Monday, October 26, 2009


City orders frat vacated after feces, vomit discovered: Health, safety violations keep Pike House closed

A fraternity house that was shut down by the city last week for numerous health and safety violations -- including loose garbage, overflowing toilets and inoperable smoke detectors -- will remain closed until it is brought into compliance with city code… the Pike House, was shut down by Boulder's fire marshal Friday after a technician fixing the house's fire alarm reported seeing abhorrent conditions inside.

…Inspectors found inoperable toilets with feces overflowing onto the floor, a strong smell of urine and vomit throughout the hallways, broken glass and holes punched into the walls.

…Many of the smoke alarms throughout the house weren't working, debris and various objects were blocking exits and there are "electrical issues" that needed to be addressed

Many of our loyal readers may remember previous columns addressing the destruction of hotel rooms by fraternity members. Now, we must really ask, what is up with this? Is this for real? Do these people ever bring guests to their house? Besides the obvious respect for property, sanitation, health, and safety concerns, this is disgusting. Seriously, it’s disgusting.

Many of you may be reading this and thinking of your own houses conditions: “Wow – we only have one toilet that is inoperable but it doesn’t have feces overflowing onto the floor”, or “We’ve had some vomit in the hallways, but it gets cleaned up pretty quickly”, or “Our house only smells like urine a couple days a week”, or “Do we even HAVE any smoke detectors?”. Readers, please realize that we do not make light of this to make you feel better about your chapter house’s current condition, but rather to illuminate the current realities in many chapter houses.

Look at this as a wake up call. You can tell a great deal about a person or an organization by observing the way they live. Maintaining a sanitary, clean, and safe living environment should be the responsibility of every member. If we as chapters do not care for or respect our facilities, why should we expect anyone else to do the same?

All of this is occurring during a time when significant lobbying efforts are being made by many fraternity men and sorority women that will make it easier for organizations to solicit support for improvements to housing infrastructure and life safety devices in chapter houses. While there may not be a direct correlation to those efforts and the situation described above, this experience can not be helpful to those efforts. (You can learn more about these efforts and how you can help at:

We all know and may joke about the “fraternity house smell” and have all been in a chapter house where our feet stick to the floor. Why does this have to be the norm rather than the exception? Fraternities and sororities often expect or demand more respect from their peers, neighbors, faculty members, communities, etc. Why should we expect respect when this is how we treat our facilities, property and live like pigs?

Aguilar, J. (2008, June 11). Boulder orders frat vacated after feces, vomit discovered. The Daily Camera. Retrieved September 5, 2008 from:

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