The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Students to appeal permits

Student Senate leaders and members of Greek social organizations are trying to bring the issue of conditional use permits to the Eau Claire City Council for review, said student body president, Chad Wade.

Typically, Wade said, the permits apply to residences that have nine or more kitchens, such as apartment buildings, or to how areas are zoned for business or residential purposes. The issue, he said, is fraternities and sororities have been placed under the code as well, and have experienced restrictions on their activities.

“It’s the principle of the thing,” Wade said.

As an example, Wade said, a Bible study group could meet every week and it would likely never have a problem, yet a fraternity or sorority would be violating the conditional use permit.

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Restrictions on how many non-residents may be in a house have caused problems for groups such as Delta Sigma Phi, senior Tom Klug said.

Klug, a member of the fraternity, said with current restrictions it is impossible to bring all members together without special permission.

Klug also said the restrictions have forced the fraternity to justify its activities. During homecoming this year, the group was reported for violating the permit when they met to build a float outside of an area residence, he said.

In order to be in compliance with the conditional use ordinance, fraternities and sororities must have all activities, such as meetings or barbecues, approved, Wade said.

Third Ward Neighborhood Association President Garry Sherwood said he does not see where the issue is, because all organizations that have needed conditional use permits have received them.

Sherwood said part of the reason he thinks Greek social organizations were brought in under conditional use permits is because of past problems, such as huge parties and illegally selling alcohol to minors.

Wade said the change has hurt Greek presence on campus.

“I think you can see if you look back from 1990 or so,” he said, “Greek presence has declined.”

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Students to appeal permits