In the midst of already existing problems, cocaine, marijuana and other prohibited materials were confiscated from the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity house during a regular weekend patrol by UR Security on Oct. 4.
UR Security officers were alerted by a suspicious odor inside the ADF house.
“We were on a routine random patrol of the houses on the Frat Quad when we entered the house,” UR Security Investigator Dan Lafferty said.
After repeated knocking, UR security officers were let into the room where the suspicious odor was thought to be. According to security reports, a heavy smoke haze was present. In that room, officers smelled burnt marijuana, found a smoking device with suspected marijuana residue and what appeared to be a glass jar containing marijuana as well.
A joint decision was then made by the Dean of Students’ Office and security management to conduct a full search of the house. “They gave us the all clear for the house search,” Lafferty said. “After that we found several other substances and materials throughout the house.”
Other prohibited materials confiscated included two traffic signs and a set of “sai” weapons. Additionally, two items containing a suspicious white powder were confiscated that a narcotics specialist determined to be cocaine.
This is not the first situation arising this semester with substances besides marijuana and alcohol, according to security.
“This semester there have been two incidents with substances believed to be cocaine, this at the ADF house and in Chambers,” Lafferty said. “Even one [incident] is significant for a semester. This is not beer or alcohol this is a substance with severe implications.”
Security also noted that if an unusual smell is detected when on patrol, officers are required to carry out a complete search. Their first duty is to determine that the occupants in the room in question are unharmed.
“If we find an odor, we have to interact with the people in the room to make sure nothing is burning,” Lafferty said. “Although the underlying suspicion may be drugs, the ultimate concern is safety. We need to check everything – make sure there is no inherent problem.”
Members feel the violation was an individual instance, and not one that required a full house search by UR Security. “[The brother] wasn’t smoking downstairs where everyone was around, he was up in his room. There was no probable cause to search everyone’s room,” junior and president of ADF Bijan Pajoohi said. “It was an individual violation that happened to occur in our house.”
In addition, Pajoohi noted that the brother in question for the cocaine possession was not present, and had not been present all weekend. “He wasn’t even there when it happened, he hadn’t been there all weekend,” he said. “Lots of people are in his room all the time.”
No one has been in touch with the brother about the situation as of yet.
“RPD hasn’t talked to him – no one has contacted him yet,” Pajoohi said. “For him to get in trouble because [drugs] were found in his room is kind of wrong.”
Other illegal substances were found in the ADF house, however, which may lead to future charges for an individual brother and possible consequences for the house.
“In each case where there are drugs, cocaine is considered on a different level than marijuana, so there might be more severe consequences,” Associate Dean of Students in charge of discipline Matt Burns said without referring to any specific incident.
“If an individual is on probation and violates it, the situation becomes more serious. It’s also a question of where does the individual stop and the group start,” he added. “It’s not necessarily mutually exclusive. Actions can be taken against one or both and the sanctions can be very serious.”
Since the case also involves the RPD there are wider implications, including possible filing of charges.
“Typically, a case is sent to a hearing board,” Burns said. “The judicial system of the campus is separate from the city. A case can be tried both through the campus judiciary and the city’s system – past precedent has shown it would not be considered double jeopardy.”
ADF has been on probation for the current year continuing from last year. In addition, after an incident with alcohol in September, the brothers will be subject to an All-Campus Judicial Council hearing Friday covering all recent events.
ADF is emphasizing individual responsibility.
“As far as I’m concerned the house as an organization has no responsibility for the actions that took place,” Pajoohi said. “The house has levied sanctions on the person. We deal with it as a house, and then UR deals with it.”
Residential Life can also step in if discipline is handed to the house.
“In the past, Res Life has asked students to leave housing – if they are a danger to themselves or others, we can ask them to leave a house or a room,” Director of Greek Affairs Monica Miranda-Smalls said. “Any chapter in major violation of university policy or law can have penalties, which range – it depends on the case.”
Pajoohi feels that this event will not be a setback to the fraternity’s positive recent undertakings.
“We’ve been working really hard to reorganize the house and reorganize the brotherhood,” he said. “There’s momentum and positive inertia.”
Regarding the incident, Pajoohi felt it was a matter of wait-and-see. “We’ve dealt with it,” he said. “There’s nothing more we can do to deal with the brothers in any other matter. We’re waiting for the university’s response.”
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