frats' incident rates go down
Three years of reports show low levels of reported crime

By Christy ConnerAssistant Campus Affairs Editor
November 06, 2006

During the past three years, the occasional burglary and episode of criminal mischief were the most reported crimes for all 26 of the University's fraternity houses, according to UA Police Department records.

Fraternities, for the most part, have had either a decrease in crime or little to no crime over the past three years. Only four fraternities had an increase in crime.

Sigma Phi Epsilon topped the list with the most crimes reported, totaling 16 over the past three years. Last semester, the fraternity was charged with distributing marijuana inside the house. However, almost every other police report filed was regarding theft, criminal mischief and burglary, which members reported happening to them.

Others near the top were Sigma Nu, Pi Kappa Alpha and Lambda Chi Alpha.

Alpha Kappa Lambda, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi and Tau Kappa Epsilon all reported no crime activity on their property within three years. However, Alpha Kappa Lambda does not own a house on campus property.

Todd Borst, director of greek affairs, said he thinks the reason crime in fraternity houses has decreased for the most part over a three-year period is because the University's greek organizations have three different sets of rules to follow. Each sorority and fraternity must not only follow the chapter rules, but also they abide by the rules and regulations of the city they reside in and rules implemented by the national organization, he said.

"I definitely think that these rules that are in place have kept them more grounded," Borst said.
He also emphasized that every organization must abide by the UA social event guidelines for any student social. For those who do not follow these guidelines, the Office of Student Judicial Affairs determines the severity of the organization's punishment, categorizing it as one of four levels, he said.

"These organizations have been taught how to handle situations that might occur," Borst said. "It will never completely eliminate the chances of crime occurring, but these rules definitely help reduce these chances."

Car theft occurred at four of the fraternity houses, totaling $37,000 worth of stolen vehicles. The most serious but most isolated crime reported was the attempted murder of a former Sigma Nu member.

Borst said he thinks the reason why fraternities are automatically assumed to have higher crime rates than other organizations is because they are an easier group to identify, he said.
"These structured entities do about 90 percent good," Borst said. "It is just unfortunate that everyone only hears about that other 10 percent."

UAPD deferred comment to UA media relations director Cathy Andreen, who failed to comment by press time.