Letter to the Editor: Greeks are a menace, Chronicle doesn’t care

Editor:

I am writing in response to the May 19 editorial, “Greek Row neighbors should say what they mean.”

I am a neighbor who is not afraid to say exactly what she means. Neighbors involved in the parking change surrounding Greek Row have been very clear and concise with the city, with the greeks and with the U about why they are asking for this change.

Greeks cause problems in our neighborhood when they are allowed to park in front of single-family residences. Beyond any doubt, they have shown that they are not responsible or mature enough to have earned the exception to zoning parking rules that they have been given by the city.

Several months ago, my family’s driveway was blocked by a fraternity member. At the same time we found it necessary to rush our 2-and-a-half-year-old grandson to Primary Children’s Emergency Room because he was having a seizure.

We had to rush back into our house to find the key to a second automobile that, thankfully, was not parked in our driveway.

This did not prevent our daughter, however, from becoming quite hysterical as we rushed her unconscious son to our second car.

That night, as I saw three fraternity members return to this automobile, I made a vow that I would do whatever I could to convince the city that, unlike other multiple-person dwellings in the city, hundreds of fraternity members and their guests should not be allowed to sprawl throughout the neighborhood. They wreak havoc on their neighbors.

It is not as simple or as innocent as The Chronicle would like its readers to believe. Residents are not complaining about silly “animal house” antics or funny little pranks.

Lives are at stake, and the civil rights of residents are being violated.

Does The Chronicle care about the civil rights of everyone, or does it feel that greeks are so above it all, so entitled, that they should be an exception to the rule? They are, after all, mostly white and mostly privileged.

I was informed by The Chronicle that many students were “up in arms” about this change in parking.

One day after your first article on this subject was written, one of our family cars had damage to the bumper and the F-word scratched into the hood.

No, it is not as innocent as you would like to believe.

Your article suggests that residents who complain are stupid for moving into this neighborhood.

Residents love their neighborhood and believe it deserves the same respect as any other in Salt Lake City.

Does The Chronicle believe in equality? It appears not.

I will never forget the first meeting I attended at the U between frats and their neighbors. An elderly woman spoke up, stating that the day after she made a complaint against a fraternity, several of the small sapling trees she had just planted in her yard were snapped at the base.

I watched as that woman was berated by a university official to the point that her head drooped, the color drained out of her face, and she was silent the rest of the meeting.

I still feel sad that, in my inexperience, I did not stand up and demand that she be given an apology.

Her rights were trampled on, and a number of frat members present smiled in glee.

I felt equally as bad during the last meeting that I attended at the U when another elderly resident begged the university to do something to help her get some rest.

She had been battling cancer and chemotherapy. She had not been able to sleep for days because of fraternity noise. Her pleas were met with complete silence by the university official in attendance.

No, it is not as simple as The Chronicle would like to pretend. The real truth concerning fraternity parking and what happens in front of residents’ homes is an ugly truth indeed.

When are you going to get it? Fraternities at the U do not represent or emulate the student body of the U. Nor, from my vantage point, does anything about those houses resemble the honorable society that used to be.

I don’t think that I can be any more clear about the subject.

Beverly Nelson

Local Resident