Fraternity gains community trust

Butch McCartney

The city has cut fines given to Phi Sigma Phi in half for the fraternity’s cooperation after receiving alcohol-related citations.

On March 8, the Phi Sigma Phi Fraternity house on 809 Graham Ave. was cited for selling alcohol without a license.

The fraternity faced over $800 in fines from the city of Eau Claire and punishment from UW-Eau Claire’s Inter-Fraternity Council.

“The people in the leadership roles don’t really even want to have parties anymore,” said Ross Thompson, freshman and Phi Sigma Phi Vice President. “They’re more trouble then they’re worth.”

The Inter-Fraternity Council held a hearing and found Phi Sigma Phi was in violation of State of Wisconsin statutes, Eau Claire city ordinances and UW-Eau Claire Standards for Fraternities and Sororities.

Due to the events, Phi Sigma Phi agreed to make significant changes to their policies.

“This is the first time we’ve had a case like this,” Associate Dean of Students Bob Shaw said. “Standards are definitely changing. There’s a lower tolerance for it.”

Phi Sigma Phi is the only non-dry fraternity on campus. Now they will be made to change part of their policy when it comes to alcohol.

“We are no longer allowed to have alcoholic socials for the rest of the calendar year,” Thompson said.

Another stipulation provided by the Inter-Fraternity Council is that members of Phi Sigma Phi are required to be available on weekends to serve as designated drivers for any member of the Greek community.

Fraternity members have taken responsibility for their actions.

“We decided we could handle the situation best by abiding by the rules,” Thompson said.

Phi Sigma Phi will also take the lead in organizing National Alcohol Screening Day activities April 11.

In compliance with another Inter-fraternity Council stipulation, members of Phi Sigma Phi met with the Third Ward Association, who filed the complaint about the party, and decided they would participate in a Third Ward/Graham Avenue cleanup.

“We’re really trying to have better relations with our neighbors,” Thompson said. “It wasn’t the noise from the parties so much, but the noise the people leaving the house made while they were walking through the neighborhood.”

Thompson said because of their handling of the situation, the Third Ward Association wrote a letter to the city attorney’s office asking for Phi Sigma Phi’s fines to be reduced.

Their fines were essentially reduced by half, Thompson said.

Phi Sigma Phi will remain on probationary status for the remainder of the calendar year.