Students involved in food fight incident may be fined

Antoine Abou-Diwan

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CORRECTION: Members of the Sigma Chi fraternity were not involved in the food fight. The fraternity was identified in a statement by the Department of Police Services, which was later found to be incorrect.  Updated 10/21

Members of the Pi Kappa Alpha and Sigma Chi fraternities as well as the Delta Delta Delta sorority were identified as the students involved in a food fight in the Sierra Quad area Sept. 28 that cost Physical Plant Management (PPM) more than $4,000 to clean up.

The case is under review by Student Affairs, which will determine the consequences.  Amanda Allegra, president of the Pan-Hellenic Council, a governing group for sororities and fraternities, released a statement.

“They (participants) can face sanctions that involve reimbursement for clean-up (…) in addition to other consequences. We want to make it clear that this is not behavior that reflects our values as a Greek organization on campus, and do apologize for the damage that this has caused.”

Lynn Wiegers, executive director of PPM, said about 120 hours of labor were diverted for the cleanup, which included raw eggs, shaving cream, cooking oil, cans of dog food, honey, mayonnaise and chocolate sauce.  He added that about 25 people were involved in the cleanup. Five to six pressure washers were used to clean the walkway in front of the library and the lawn area, and 58 trash bags were hauled away. The total cost of cleanup was about $4,600.

Wiegers said they were alerted by commotion on the lawn in front of the Oviatt Library between 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.  It appeared that a group of about 40 people were engaged in the food fight.

In the statement that identified the fraternities and sorority involved, Christina Villalobos, special assistant to the chief of police and public information officer, said CSUN police officers near the B6 parking lot spotted about 40 people dressed in dark clothing and that about half of the group was covered in food products.

A.S. president Conor Lansdale is a member of Pi Kappa Alpha.

“This event has been taking place on campus for many years, but (it) never left such a wake that it garnered media attention,” he said.

Wiegers said this is the third year in a row that a food fight has happened on campus, and it always happens at the end of rush week.

“This was clearly an organized event,” said Jamison Keller, activities coordinator for fraternity and sorority life.  “It began as a water-balloon fight and escalated over the years.”

Keller said the matter was referred to the Interfraternity Council (IFC) judicial board and Pan-Hellenic Council judicial board, and their findings were forwarded to William Watkins, vice president of student affairs.

“The purpose of a process such as this is in the spirit of cooperation with the university and for IFC chapters to be accountable through self-governance, and to preserve the integrity of fraternal values,” Neil Sanchez, president of the Interfraternity Council and vice president of A.S., said in a statement.

Watkins could not be reached for comment.

“This (food fight) takes us away from our jobs.  Some bathrooms might not have been as clean that week.  We had to expend valuable dollars to clean up a mess,” Wiegers said.