Party's over

By ANDREW STEINBEISER  |  August 31, 2010

Turner, who has been a member of Delta Chi for two years, says preconceptions of frats as like the one in Animal House are inaccurate. "There's a stereotype of Greek organizations," Turner says. "I think people get a misconception of what happens at our house." Turner was quick to point out the community service the fraternity has done, including cooking for youth groups, donating $500 for the construction of a Tanzanian school, and donating money to the V Foundation, a cancer-research organization based in North Carolina.

Established fraternities wouldn't be affected by the ban, but they would face the second proposal Gorham officials are considering. Town Council Chairman Michael Phinney says ordinances are being drafted allowing Gorham to regulate student behavior, beyond the university's Code of Conduct. Those rules, which were drawn up by fraternity members, the Gorham Town Council, and USM's Dean of Student Life, are university-enforced mandates of quiet hours, sanitary standards, and require police and neighborhood notification before every party.

The new ordinances would give Gorham disciplinary power over Greek life in addition to USM's own. "This would be town-enforced, rather than university-enforced," Phinney says. Town councilor Matthew Mattingly clarifies that Gorham's new rules will not specifically aim at fraternities: "When it's finished, it will probably not even mention the word 'fraternity,'" he says. "It will be directed towards all off-campus student groups."

Mattingly and Phinney say that the new ordinances are very preliminary, and won't be fleshed out until the next town ordinance committee meeting, which is scheduled for September 20. Once the committee has decided on what the proposed rules should be, they will present the ordinances to the council in October.

Fraternities say they are happy to cooperate with the town council, but wonder why Gorham needs another set of rules. Turner, who helped draft USM's Code of Conduct, thought Gorham residents were already pleased with his fraternity's manners. Apparently, it was not enough. "We were getting complimented with our behavior," Turner says. "We thought we had all of our ducks in a row and that the neighbors would be happy."

Andrew Steinbeiser can be reached atportland-feedback@phx.com.

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