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New neighbors UAPD, greeks expect good relationship


Aaron Farnsworth
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Phi Gamma Delta president Scott Hunter talks with Sgt. Mike Smith during a welcome barbecue for their new neighbors. Sgt. Smith and fellow UAPD officers have a new headquarters across at 1st St. and Campbell Ave.

By Hillary Davis
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
April 14, 2000
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FIJIs invite police over for dinner in hopes of starting off

UAPD Sgt. Mike Smith paid a visit to the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house last night - only because he was the guest of honor.

Members of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity invited University of Arizona police officers to have dinner at the house, 1801 E. First St., as a welcome gesture to their new neighbors, who moved into a state-of-the-art facility at East First Street and North Campbell Avenue - right across the street from the fraternity - March 27.

Only Smith attended the dinner because many officers were assigned to patrol the UA Spring Fling carnival, which opened last night - however, he said the fraternity's invitation was nonetheless a pleasant welcome.

"It was a very nice gesture, and we appreciate it," Smith said.

Scott Hunter, FIJI president, said he wanted fraternity members to build a good relationship with the police department.

"We thought that it would be a good idea for our members to be acquainted with our new neighbors," Hunter said. "On the surface I'm sure it looks like kind of a snow job, but really, the focus is, they're going to be our neighbors."

Hunter added that other greek organizations should also make an effort to build a positive relationship with university police.

Smith agreed.

"We'd definitely like to foster that relationship," he said. "I'm looking forward to the interaction and sharing of ideas."

Smith said that throughout the years, there have been few altercations between law enforcement and the greek community.

"We don't have a lot of problems with the fraternities. The UA campus is not 'Animal House'," Smith said. "We handle situations as they arrive, but it's not the misperception of fraternities that have been given in movies."

Hunter said close police presence would not have an effect on the social gatherings that take place at the house, but will lend an air of security to the area.

Scott Colon, president of Delta Chi fraternity, 1701 E. First St., said he also considers the proximity of the police department a positive turn.

"It just basically gives us added security since they're closer," he said.

Colon added that parties and gatherings at the house will not be affected by police being just a few yards up the street, because officers have long patrolled the area.

Colon said it was fortunate that UAPD could set aside a section in the densely populated neighborhood, which consists of greek houses and other UA offices.

"Lucky for them, the land around here is precious," he said.

Hunter said even though he wanted police to know FIJI welcomes them, he only wanted to get started "on the right foot" and does not expect any favors from the department.

"They have a job to do, and I don't think this is going to cut us any slack," Hunter said.

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