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USC limits fraternity parties following injury incident

A crackdown on Fraternity Row at USC: Weekday parties are out. And even weekend parties now need school approval.
October 15, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A crackdown on Fraternity Row at USC: Weekday parties are out. And even weekend parties now need school approval. The crackdown follows an incident at a fraternity party that left a Loyola Marymount University student hospitalized.

The school has instituted a semester-long ban on weekday parties.

Ask USC students about the parties at the school's Fraternity Row and they don't pull any punches.

"It's just a wild party all the time," said one student.

"People just getting completely out of control and drunk," said another.

That unruly reputation is a big reason why the University of Southern California landed on Playboy magazine's list of "Top 10 Party Schools" in America.

But it also landed a student from Loyola Marymount University in the hospital.

University officials wouldn't elaborate on how the woman was hurt, but students say she fell from a DJ table and landed on her face during an unregistered party at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house.

SAE members wouldn't talk about the incident, but the fraternity's national chapter sent a written statement:

" ... Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured student's family and friends, especially during this difficult time. We, as well as our chapter members at USC, will continue to keep her in our thoughts and hope for a quick, full recovery."

Frat Row problems are not rare at USC. Cellphone video taken in May shows LAPD officers breaking up a party there.

"There's also a history of excessive crackdowns. You saw with the party last year, we had like 70-something LAPD officers cracking down on a party and it was for no reason in particular," said a student.

But that argument not keeping USC from coming down hard on its Greek system for the rest of the semester.

USC's Provost for Student Affairs Ainsley Carry said in a statement: "... fraternities and sororities will not be permitted to hold social events on weekdays. Any weekend events will need to be registered and approved through the university's review process."

It's even worse for the SAE house, where the party was held.

"... the university has placed the chapter where the injury occurred on immediate social probation. Social events at the chapter will be prohibited until this matter is resolved," said Carry in the statement.

But some students say the crackdowns actually put them in more danger, that the parties will just move elsewhere, often away from the campus safety net.

"People always get hurt," said a student. "You ban parties on the Row, people are going to find other places to party."

The Los Angeles Fire Department must also approve the weekend parties now.


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