The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
Print Issues

New noise ordinance would affect greeks

By Trent Lowe

The Salt Lake City Council is trying to make the city, including Greek Row, just a little bit quieter.

The council discussed at its last meeting a proposed ordinance, which amends an existing statute, that would impose fines on the hosts of parties to which the police have to respond. The fines are up to $300 per visit and criminal prosecution could follow if the behavior continues.

Under the current ordinance, police are required to issue a special security assignment to the residence, which is a written warning stating that if police have to come back within 10 days, a mandatory $420 fine will be issued for each subsequent visit. The ordinance comes in response to continual pleas from Salt Lake City citizens who have had to deal with repeat offenders.

“Initially, it started with concerns a few years ago about the cost of enforcing people who have problems weekend after weekend,” said Carlton Christensen, chair of the city council and representative from District 1.

The U’s Greek Row is especially concerned with the possible change because of the increased police presence on 100 South and Wolcott Street, which houses the fraternities and sororities.

“There has been increased police patrol on Greek Row since recruitment started,” said Jay Wilgus, the assistant dean of student affairs and the U’s greek adviser. “I think the proposal will give the city the ability to be increasingly responsive to noise complaints.”

Under the new ordinance, the officers dispatched to the party have full discretion as to the action taken, which would only be serious for repeat offenders, not first-time offenders, Christensen said. The proposed ordinance, which came from the Salt Lake City Police Department, gives law enforcement the option of a civil penalty as opposed to criminal penalties, which are more difficult to impose and enforce, he said.

During the summer, four special security assignments were issued to fraternities at the U, but no fines were imposed because of the good behavior of the houses within those 10 days.

If passed, the amendment would affect all of Salt Lake City, but the U campus, including the Residence Halls, would remain under the jurisdiction of U police and avoid sanctions detailed in the proposal.

“It could affect the fraternities and sororities, but I don’t think we’ll see a major change,” Wilgus said. “The chapters have been well-behaved, and we haven’t had any problems recently.”

“I’m in favor of it,” Christensen said. “It goes beyond noise; it has a behavior component. It’s not different than what we already have, it just makes it easier for us to enforce it. I think it has a good chance of passing.”

The city council is set to vote on the amendment Sept. 22 at the Salt Lake City-County Building, 451 S. State Street.


Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

We welcome feedback and dialogue from our community. However, when necessary, The Daily Utah Chronicle reserves the right to remove user comments. Posts may be removed for any of the following reasons: • Comments on a post that do not relate to the subject matter of the story • The use of obscene, threatening, defamatory, or harassing language • Comments advocating illegal activity • Posts violating copyrights or trademarks • Advertisement or promotion of commercial products, services, entities, or individuals • Duplicative comments by the same user. In the case of identical comments only the first submission will be posted. Users who habitually post comments or content that must be removed can be blocked from the comment section.
All The Daily Utah Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *