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Neighbors upset over fraternity's trash

By Hillary Davis
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
October 1, 1999

Excessive litter scattered around the perimeter of a campus-area fraternity house is creating frustration for neighboring University of Arizona offices, several staff members said this week.

Employees of both the Udall Center and the Drachman Research Institute, immediate neighbors of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity, 1011 N. Tyndall Ave., have reported that garbage on and near the fraternity house's grounds is affecting their daily work.

Robert Varady, deputy director of the Udall Center, said trash on and around the ZBT property has been an ordeal for the center since it moved in there in 1990.

Most recently, a Udall Center staff member ran over a shard of glass from what appeared to be a broken beer bottle with his bicycle, damaging the tires.

"Every year we attempt to contact them," Varady said. "I've become completely weary of this issue."

Varady said that during the years he has brought the garbage issue to the attention of the Dean of Students, the International Fraternity Council, Campus Health Services, the Office of Community Relations, and both UA and Tucson police to little effect.

"None of those produced any discernible difference," he said.

Now, Varady said he wants the house to change their own behavior.

"We're trying to get their (ZBT's) attention," he said. "We've tried every other way."

ZBT officials refused to comment on the issue.

Varady said that ZBT has occasionally been responsive to the Udall Center's repeated requests for members to contain their litter.

Once, Varady was invited to dinner by the fraternity so he could address the center's trash concerns, which he said were met with a polite response. The situation also temporarily improved when ZBT replaced their previous small refuse containers with a large bin a few years ago.

However, he said the bin has resumed overflowing.

"It's been overall unsuccessful with small periods of success," he said.

Though he has maintained continual contact with the group, Varady said the quick turnover rate of Udall Center staff and ZBT residents has contributed to a constant struggle for litter conscientiousness.

"We're constantly reinventing the wheel," Varady said.

Barbara Becker, director of the Drachman Institute, agreed that the garbage as well as overgrown vegetation around the house does not create a very positive image for the Drachman Institute or the fraternity.

"It would not take much for them to have a little pride in their environment," she said.

Patsy Padilla, administrative assistant for the Drachman Institute, said Drachman officials have also requested that the fraternity tidy up the area numerous times.

She said they usually dispose of the trash on their grounds, but not in a timely manner. Though clean-ups take place, the mess is still bothersome because it takes so long for it to be removed.

"In the past we have called the chapter directly and asked that they come out and pick up their garbage," Padilla said. "The problem is, it's done but it's not really done quickly enough. We stopped complaining only because we didn't get any results."

Despite his frustration, Varady maintained that he holds nothing personal against ZBT, which had its UA recognition removed in 1997 for party risk management violations.

"We don't have an ax to grind," he said. "I'm not interested in getting anybody punished or skewered."

"It just comes down to good citizenship is all," Varady said. "That's really all we want."

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