CONWAY — Students who rent a house where there was what neighbors describe as a raucous party Friday night could face investigation and punishment from Coastal Carolina University and the national office of the fraternity to which at least some of them belong.
Neighbors said students at the party vomited, defecated and urinated on their property and that Horry County Police showed up at midnight to tell the students it was time to break up the party. Neighbors said police returned at 1 a.m. and that many of the partygoers had left, but that the noise from the party still disturbed them at 2 a.m.
“The pool is trashed,” said Barbara Kane, who lives at the end of the Paula Court cul-de-sac to one side of the rented house.
Jan Saleeby, who lives on the other side, said if the school didn’t take action to resolve the situation, he’d take his own action in the dean’s yard.
Rob Hall, who is among the six students who live in the seven bedroom house, said that students who came to the party “just swarmed us. We didn’t even want to have it.”
He said there will be no more parties at the house.
The neighbors said they have routinely had problems with students who have rented the house for the last several years, at least. They’ve complained and complained, but never got any response from the university until campus police showed up at the house Monday morning and gave the students until 3 p.m. to clean up the trash in their yard and patch a muddy brown hole at the street edge of the property. Neighbors said they first asked the students to clean up the mess on Saturday and that the muddy hole was created when one of the student’s cars got stuck up to its axle.
Saleeby said the students took a door from inside the house to help free the car from the mud.
A door lay at the back of the driveway at noon Monday, and a student was picking up cans from the driveway and asking gathered neighbors how they dispose of their trash.
Hall said the students in the house were members of a fraternity but wouldn’t say which one. Two of the cars in the driveway had rear window decals for the Delta Chi fraternity and Hall is identified on the CCU chapter’s website as a member.
The students may or may not have violated the Ten Basic Expectations of a Delta Chi, but proving it could be a problem. Ray Galbreth, executive director at the national office of the fraternity, said any action by his office would hinge on misbehaving students positively identified as fraternity members.
“That’s clearly unfortunate,” he said when told what neighbors said students did on their property.
Galbreth called chapter adviser John Stamey, a CCU professor, about reports of the party, and Stamey said late Monday afternoon that he had begun investigating the report. He said Delta Chi members who live in the house told him that a student at Horry-Georgetown Technical College had invited the people to the party.
But that is irrelevant to what Stamey said he will tell the fraternity members.
“Whether you’re in the wrong or not, it’s the way things are perceived,” he said. “Where it’s perceived badly, we don’t want it to happen again.”
Debbie Conner, CCU’s vice president of student affairs, and Travis Overton, dean of students, said the university addresses off-campus behavior of students living in residential neighborhoods as part of several different programs. Some of the things reported at the party could be a violation of the university’s code of student conduct.
An investigation would be triggered either by a report from Conway or Horry County police departments or the campus safety office, and penalties could range from required community service or attendance at counseling sessions to suspension or permanent dismissal. Conner and Overton could not say what could happen to the students living on Paula Court because they’d not seen a police report or talked with either neighbors or the students.
Conner said about mid-afternoon Monday that it was not unusual to have not gotten weekend police reports by that time.
She said the university initiated the Step Up Program this summer that is designed to educate student bystanders how to be active in situations where other students are doing things they shouldn’t be. Additionally, she said that discussion of the code of student conduct is a major part of orientation and welcome week at CCU.
Further, Overton said, the university has education programs for students moving off-campus that caution them of the need to recognize they are living in residential communities and should act in accordance with the way others in the neighborhood conduct themselves. CCU requires that students live on campus for their first two years.
Hall apologized to neighbors gathered at the edge of the rented house’s property Monday and told them there would not be a repeat of Friday night’s incidents. They said they couldn’t clean up their property Sunday because they were busy with other things.
Saleeby promised that if there is a repeat of what happened Friday night, he and other neighbors will be outside with baseball bats to maintain the integrity of the neighborhood.
“I don’t think they’re bad guys,” Stamey said of the Delta Chi members who live in the house. “They’re college students. They’ve got to learn.”
Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.