By Joseph Altman Jr.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Sigma Chi fraternity is facing fines up to $20,000 after a party it hosted Saturday night was shut down by police following several arrests for minors in consumption of alcohol.
The fraternity was cited for allowing persons under the legal drinking age to consume alcohol on unlicensed premises.
That could cost the fraternity at least $10,000 and as much as $20,000 in fines, said Sgt. Brian Seastone of the University of Arizona Police Department. Erik Dean, the chapter president, signed a promise to appear on behalf of the fraternity.
The citations were forwarded to the Pima County Attorneys Office, said UAPD's associate director.
Marana police officers, who were working the party off duty, asked fraternity members several times to control access to the house. On at least three occasions, guests were being allowed into the party through a side door, bypassing the front where identification was being checked. Reports indicated that up to 800 people were present at the event.
The fraternity may also face an investigation and hearing by the Greek Judicial Board, which could impose sanctions against the fraternity, said Jennifer Jones, assistant director for Greek Life Programs.
Jones refused to speculate on what kind of sanction Sigma Chi might receive, because there are no set guidelines requiring a specific sanction for a particular incident.
"It's up in the air," Jones said. "Nothing says, 'If you do this, this is going to happen to you.' (The sanction) can change depending on the circumstances."
UAPD officers arrived at the fraternity house, located at 1616 E. First St., at about 10:46 p.m. to check on the party.
When police arrived at the house, officers saw people sitting along the north wall of the house drinking beer. The entrance to the house was reported to be "packed," and a long line was forming outside as well.
After UAPD officers arrested two minors for consumption, the two Marana officers decided to shut it down due to the large, uncontrolled crowd and numerous minor-in-consumption violations, UAPD reports stated.
Dean asked officers to allow the party to continue because alumni were present and it was Homecoming.
Dean, however, told officers, "It is safe to say some minors have been drinking in the party," and "It is almost impossible to control this party." He did not return calls from the Arizona Daily Wildcat Tuesday.
During and after the party, seven people were cited for minor in consumption of alcohol and released at the Sigma Chi house. They are: Jennifer A. Boslin, 18, and Molly McDowell, 20, both of the 1000 block of North Mountain Avenue; Christina S. Richards, 18, of Paradise Valley; Jess J. Lawrence, 20, a resident of the Sigma Chi house; Brad N. Sherman, 20, of the 1400 block of North Vine Avenue; Patrick Fisher, 18, a resident of La Paz Hall, 602 N. Highland Ave.; and Charity D. Fortenberry, 19, a resident of Coronado Hall, 822 E. Fifth St.
An eighth person, Stephen M. Matri Jr., 20, of the 3200 block of North Fort Lowell Road, was taken to Pima County Jail after he was arrested for minor in consumption and was discovered to have an outstanding warrant for failure to appear on a previous charge of minor in possession of alcohol.
Minor in consumption of alcohol is a class-one misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and up to six months in jail.
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