Six students were arrested for supplying alcohol to minors and five others were issued summonses for underage drinking early Thursday morning when Ewing police were dispatched to a house on the 1600 block of Pennington Road. The house, nicknamed “The Hole,” is owned by the Sigma Pi fraternity.
According to police reports, an anonymous caller alerted them to a party at the house around 1:50 a.m. Thursday. When police arrived, there were six people outside, loud music coming from the house and several red cups on the lawn and driveway, reports said.
According to reports, “the house had several kegs of beer and red plastic cups all over the floor. There were holes in the walls and the floors were wet.”
Five students were turned over to Campus Police and escorted back to campus, where they were issued summonses for underage drinking.
No one admitted to providing alcohol, so six other students were arrested and brought to Ewing headquarters, reports said. Two of the six students were also issued township violations for litter and noise, according to police.
Although the house was off-campus, College officials said they will be investigating the incident.
“(The College) can and will take action when behavior off-campus does not meet our community standards. What has been alleged to have taken place is certainly a violation of (the College’s) standards,” Matthew Golden, executive director of Public Relations and Communications, said. “We will address this incident through the campus judicial process, and we will continue working with the local community to facilitate positive relations between local residents and students residing off-campus.”
As of press time, Dave Conner, assistant director of Fraternity and Sorority programs, was on vacation and had not yet met with Lynette Harris, director of Community Standards, to discuss the incident.
“We’re still investigating,” Harris said. “We’re working with the Campus and Ewing Police.”
Tim Asher, director of Student Activities and Leadership Development, said if judicial action is taken, individuals named in the incident would be dealt with through the College’s judicial process, while the fraternity as a whole would be handled through the Inter-Greek Council (IGC).
Sigma Pi officials stressed the organization’s positive contributions to the community, including sponsoring a local Little League team.
“It doesn’t get any more local community service than that,” said Peter LaGregor, president of the Sigma Pi Alumni Association. “We never had any problems with the township.”
“As an organization we have always had (the) purpose to serve our campus and community in ways that will better our world,” Christopher Snel, Sigma Pi president, said in a statement. “It is a shame that people rarely recognize the accomplishments that many organizations on this campus have achieved.”
The house was donated to the fraternity by Donald Cox, a Ewing councilman and brother of Temple’s Sigma Pi chapter who serves as the fraternity’s adviser. The 12-bedroom house, which is not a rental, has been owned by the fraternity since the chapter’s inception in 2000. The house’s upkeep is funded by dues and alumni contributions, LaGregor said.
He added that the organization has contributed thousands of dollars to the house’s upkeep. The house’s nickname originates from when the house was first bought, and the kitchen could be seen from the top floor through a hole in the floor, according to LaGregor.
“It’s in better condition every month than the months prior,” he said.
Although LaGregor was not in attendance Thursday morning, he believes there were only about 15 to 20 people at the house.
“It was not a party,” LaGregor said. “There were a handful of people there.”
He has since reached out to IGC.
“We certainly want to get to the bottom of this,” LaGregor said. “It’s frustrating.”
Megan DeMarco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.