After last Saturday's giant party at the new Delta Phi frathouse on East 12th Street, the fraternity has said that they've made attempts to reach out to as many of their neighbors as they could to apologize for the disturbance their party caused.
In response to an email that I sent to both them and NYU, they have assured me that they will take great pains in the future to ensure that their parties will not attract as many people by limiting the number of invites distributed. They said that the turnout was unprecedented and unexpected, unlike any of the previous parties they had on Avenue C and that they do not have big parties every week, and plan only one more next semester, but they say it will definitely not be as big a party, and they will post notices around the block so that we will have advance warning.
They also informed me that they hired security to ensure that people didn't loiter outside and to make sure that things didn't get out of control and nobody would get injured. I mentioned that there was certainly loitering and they pledged to speak to the security so that next time they would be more vigilant about it.
Regarding the upcoming rush week (gee I actually somehow thought that the party was rush week, shows how much I know), I am told that it does not take place at their house.
Currently four people are living full time in the frathouse apartment. I recommended that they volunteer their services in the garden across the street from their house, which might go a long way toward a mutual understanding and respect for the community, the block and the East Village. I also think they will learn a thing or two about drinking.
I truly hope that the Delta Phi fratboys are sincere about their desire to understand and learn about the place they've moved into, the work that their neighbors have done in cleaning up the block to make it the place it is today with one of the best playgrounds in the neighborhood and 2 beautiful gardens that serve as a gathering (and gossip) spot for all who are interested in doing some digging, planting and spinning that heavy mulching thing. Not to mention the Oktoberfest fundraiser to be held in a few weeks.
I also have received some correspondence from NYU who have said that NYU does not officially recognize off campus fraternities, and that the frats they do recognize are all in one building in Chinatown (which confirms the information on the NYU website). How involved they are willing to get in an off campus issue remains to be seen.
Some other blogs have picked up this story and it is making the rounds around NYU also, so either they are on notice to be on their best possible behavior, or the news will make them more popular than ever and cater to that pent up frathouse demand that NYU's been missing all these years. Only time will tell if they are sincere about making amends. I for one certainly hope they are and keep to their word, as I will be holding them to it personally and I have their phone number. If not, the wrath of 12th Street will be a good college lesson for any young man.
Also, I would like to take advantage of the mystical properties of 09/09/09 (when I actually wrote this) to predict that this story will appear this week in the newspaper that likes to steal blog stories without attribution.
If you are interested in contacting NYU about your concerns about frat houses, either this one or any in particular, here is a list of email addresses for Student Activites that officially oversees the frats. Apparently they don't like the publicity, so I think that if we stay vigilant we can ensure that we don't have an ongoing Animal House situation on 12th Street.