A handful of off-campus parties were shut down by the Yale Police Department during the first Camp Yale under new party registration guidelines, but fraternity leaders said they were unsure whether the policy contributed to the police’s activity.
Administrators announced on Aug. 10 that all off-campus parties with over 50 students must be registered with the Yale College Dean’s Office in an effort to increase student safety. A week after residences opened, student leaders said they were still skeptical about the effectiveness of the rule.
“It’s too early to tell what the effects will be and if they will match the stated goals,” said Will Kirkland ’14, president of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.
Under the new policy, a “host” must register parties and take responsibility for attendees, and the Dean’s Office will relay the information about parties to the YPD so officers can monitor them. John Meeske, associate dean for student organizations and physical resources, said the Dean’s Office has received roughly 10 to 15 registrations over the last week.
Kirkland said his fraternity had a closed, registered mixer on Saturday that was broken up by the YPD. But he said the fraternity did not receive any complaints about the event and the officers’ reason for entering was “unclear.”
“[The YPD officers] did say at the end that they knew about the event because it was registered, but at the beginning they were asking me if it was registered,” he said. “I don’t think that our event on Saturday was in any way dangerous, so I don’t know if it really helped anyone to end it.”
The YPD did not respond to a request for comment.
Billy Fowkes ’14, president of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, said he registered SAE’s Monday open party and met with YPD officers beforehand, as is standard procedure. Though the party was broken up by the YPD around 1 a.m., he said, the night went smoothly overall, adding that large crowds and the subsequent police action may be due to annual Camp Yale activity.
Meeske said he knew of one unregistered party that came to his attention because of a noise complaint, adding that the administrators will “be pursuing it and talk to the host to see what they have to say.” He said since the Dean’s Office knows where students live, administrators are able to identify the host of unregistered parties from the address.
“We can find out who lives at a certain location and talk to those people,” Meeske said, “and if necessary, the Executive Committee could possibly bring them in for some conversation.”
If incidents of underage drinking are discovered, ExComm will engage the host in a conversation and determine whether disciplinary action is needed, he said, adding that ExComm would be more amenable to hosts who had registered their parties. He said that it will be difficult to determine where intoxicated individuals received alcohol.
Under the new rule, Meeske said, Yale HEALTH still maintains a policy of accepting transports without disciplinary action, and Yale University Health Services Director Paul Genecin said in a Tuesday email that Yale HEALTH has not adjusted its policies about “evaluating and treating and transferring students who become intoxicated.”
Yale College Council President John Gonzalez ’14 said the YCC found out about the new regulation when the rest of the student body did, though the council plans to work with administrators to ensure the rule does not become “intrusive.” The YCC executive board met with Meeske Tuesday afternoon and intends to meet with Yale Police Department Chief Ronnell Higgins in the coming weeks.
Meeske distributed a link to the party registration form in an Aug. 22 email to the student body.