Boulder frat boys getting smashed a lot

25 Nov

Members of a Boulder fraternity are fed up with vandalism at their University Hill house, and they’re taking steps to fight back.

Matt Ullrich, president of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity at 911 17th St., said Tuesday that the organization has been the target of multiple acts of vandalism in recent weeks.

“I’ve been here for three years, and I’ve never seen stuff this bad,” Ullrich said.

Ullrich, 20, said someone, either Friday night or early Saturday morning, used a rock to smash a window on the second floor of the ZBT house. The window backs up to the organization’s parking lot and a park behind University Hill Elementary School.

Boulder police are investigating a similar string of vandalism that was reported on University Hill early Saturday morning, although a police spokeswoman said no one reported the incident at the fraternity and so police are unsure if the events are related.

The weekend incident at the ZBT house is the second time in as many weeks that the fraternity has been targeted, Ullrich said. Last week, two windows at the house were broken, along with a sliding glass door that opens to a bedroom.

Earlier in the semester, the fraternity members found five cars in their private parking lot with broken side mirrors. Two cars had cinder blocks tossed through the windshields.

In recent weeks, Ullrich said people have also thrown eggs at the house and yelled slurs at members of the fraternity, which was founded as the nation’s first all-Jewish fraternity.

In response, Ullrich said he’s seeking permission from the national chapter of the fraternity to install video cameras, motion-sensor lights and a gate on the parking lot.

Ullrich said most fraternities deal with random acts of vandalism once in awhile, but he thinks ZBT is being targeted specifically.

“I feel like it was a planned attack,” Ullrich said. “I don’t know why people have such a hatred toward our house.”

Ullrich said ZBT has been on a “social probation” since the beginning of the school year for violating a rush rule, which he declined to describe in detail. He said the punishment for the violation means the fraternity isn’t allowed to host gatherings at the house, which have historically sparked the most damage at the property.

“Issues in the past happened when we were having a party and had to kick somebody out for being belligerent,” he said. “We’ve been dry all year.”

He said the group has been “trying to improve our image in the community” this year and doesn’t know why someone would target the house. The only reason Ullrich can think of: “People outside of the Greek system in Boulder have a profound hate for fraternities.”

Marc Stine, a Greek advocate who works for the 14 off-campus fraternities, said there are “people who will walk by and throw a rock at a fraternity house who would not throw a rock anyplace else.”

But, he said there hasn’t been an increased amount of vandalism reported elsewhere in the Greek system at the University of Colorado.

“Aggressive vandalism against fraternity houses comes and goes in cycles,” he said. “There’s usually a little more during break times.”

He said he doesn’t think a rival fraternity is involved in the recent attacks on ZBT.

“We have chased and chased over the last couple of years and found very little fraternity-on-fraternity” vandalism, he said.

The geography of the ZBT house, he suggested, might lend itself to more acts of vandalism than other places. The house is located alongside a secluded park, with rocks readily accessible around the property.

“Vandalism is pretty much a crime of opportunity,” he said.

Stine plans to work to increase security at the ZBT house.

from the Daily Camera.

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