Fraternity enhances security plan

By Jen Bland

Recent incidents on university campuses have indicated that students have forgotten how to act. Students are getting shoved around and even shot at parties.

The men of Omega Psi Phi intend to change this image by enhancing their security plan. Omega Psi Phi has always implemented its own security plan for its events, but in light of occurrences on other campuses and the Homecoming incident at NIU, they’ve decided to beef up this year’s security.

T-Force, an independent security contractor from Chicago, will be providing just some of the additional security for the 100 hours of service events. T-Force works for various businesses including the Chicago Housing Authority and the Rosemont Horizon.

Willie Fowler, graduate advisor for Omega Psi Phi, said bringing in T-Force was the brainchild of Brian Payne, director of public relations and special events for Omega Psi Phi. Fowler also said T-Force comes to NIU strongly recommended by Chicago organizations it has worked for.

Additional security needs will be met by 22 volunteers, 17 Omega Psi Phi members and five members of different Black Student Caucuses, and two plainclothes officers from Chicago who are also Omega Psi Phi members.

Fowler and the undergraduate members of Omega Psi Phi met with members of the university Monday to finalize security plans and to open up a line of communication that before this year seemed nonexistent.

The university and Omega Psi Phi have not worked together like this in previous years, said Rodney Purdy, graduate/consultant to the undergraduates of Omega Psi Phi. “We’ve always had a security plan in the past and it’s been pushed aside,” Purdy said.

“Monday was a big step in the right direction,” Fowler said. “We reached a middle ground and alleviated a lot of problems.”

Philip Rembert, faculty adviser for Omega Psi Phi, said, “The university is really helping us out.”

Purdy pointed out the university’s lax security at previous events. He said there is always a University Police officer stationed outside of an event, so by the time the officer realizes there is a problem, he won’t know what happened

Purdy also pointed out the kinds of problems NIU experienced at Homecoming have become a national problem and too often the finger is pointed at sororities and fraternities.

Tony Smith, former Omega Psi Phi president and current member, said the university has students do security inside events, but they are urged not to intervene if a fight erupts. “They try to provide a visual deterrent, but students don’t respect these students like they respect a uniform,” Smith said.

Fowler said the purpose of their security system is to prevent an altercation before it happens. Smith said of course there will be minor problems, but before there is an outburst such as the one at Homecoming, they want to stop it.

“In the past five years our organization has always had big events and we’ve never had outbreaks,” Purdy said. “We’ve always had a good sense of prevention; the university has a problem with prevention.”

Rembert said he feels it is important to provide security for university parties because they provide an important outlet for students.

Fowler said at the core of these security measures are the advanced ticket sales. By buying tickets in advance or purchasing a gold card, students are assured a place at the weekend’s events.

Gold card sales are going incredibly well, Fowler said. He said students will be required to sign the back of their cards and present a photo ID to deter people from sharing cards.

Gold cards will assure students spots at “Amateur Night at the Apollo” at 7 p.m. Friday in the Music Building Auditorium, “Frat Attack” at 10 p.m. Friday in the Chick Evans Field House and some special brunches and dinners especially for gold card holders.

An additional measure of security will be the bracelets students are required to wear at the events. Fowler said there will be one color for students and one color for non-students. He said this will keep people from sneaking in. Issuing the gold cards and bracelets will prevent the problems of long lines and people pushing their way past security as happened at Homecoming, Fowler said.

Students, male and female, also will be frisked before entering the festivities. All greek organizations will be required to sign contracts before they can participate in the events.

Fowler said sometimes the stepping that goes on can get rowdy and any organization that doesn’t sign a contract will not be allowed to attend. Fowler said any organization acting inappropriately will have judicial action taken against them.

“You can’t step if you can’t behave,” Fowler said.

“We want to stress that security will be enforced and we want students to act appropriately,” Fowler said. “The university said if this security system works, it will be used at other events.”

“We want students to act in a peaceful manner and to also keep their visitors under control,” Purdy said.

Fowler, Smith and Purdy also encouraged students to donate more canned goods and clothes to the clothing drive going on today in the Center Cafe and Friday in DuSable Hall. Food and clothes will be donated to New Hope Baptist Church and Catholic Charities of Chicago Altgeld Gardens Housing Projects.