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The boys are back in town

Social ban at frats lifted Thursday, some houses clash with IUPD


Posters displaying the message “Prohibition ends at last!” were taped to doors on the fifth floor of Harper Residence Hall at Foster Quad on Thursday, the day the social activities ban was lifted at IU’s fraternities. Caroline Anders Buy Photos

“Prohibition ends at last!” signs taped to doors on the fifth floor of Harper Residence Hall in Foster Quad announced Thursday. 

Though there was no true prohibition, IU’s fraternities were banned from all social activities for the past three months. The ban was imposed by the Interfraternity Council in November and was lifted Thursday, March 1.

Bass thumped from the basements of many fraternities on North Jordan Avenue from late Thursday into early Friday, but the parties seemed careful, and fraternity officials seemed on edge at some houses.

Private security stood at the entrances of a few houses, writing down names and checking IDs as people walked into the building.

Fraternity members seemed more sensitive to police than usual, IU Police Department Lt. Nick Lewis said.

Colored lights shone from the windows of Theta Chi’s basement as Lewis, 33, drove into the fraternity’s parking lot.

A man wearing a red Theta Chi jersey and a bewildered look walked up to Lewis’ patrol car and asked why the police were there.

It would not be the last time Lewis was stopped that night.

Lewis hit his brakes as a man stumbled out in front of his car in the Alpha Epsilon Pi parking lot.

The man asked why Lewis was there. Lewis said he was just patrolling and continued into the fraternity’s parking lot.

About a dozen people who were standing on the back porch ran inside as they noticed the IUPD car. “Cops, go!” someone yelled.

A man wearing a jersey and eye black, who identified himself as the chapter president of Alpha Epsilon Pi, walked to Lewis’ window and said he was instructed by his national leadership to always ask police for a warrant.

“That was more aggressive than normal,” Lewis said later.

The man told Lewis he couldn’t be in the fraternity’s parking lot without a warrant.

IUPD Sgt. Kyle Moulden said this is not true.

IUPD Lt. Johnny Goode returned to AEPi about an hour after Lewis left. He was also stopped, and a man in the parking lot asked for his badge number. The man said he was going to call IUPD.

“We’ve never had that kind of reaction in all of my time here,” Moulden said.

Moulden said IUPD will be reaching out to the Dean of Students’ office and AEPi to see where the disconnect in communication is and try to prevent future adversarial interactions.

Not everyone was as defensive as AEPi. The chapter president of Zeta Beta Tau, Jeremy Kaminsky, walked out to Lewis’ and Goode’s patrol cars in the lot between ZBT and Phi Mu.

“If you want us to turn it down, anything, just say the word,” he said. “I just want to work with you guys.”

The balcony of Phi Delta Theta was decorated with string lights and full of people, but everyone ran inside as Lewis pulled into the frat’s parking lot.

Heads turned, the balcony went dark, and the music stopped.

The balcony was full again when Lewis passed by about an hour later.

The fraternities on Third Street were quieter than those on North Jordan Avenue. Lewis rolled his windows down.

“Smell that? It smells like vodka or something — jungle juice,” he said.

He said the combination of the social ban being lifted and Sunday alcohol sales being legalized in the same weekend may be the perfect storm for bad behavior.

Despite this perfect storm, things were quiet Thursday. There were no arrests at the fraternities between Thursday night and Friday morning, IUPD Capt. Craig Munroe said.

“We’ll see what happens tomorrow night,” Lewis said.

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