Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sleepless Homeowner Settles Suit with Two UC Berkeley Fraternities

By Doug Oakley
Bay Area News Group East Bay
A Berkeley resident who says he hasn't had a good night's sleep in 10 years because of drunk and disorderly UC Berkeley fraternity members is settling a class-action suit against two of the organizations.
The remaining 33 fraternities Paul Ghysels sued in Alameda County Superior Court in January have dug in their heels and chosen to fight the suit, according to one of his attorneys, Yolanda Huang.
Huang said owners of the Alpha Gamma Omega fraternity on Haste Street and the Sigma Phi Epsilon house on Channing Way have come to the table.
Alpha Gamma Omega, a Christ-centered fraternity that officially bans alcohol at all of its houses, agreed to cut down on noise from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. and clean up the trash around the house. In addition they agreed that "if they misbehave, they will get a house director," Huang said.
When asked how difficult it was to get a dry, Christian fraternity to be good, Huang said all may not be as it seems.
"All the fraternities are part of the interfraternity council and when you read their social code, it sounds like they are good upstanding citizens, but that policy is not what happens on the ground," Huang said.
The fraternity's National President, John Seevers of Evergreen Colorado, said it was easy for his young men to get in line. "Behaving is pretty easy for us to do considering our moral values based on biblical principals," Seevers said.
Huang said owners of the Sigma Phi Epsilon house, Stan Momtchev and Elena Kaloyanova, have agreed the fraternity will have no loud music, members will clean the property weekly and the owners will check on the property three times a week.

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